Experience True Nature Alaska Wilderness Adventure Tours beyond Imagination



 

DEP#05 Discover Alaska by Rail - Alaska Vacation Packages

Discover Spectacular Alaska onboard the Alaska Railroad ! Observe Alaska’s scenery from wrap-around glass enclosed dome cars or open viewing platforms, enjoy delicious meals or tableside beverage service and stay in deluxe resorts and lodges along the way. Travel into the wilds of Denali National Park and observe the Grizzly Bears in their natural habitat with towering Mt. Denali in the background, get a glimpse of the past and the present in Fairbanks and Talkeetna and discover Anchorage on the shores of Cook Inlet. Our tour includes a variety of activities and sightseeing options at Denali Village for your convenience. Please Note: The Package is also available in reverse!

  • Tour Itinerary

  • Dates | Rates

  • Options | Extensions

  • Rail Information

  • Denali Park Information

Day
01

Fairbanks
 

Arrive at Fairbanks Airport. Transfer to your hotel. Spend the remaining day on leisure. Visit the renown Alaska University Museum featuring Alaska's natural history best collection, the lively Alaskaland or take an authentic narrated 20-mile sternwheeler roundtrip cruise on the Chena and Tanana Rivers with a stop at an reconstructed Athabascan Indian Village were you learn about native hunting and fishing techniques and watch a dogsled demonstration. While in Fairbanks, you have also the unique chance to fly by bush mail plane to Alaska's vast, roadless interior. Enjoy the scenic flight above the arctic circle and experience at Fort Yukon how the Gwich'in Athabascan Natives live in rural or "Bush" Alaska. Put your hand in the Yukon River, travel through the Wetlands and crest the rounded peaks of the Northern Edge of the Alaska Range searching for moose and Dall sheep. Overnight: Fairbanks


Day
02

Fairbanks - Denali National Park
 

Board the Alaska Railroad in Fairbanks for the departure at 8:15 am. You can choose between the regular rail car or glass-domed compartments - with large panorama windows ensuring unobstructed views of snowcapped mountain ranges, pristine scenery and wildlife. You will be picked up at the Denali rail station at 12:30 pm and transfered to your hotel. The afternoon is at leisure to attending a rafting tour, watch a sled dog demonstration by the park range or go on a short hiking trip. Optional: Visit Jeff King’s Sled Dog Kennel - Join an intimate group for a personal tour with four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King at his Husky Homestead Kennel. Widely heralded as the most authentic and entertaining look into “bush Alaska” lifestyles, your visit includes holding Husky puppies, greeting more than sixty world-class sled dogs, and sharing twenty-five years of Alaskan tales of the trail. Enjoy the compelling stories and check out arctic survival gear, racing sleds and equipment used to traverse the 1100 mile long "Last Great Race on Earth".


Day
03

Denali National Park
 

Early departure (pre-reserved time) for a full day national park and wildlife observation tour within the shadows of 20.320 ft Mt. Denali to Eielson Visitor Center or scenic Wonder Lake with a immense (best) view of “the Mountain”. Tickets included ! Watch for Grizzly Bears, Moose, Caribou, Wolf and Fox along the ridges and river beds or observe one of the 150 different bird species which inherit the park area. This trip offers great hiking opportunities. Return to the park entrance anytime at your own pace. Optional: Extend your tour to Wonder Lake or join a guided tour to Kantishna Roadhouse. This is a full day narrated tour along the Park Road to the Kantishna Roadhouse. This trip covers the entire length of the restricted 95-mile Denali Park Road to Kantishna in a private bus. A trained naturalist provides natural history interpretation and assists in search for wildlife while pointing out the regional biology and geology. A lunch at Kantishna is included.


