Explore Alaska by Train

Travel through the heart of The Last Frontier state on an epic 1,000-mile journey with unforgettable sights and stops.

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

All Aboard!

Based in Anchorage, the Alaska Railroad travels 500 miles of main line from Seward to Fairbanks, with spurs to Whittier and Palmer. Together with John Hall’s Alaska tours, travelers can explore the remote Alaskan interior via train, plane, bus and boat. This view is from the observation car as the train heads south from Anchorage to Whittier along the scenic Turnagain Arm. 

American Beauty

A waterfall trickles behind fireweed in Keystone Canyon, one of the many scenic stops afforded by John Hall's Alaska tours. Motorcoaches pick up passengers in Valdez and travel backroads to Fairbanks, passing through scenery and making stops not covered by the Alaska Railroad.

Bear Right at the Sign

Grizzly and black bears, moose, wolves, caribou, Dall sheep and many other animals are seen within Denali National Park and Preserve’s six million acres. The Alaska Railroad has a historic depot within the park near the visitor's center, and is a popular way to arrive. The 92-mile Park Road connects the park entrance to Kantishna, where remote lodges such as Denali Backcountry Lodge are located. Buses are the only public transportation permitted into Denali's backcountry other than planes. 

The High One

Denali, meaning “The High One” in the language of the Koyukon Athabascans, is the highest peak in North America at 20,310 feet. Completely obscured by clouds two-thirds of the time, Denali was first summited in 1913 and continues to be a destination for expert mountaineers worldwide. Named Mt. McKinley by a gold prospector in 1896, it was restored to its indigenous name in 2015.

Bird's-Eye View

A stop on the Alaska Railroad’s northern route, Talkeetna is a popular town for staging outdoor adventures into Denali National Park. Charter planes take everyone from “flightseers” to expedition mountain climbers into the park. K2 Aviation offers several tours, including flights that land on glaciers within the park that are followed by a guided hike.

Valdez Ahead

Kayak among sapphire iceburgs and orcas with Pangaea Adventures in Valdez, a commercial and sport-fishing port as well as the terminus of the Alaskan Pipeline. Valdez made worldwide news in 1989 with the Exxon Valdez oil spill, but the area has largely recovered. 

Otterly Adorable

Sunning sea otters are a common sight in Prince William Sound. The Alaska Railroad travels from Anchorage to Whittier, where Stan Stephens Glacier and Wildlife Cruises takes passengers to Valdez through iceburg fields teeming with sea lions, humpback whales, orcas and puffins.

Gateway to the Arctic

At the Alaska Railroad's northern terminus, Fairbanks offers several cultural attractions including Chena Indian Village and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Called the Gateway to the Arctic, Fairbanks is also the starting point for trips into the Arctic Circle and is known for its northern lights viewing.

A Caribou or Two

caribou rack rests in the alpine landscape near the Eielson Visitor Center within six-million acre Denali National Park. There are approximately 1,760 caribou in Denali National Park, and they provide a major meal source for bears and wolves. 

Anchoring in Anchorage

Upon returning to Anchorage, Alaska Railroad and John Hall's Alaska riders often factor in a day or two to explore this walkable city. The Anchorage Museum details the history and art of Alaska, as well as its many native cultures. With a population of 300,000, Anchorage is Alaska's largest city and is filled with local shops and restaurants, including 49th State Brewing Company.