Seven days, two exciting cities, one national park, a global treasure and experiences of a lifetime: An incredible adventure through Alaska lies ahead.
About the Tour
Travel through the remote expanses of the Alaskan backcountry, and soak in the community and culture that is offered in Alaska’s big cities on this week-long journey through America’s Last Frontier. You will enjoy shops, restaurants and museums during your time in Fairbanks and Anchorage and the solitude that can only be found in the beautiful surroundings of Denali National Park. You will participate in a ceremonial airplane landing in the Arctic Circle and set your sights upon some of the lesser-seen areas of Alaska on train rides aboard luxury dome rail cars. This vacation truly is one for the books. Your journey begins in Fairbanks, where your time is spent exploring on your own and embarking on a truly memorable excursion over the Arctic Circle. A luxury dome train takes you from Fairbanks to Denali, where you will have a chance to leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind and lose yourself in the serenity of nature. Again aboard the train, your travels take you to Anchorage for a look at Alaska’s fascinating heritage and culture through independent exploration. Tame the wild land of Alaska on your own terms, and enjoy all the sights and scenery along the way with this memorable tour.
- Rail travel on board Alaska Railroad's Denali Star in GoldStar Class
- Hotel accommodations for 6 nights, including 2 nights a Kantishna Roadhouse
- 5 meals
- Arctic Circle Flight Excursion
- Denali Backcountry Adventure in Denali National Park
Day 1 - Fairbanks
Upon arrival in Fairbanks, transfer to your centrally located hotel on your own. After settling in, you will have the remainder of the day to sightsee and explore independently. Overnight Fairbanks.
Day 2 - Arctic Circle Excursion
Spend the morning further acquainting yourself with Fairbanks. There are museums to choose from, including the Fairbanks Ice Museum and the University of Alaska Museum of the North, as well as interesting sites that combine history with culture, such as Chena Indian Village and Pioneer Park. This afternoon, you will transfer to the airport for an excursion to remember: a flight over the Arctic Circle. Your plane will depart from Fairbanks and fly over abandoned mining areas dating back to the Alaskan Gold Rush; across the backcountry, where you will catch glimpses of the Trans Alaska Pipeline; and over the mighty Yukon River Valley. Your pilot will note as the plane crosses the Arctic Circle, and once the plane completes its ceremonial landing, you will receive a certificate noting your travels. Now in the Brooks Mountain Range, a coach will take you to the rural town of Joy to an iconic Arctic Circle stop: the Arctic Circle Trading Post. This is a popular stop of travelers, with its wide-range of souvenirs, free coffee and friendly ownership. You will have some time to wander around and to get an up-close look at the Arctic Tundra before returning to Fairbanks. Overnight Fairbanks.
Day 3 - Fairbanks to Denali
This morning, make your way to the Fairbanks train station to board the Alaska Railroad's Denali Star bound for Denali. As the train pulls out of the station, you will see some of the historic gold mining towns that surround Fairbanks. A little further south, the train will cross the Tanana River on one of the largest single-span bridges in the world - measuring 702 feet in length. Moving along, you follow the course of the Nenana River to Healy and then through the scenic Nenana River Canyon Gorge, a popular destination for whitewater rafters, before arriving in Denali. In all, the route spans approximately 122 miles and takes nearly 4 hours to complete.