Day
04

Denali National Park - Talkeetna
 

Mid morning railroad departure from Denali Village to Talkeetna. Enjoy magnificent views of snowcapped mountains while traveling along the Alaska Mountain Range towards Talkeetna. Get the camera ready as the train crosses Hurricane Gulch Bridge, 300 feet above the creek. Upon arrival in Talkeetna transfer to your superior downtown hotel or a first-class mountain lodge. As turn-of-the-20th-century gold-mining center, Talkeetna has retained much of its early Alaska flavor. Log cabins, a roadhouse and clapboard storefronts line the dirt streets. Main Street, the only paved road in town, greets visitors with a hand-hewn sign reading "Welcome to Beautiful Downtown Talkeetna.” Overnight: Talkeetna


Day
05

Talkeetna - Anchorage
 

Today you have the opportunity to attend the Jet Boat Safari and walk through historic Talkeetna or explore the area. Optional: Take a flightseeing trip within 6-Miles of Mt. Denali's 20.320 ft summit and get a picture perfect view of the Kahiltna and Ruth Glacier with its Great Gorge - over 9.000 ft deep - as well as onto magnificent ice-falls. You'll also see the Sheldon Amphitheatre - the largest of its kind in the world. During the tour you may catch also sights of mountain climbers. You can add a glacier landing and walk on the ice. Board the Alaska Railroad in the afternoon for an exciting ride to Anchorage. Check in your downtown hotel.


Day
06

Anchorage
 

Optional city sightseeing tour: Visit some of Anchorage's historical points of interest in this sprawling city of over 250,000 full-time residents. Watch for attractions like the Log Cabin Visitor Center and its Crossroads of the World Signpost, Ship Creek Viewpoint overlooking Cook Inlet and the Alaska Railroad Depot, Resolution Park with its Captain Cook Monument, and the Museum of History & Art. The highlight of the 3.5 hour tour will be a visit to the world renowned 25-acre Alaska Native Heritage Center displaying several interactive exhibits developed in recognition and tribute to the distinct culture of the Alaskan people. End of tour.



DEP#05 Discover Alaska By Rail - Superior Hotels
Rates in US $ / per Person Single      Double      Triple      Quad      Child     
May 15 - May 31 $ 1480.00 $ 895.00 $ 745.00 $ 654.00 $ 240.00
June 01 - August 31 $ 1690.00 $ 1030.00 $ 850.00 $ 755.00 $ 260.00
September 01 - September 20 $ 1480.00 $ 895.00 $ 745.00 $ 654.00 $ 240.00
Upgrade: Dome Car Train $225.00 $225.00 $225.00 $225.00 $225.00

 

DEP#05 Discover Alaska By Rail - First Class Hotels + Dome Car Seating
Rates in US $ / per Person Single      Double      Triple      Quad      Child     
May 15 - May 31 $ 1880.00 $ 1210.00 $ 960.00 $ 865.00 $ 399.00
June 01 - August 31 $ 2270.00 $ 1390.00 $ 1175.00 $ 1050.00 $ 420.00
September 01 - September 20   $ 1890.00 $ 1170.00 $ 959.00 $ 885.00 $ 399.00

 

Departure Days
Daily Departures from May 15 - September 20

 

Services included
  • 5 Nights Accommodation *** Hotels (**** First Class)
  • All Local Taxes
  • Rail Tour Fairbanks - Denali - Talkeetna - Anchorage
  • Denali Shuttle Bus Tour to Eielson Visitor Center
  • Denali National Park Entrance Fee
  • Detailed Tour & Travel Documentation
  • Hotel & Railroad Station Transfers
  • Airport Transfers
  • Reserved Seats (in Upper Level Domed Cars for First Class)
  • Priority Check-in & Boarding (First Class)
  • Use of Private Outdoor Viewing Deck (First Class)
  • Priority Dining Room Seating (First Class)
  • Enhanced & Rotating Reclining Seats (First Class)



Flexible Tour Options - Upgrades & Sightseeing
Rates in US $ | per Person Adult
Exchange Shuttle Bus to Escorted 8-Hour Wildlife Tour including Boxed Lunch
Departure: 2:00 pm / Return 8:00 pm
$95.00

