Taking a road trip across the state of Alaska doesn't have to mean renting a car. Instead, let the Alaska Railroad serve as your connection to many of the state's most popular destinations. Explore national parks and charming towns as you travel through Alaska's spectacular wilderness by rail.
Start in Anchorage and hop on the Coastal Classic Train. This portion of the railroad glides past the blue waters of Cook Inlet, the rugged mountains of Turnagain Arm and offers breathtaking views of Chugach State Park.
Passengers can marvel at the dual scenery, both mountain and ocean views that this train ride provides. Not to mention spotting Dall sheep climbing around the mountains and beluga whales swimming in the sparkling waters.
The Coastal Classic Train makes a stop in the mountain resort town of Girdwood before arriving in Seward, a port town with access to coastal adventures.
Add on a day cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park to look for whales and glaciers, or get up close to Alaska's marine life at the Alaska SeaLife Center. Then hop back on the train that same day for the evening return back to Anchorage.
Another reason the train is better than a driving road trip? Access to places that are off the road system. From Anchorage or Girdwood, board the Glacier Discovery Train for the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, a remote area within the Chugach National Forest. From the Whistle Stop, embark on a guided rafting adventure on the iceberg-studded lake at the terminus of Spencer Glacier.
Continuing the road trip, the Denali Star Train takes riders north from Anchorage. Wildlife sightings like moose and bald eagles are exciting to spot. Passengers can feel truly immersed in Alaska's nature with help from the train's extra-large viewing windows, and the outdoor viewing platform in GoldStar service.
Plan for a night in the historic village of Talkeetna, home to a charming Main Street and sights of the Alaska Range and Denali that are unbeatable. And overnighting at Denali National Park and Preserve is essential for any Alaska road trip. The park is home to iconic Alaska wildlife as well as the tallest peak in North America, and there are no shortages of exciting excursions around the park.
Best of all? In addition to train tickets, the Alaska Railroad can make arrangements for accommodations and excursions along the way. Take a look at suggested Alaska rail packages, or build a custom itinerary. Taking the Alaska Railroad through the state allows for a more relaxing road trip, and the focus can remain on adventure rather than coordinating stops and time for taking in the sights.
For more information on the Alaska Railroad's train routes, and to view pre-arranged packages go to www.alaskarailroad.com.
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