As you arrive in Denali, set out for an exciting guided tour of Denali National Park. You will traverse the only road in the park and travel it to its entirety, 92 miles. Along the way, low valleys and high mountain peaks come into view. Wildlife can be seen roaming about in its natural habitat, and you will be in awe of the untouched beauty of Alaska. The road leads to the wilderness retreat that you will call home for the next 2 nights. As you arrive, check into your room and enjoy dinner at the lodge. Your stay is all inclusive and offers exciting activities, opportunities for excursions, meals and comfortable accommodations. Overnight Denali National. (D)
Day 4 - Denali Exploration
As you awake, enjoy breakfast surrounded by stunning views of the mountains. Your options for the day are limitless: set out for a hike through the wilderness, go rafting on the Nenana River, set out on a Jeep or ATV adventure or simply take a leisurely walk to enjoy and photograph the scenery. There are a number of excursions offered through the wilderness retreat if you need some direction for your adventures, and sack lunches are available. Return to the lodge for dinner and perhaps a viewing of the evening slide shows. Overnight Denali National Park. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - To Anchorage
This morning you depart the lodge for your journey back through Denali National Park’s interior. Keep your eyes peeled for bears, moose, deer, elk and sheep as you make your way to the rail station. If it is a clear day, you may even catch a glimpse of Mt. Denali! You once again board the Denali Star - this time bound for Anchorage. Covering 233 miles, this train route takes you through McKinley Village, across Broad Pass (the lowest pass in the Alaska Range) and to Summit Lake (the highest point on the Alaska Railroad). As you move through the wide-open wilderness to Hurricane Gulch and into Talkeetna. You will have some of the best opportunities to view Mt. Denali just outside Talkeetna. The train passes through the Matanuska Valley, Willow and Wasilla before crossing several beautiful bridges, entering an expansive game range, passing the colorful village of Eklutna and arriving in Anchorage. Your conductor will make announcements of upcoming points of interest so you can take them all in from the panoramic windows of the train cars. As the train pulls into the station in Anchorage, transfer to your hotel with the remainder of the evening at leisure. Overnight Anchorage. (D)
Day 6 - Anchorage at Leisure
The day is yours to enjoy all the best things Anchorage has to offer. Whether you desire natural sites or city offerings, there is something for everyone. For hiking, biking, mountain climbing and plenty of other outdoor activities, visit Chugach State Park. Portage Glacier, and its sparkling glacier-fed lake, are great scenic destinations. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center offers an up-close look at Alaska’s mighty animals. Staying in the city, Anchorage Museum is ever-popular, with its vast collection of artifacts and interesting exhibits, and the Alaska Native Heritage Center provides information about the indigenous way of life in Alaska. There is a zoo and a wonderful aviation museum in Anchorage, as well as many other shops, galleries and eateries to explore. There are optional excursions you can set out on, including flightseeing, bear spotting and fishing, and guided tours that take you around Anchorage or to Prince William Sound. Overnight Anchorage.
Day 7 - Anchorage
Your tour comes to an end as you transfer to Anchorage’s International Airport.
Hotel accommodations include Pike's Waterfront Lodge, Fairbanks; Kantishna Roadhouse, Denali National Park; and Anchorage Marriott, Anchorage
The Kantishna Roadhouse is situated in Kantishna, the heart of Denali National Park and the end of the only road leading into the park, the Park Road. The Park road is approx. 95 miles long. Wonder Lake (with its spectacular backdrop of the mountain Denali) is very close to the lodge. Kantishna Roadhouse is in a scenic valley setting surrounded by wilderness. To stay in Kantishna is a different experience from visiting the park on a bus tour as you are with fewer people and can explore the natural beauty of the park at a relaxed pace.
The lodge features 30 rooms in either log duplex or fourplex cabins. Each room is nicely decorated with an Alaskan touch. Two dining rooms, a saloon/bar, and a gift shop can be found in the charming main building. Services Include: Roundtrip bus transfer from the park entrance, accommodations, meals while at the lodge, and activities/services of naturalist staff. Flightseeing excursions can be arranged at an additional cost.
Alaska Railroad - GoldStar Service
The Alaska Railroad’s premium class of service offers passengers an exceptional way to travel across Alaska. Glass-dome ceilings allow for panoramic views as Alaska unfolds along the tracks, and an outdoor, upper-level viewing platform -- the only of its kind in the world -- offers fresh air and an excellent vantage point for photos. On the lower level of GoldStar railcars, passengers enjoy a full-service dining room; GoldStar tickets include meals, all soft beverages and two complimentary adult beverages per trip for passengers over 21.