Exchange Shuttle Bus to Escorted 12-Hour Kantishna Wilderness Lodge Tour with Lunch,
Interpretive Program, Gold Panning, En-route Refreshments
Departure: 6:00 am / Return 6:00 pm
$130.00

Denali Village: Nenana River Rafting or Float Trip
Duration 2 hrs
$89.00

Talkeetna: 1-Hour Mt. Denali Flightseeing Tour (Glacier Landing add $85) $218.00

 

Additional Nights - Anchorage
Rates in US $ | per Person (+tax) Hotel Category      Single      Double      Triple      Quad      Child     
May 15 - May 31 Superior Hotel $135.00 $68.00 $50.00 $40.00 $10.00
June 01 - August 31 Superior Hotel $150.00 $80.00 $55.00 $45.00 $10.00
September 04 - September 15 Superior Hotel $135.00 $68.00 $50.00 $40.00 $10.00

May 15 - May 31 First Class Hotel $160.00 $80.00 $60.00 $50.00 $10.00
June 01 - August 31 First Class Hotel $270.00 $135.00 $95.00 $78.00 $10.00
September 04 - September 15 First Class Hotel $160.00 $80.00 $60.00 $50.00 $10.00



Alaska Rail Tour Services

Regular Seating and Private Dome Car Choices
Our Alaska Rail Tours are available with the following classes of service: Denali Star & Coastal Classic Regular Service | Many people prefer the standard class for its single level stability, generous seating and the ability to easily walk between different cars on the train. Gold Star Dome Cars | Are the newest first-class rail cars in Alaska with large picture windows and fine dining options. Upper level dome car 360-degree viewing seating, priority check in, outdoor viewing deck. The lower level provides a restaurant, bar and gift shop. Midnight Sun Express Dome Cars | These 2-story dome cars with large multiple outside viewing platforms are operated by a private company. Enjoy the full-time 360-degree view dome seating with plenty of leg – and storage room. Additional features are: GPS assisted monitors, restaurant, bar and gift shop. The 1950’s Vintage Cars | The 1950's-era vintage railcars built by the well known Budd Company were some of the last reminders of the Golden Age of rail. A private company began acquiring Budd dome cars for passenger service on the McKinley Explorer train in Alaska. The seven cars the: Matanuska 508, Chena 509, Chulitna 510, Tanana 512, Talkeetna 513, Kashwitna 553 and Eklutna 554 were purchased and completely refurbished. These railcars were to become the most historic and elegant way to travel through America's Last Frontier. Mc.Kinley Explorer Dome Cars | Are the largest domed cars ever build with plenty of legroom, wide isles and additional luggage storage space. The seats are on the upper level – with restaurant, gift shop and bar downstairs - providing a 360-degree view through the glass windows around and the glass dome above you. All seats are wired so you may listen to music and recorded narration. GPS assisted monitors in each car are tracking the exact location. The covered outside viewing platform is a great feature for a breath of fresh air. All Alaska Rail Tours are including a pre-confirmed and assigned seat as well as on-board narration services. MAP – Modified American Plan (Breakfast & Dinner) is available upon request.

Children Rate
We provide a reduced tour rate for children up to 11 years. Please refer to each individual tour for more information. Children will be accommodated in parents room.

Dining
The Midnight Sun Express, the McKinley Explorer and the Alaska Railroad Gold Star Dome Cars are offering full service breakfast, lunch and dinner options (all custom made to order) at the on-board restaurants. You will have the opportunity to visit the dining room and order freshly prepared food from the menu. Since all of our dishes are prepared to order we will do our best to accommodate all dietary concerns. Please notify us of any special dietary requirements at the time of reservation.

Gratuities
Recommended gratuities to the on-board train staff and host guides are $3.00 to $5.00 per person and day. Gratuities for meal and bar service are entirely discretionary, but 15% is customary in most Alaskan restaurants. All tipping is a matter of your individual preference and is of course - always voluntary.

Hotel Accommodation
For additional information and addresses on hotels, lodges and resorts included in your railroad tour package, please check our „Info Center“ area.

Luggage Transfer & Access
Passengers are limited to two pieces of checked baggage, not to exceed 50 pounds, that must be checked with the Alaska Railroad without charge. Each passenger may also take one carry on bag. Please pack any medications, cameras, binoculars or valuables in your carry-on.

Pets
Are not allowed onboard (except assistance dogs)

Smoking
Is not permitted on-board the trains. Smoking is allowed outside on the platforms. Ashtrays are available on the outside viewing platform.

Sightseeing Tours
Most of our tours are including scheduled sightseeing trips. For more information please refer to each individual tour package. In addition to these scheduled tours we also provide a variety of exciting optional sightseeing trips with a great value. Please Note: Optional sightseeing tours are only available in connection with a confirmed rail tour package reservation.

Tickets & Travel Documents
You’ll receive your boarding passes, travel documents and additional tour information on the departure day at the rail station. Ticketless travel options are available upon request.

Transfers
Most scheduled transfers indicated within the itinerary are included in our rail tour packages. Optional pre/post hotel tour accommodation are including transfers from/to the airport. Private limousine and/or group coach transfers are available for an additional charge.

Wheelchair Access
Each train has at least one rail car that this fully accessible to wheelchairs. A specially designed lift makes getting on and off the train easy and safe. There are also accessible restrooms on each of the accessible rail cars.

Alaska Rail Tour Travel Destinations
Anchorage to Talkeetna | Anchorage is headquarters to the Alaska Railroad and the journey to Fairbanks begins here. Several miles into the trip, the heavy birch forests of Eagle River and Chugiak lead to the Knik and Matanuska Rivers.The expansive watershed harbors wildlife like moose, bear, the occasional wolf and abundant waterfowl. About 40 miles from Anchorage comes the Matanuska Valley, Alaska's agricultural center and home to the towns of Palmer and Wasilla. Just south of Talkeetna, 70 miles further, the first view emerges of Mt. McKinley, North America's highest peak. The train takes its first stop in Talkeetna, a small town with a mining history and now, a popular takeoff point for climbers to Mt. McKinley. Talkeetna to Denali | From Talkeetna, the track follows the serpentine banks of the Susitna River. On clear days, more views of Mt. McKinley emerge across the river presenting many chances for photos. Black and brown bear frequent the sandbars and scuttle into the brush as the train approaches. Next, the Indian River Canyon is home to many beavers and beaver lodges can be seen in the ponds along the way. The track climbs toward tree line, first crossing Hurricane Gulch, the longest bridge on the railroad just over 914 feet and 296 feet above Hurricane Creek. The train moves into Broad Pass, at 2,363 feet it's the highest point on the railroad, and where caribou migrate through during the fall. Thousands of travelers visit Denali National Park and Preserve to see wildlife like wolves, caribou, Dall sheep, moose and bear, and, of course, Mt. McKinley. Denali to Fairbanks | The coal-mining town of Healy follows after a 10-mile jaunt through Healy canyon, where the surging waters of the Nenana River cuts through the steep-sided cliffs. As the track levels out, Nenana comes into view. It is home to one of the remaining original Alaska Railroad Depots, now a museum and gift shop. The track cuts through the northern boreal forests of interior Alaska. Birch, aspen and willow fill this landscape where gold miners first came to seek their fortunes. Fifty-eight miles from Nenana, Fairbanks, the "Golden Heart City" signals the end of the line - but just the beginning for more adventure, culture and history in the Last Frontier.


Seward to Anchorage | Your journey starts in Seward, the southern terminus of the railroad. It quickly begins its climb through primeval forests of Sitka spruce. After crossing Snowy River, Kenai Lake comes into view, set off with its stunning aqua color and surrounded by soaring mountains. Moose Pass - Thirty miles into the trip, the track winds through Moose Pass, a former railroad construction camp on the shores of Trail Lake. As the rail ascends into the Kenai Mountains, it leaves behind the forests and reveals mountain meadows and streams of gin-clear glacial waters. Trail Glacier appears on the right and soon after, the summit of Grandview at 1,063 feet and the historic Loop District - named for a complex series of trestles built to handle the steep grade in the age of steam engines. In the same stretch, Bartlett Glacier crowds the track just 800 feet away. Placer River Valley - After passing through a series of short tunnels, the track descends to the Placer River Valley near Spencer Glacier. Moose, bear and wolves populate the valley among the willow and alder trees. Trumpeter swans migrate through in spring and fall and arctic terns hover above the ponds and river looking for small fish and insects. Twelve miles later Turnagain Arm appears, where 40-foot tides rush into the narrow confines of the Chugach Mountains. Beluga whales pursue salmon and other schooling fish. Next comes Girdwood, home to Alaska's premier ski resort, a 40-mile commute from Anchorage. Chugach National Forest - The Chugach National Forest borders Turnagain Arm, some six million acres, the second largest in the U.S. Bald eagles cruise the thermals above and Dall Sheep come to feed on the low plants growing on the cliffs bordering the track. Next comes Potter Marsh in the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. Anchorage is the final stop, 114 miles out of Seward.



Denali National Park - FAQ

  Q:
A:
Where is the Park?
The Park is located on the George Parks Highway - 120 Miles south of Fairbanks and 240 Miles north of Anchorage. There are only a few smaller communities such as Talkeetna, Cantwell and Nenana between these two major cities and therefore the Park area is somewhat isolated.

  Q:
A:
How do I get to Denali?
The national park area is easily accessible via the paved George Parks Highway or with the Railroad.

Railroad
Denali Star & the Midnight Sun Express | Daily departures from / to Anchorage, Talkeetna and Fairbanks

Bus and Van Service
Daily departures from Anchorage and Fairbanks

Car
Rent a car, van, or 4x4 in Anchorage and drive to Denali National Park. One-way rentals are available between Anchorage, Fairbanks and Seward.

  Q:
A:
Can I drive into the National Park?
Private vehicles are not allowed beyond the Savage Creek Ranger Check Station at Mile 15 of the Park Road – except with a permit. Therefore the National Park Service offers a shuttle bus system from approximately end of May until the middle of September (depends on weather conditions) between the Visitor Center and Wonder Lake, at the end of the 90 Mile long Road. The busses are departing from 6:00 am onwards about every 1/2 hour. Passengers have the opportunity to get on and off the bus at any point along the park road for hikes and wildlife viewing. This allows visitors to explore the park at their own pace and leisure. Note: Advance reservations for the shuttle busses are absolutely necessary. If you arrive without shuttle bus reservations you may have to wait one or two days in order to get a ticket.

  Q:
A:
How long will it take to visit the Park?
The shuttle bus service offers a number of well worth visiting destinations.

Savage River | this is the farthest point (15 Miles from park entrance) visitors can travel in their own vehicle on the park road. At this point there is a small parking  area, picnic tables, and the trailhead for the Savage River Trail (about 2 Miles) Visitors can make use of the free Savage River Shuttle that runs regularly between the entrance area and the Savage River. The Savage River Campground is located at Mile 13 and Savage campers with tickets can be picked up at the bus stop for the shuttle into the park.

Sanctuary River | 23 Miles from the park entrance provides an established campground and a park ranger station. There are seven sites for tent camping and access is by bus. Campers with tickets may use the Park Shuttle system, and great hiking is available in the vicinity of Sanctuary campground.

The Teklanika River | 30 Miles from the park entrance runs through Igloo Forest, creating large gravel bars for easy travel. A rest stop at Teklanika provides restrooms, and expansive views from the deck. Campgrounds are nearby at Teklanika and Igloo Creek campgrounds.

Polychrome Pass & Rest Area | 46 Miles from the park entrance offers a spectacular view of the colorful Alaska Range. The Polychrome Glaciers are nestled in the hills to the south, while bears and caribou often wander on the river bars below. For a day hike, walk along the ridge behind the rest area and enjoy alpine scenery. Buses run as far as Polychrome from June to August.

Toklat | at Mile 53 is a 6-hour round trip. Toklat River is an area of braided glacial rivers and towering cliffs where Dall sheep are often seen. Grizzlies sometimes graze on the riverbed’s soapberries. Buses run as far as Toklat from late May through Mid-Sept weather permitting.

Fish Creek | a trip to the newly build Fish Creek Visitor Center, at Mile 66 takes about 8-hours (round trip) and is the closest location for scenic views of towering Mt. McKinley.

Wonder Lake | at Mile 85 is an 11-hour round trip. The beautiful lake offers a picture perfect view of Mt. McKinley. Along the road to Wonder Lake, alder and willow-carpeted hills are dotted with kettle ponds. Look for beaver along the way, and be sure to keep an eye out for blueberries in late summer and fall. Buses run to Wonder Lake June 8 through Mid-September weather permitting

Kantishna | at Mile 90 is about a 13-hour round trip. The gold mining area is primarily a destination for backpackers heading for the national parks backcountry sections or for clients who are staying at various remote backcountry lodges in the viciity of Kantishna. One Bus travels to Kantishna between June 8 and September 11. Kantishna is primarily a destination for lodge visitors and backpackers headed for the backcountry. Please respect the private lands you may encounter in this area.

  Q:
A:
What about Sightseeing within Denali National Park?
Denali National Park and Preserve is famous for North America's highest mountain peak - 20,320-foot tall Mount McKinley, spectacular landscapes, rugged mountain peaks and abundant wildlife. More than 6 million acres encompass a complete sub-arctic eco-system.

  Q:
A:
What about Wildlife Viewing?
Denali National Park is home to a variety of wildlife. Moose, Grizzly Bears, Caribous, Dall Sheeps, Wolves, Foxes, Golden Eagles, Beavers, and a multitude of migratory birds and waterfowl are plentiful throughout the park. Moose and Grizzly Bear sights are possible and rather common even within the improved sections of the park.

  Q:
A:
Will I see Mt. Denali ?
The more time you spend inside the park, the better are your chances to see Mt. Denali. The entire mountain is visible only on a few days during each summer, however you may be fortunate to get a view of Mt. Denali or some of the other mountain peaks and glaciers of the Alaska range during your stay. Even when the clouds obscure your view of the mountain from ground level, you can frequently see it while on a hike that gains elevation, or on a flight seeing trip.

  Q:
A:
Are any hotels directly in the Park?
Only a very limited number of remote wilderness lodges are operating within the national park boundaries. Please check our page: Denali Wilderness Lodges. Most  hotels are located at Denali Village – along the Parks Highway – one Mile from the visitor center.

  Q:
A:
Can I buy beverages or food in the Park?
There is no food or beverage service available on either the busses or anywhere past Mile 2 of the park road. Please plan ahead and bring your own snacks, lunch, and beverages. Restrooms are available at approximate one-hour intervals along the park road.

  Q:
A:
Which services are available near the Park?
Within a few miles of the Park entrance there are lodges, restaurants, gift shops, gas stations, small convenience stores, and various other visitor related services.

  Q:
A:
What’s about other Activities?
There are a number of outfitters and soft-adventure companies operating near the park boundaries. Some of the activities include: flight seeing adventures, helicopter flights, rafting, float trips, sled dog tours, evening dinner theater. Please refer also to our individual sightseeing pages.

  Q:
A:
How is the Weather?
Weather in Denali is extremely variable. Many of the rangers tell visitors to expect sun, wind, rain, clouds and even snow - sometimes all on the same day. Temperature can range from the mid 20's in early May and September to 85 degrees in July. Normal temperatures are in the high 60's with nights cooling off to between 40 and 50 degrees. Wearing layers of clothing makes it easy to regulate your body temperature. Also, you'll find that a good waterproof raincoat is invaluable. It will be daylight for 24-hours a day throughout May, June and the first half of July.



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