Train excursions in Alaska


Jan 19th, 2000, 08:16 AM
Marilyn Brady
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Train excursions in Alaska

HI -

We are planning an Alaskan vacation for the summer 2000. We will be travelling with our two children ages 8 and 10. I am interested in taking a train trip (my son is really into trains) that offers lots of scenic value. Any suggestion? I am in the early planning stages of our first trip to Alaska. Any highlights not to be missed? Thanks in advance for any insights and suggestions. Marilyn b
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Jan 19th, 2000, 09:10 AM
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Hi, Marilyn,
The train is probably the best way to get to Denali Park from Anchorage - it's a scenic and historic route, whereas the drive is a little tedious IMO. The Alaska RR web site is at
From the visitor center at the park you can take the shuttle bus into the center of the park; cars are allowed only if you're camping in the park interior, anyway. Wildlife is almost always visible from the shuttles. For accommodation the main hotel is next to the train station, see
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Jan 19th, 2000, 09:21 AM
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Hi Marilyn! Congratulations on deciding to go to Alaska. I was there for 5 weeks in 1994. I planned the trip for probably a year ahead of time. The biggest thing I think you have to do is narrow it down. We covered 10,000 miles in 5 weeks and still didn't scratch the surface of seeing it.

Ground transportation is costly. We rented a car and drove where the roads would reach. If you have kids, that might be a good way to go. The Milepost is the Bible for traveling through Alaska. It is helpful as far as how to get there and what to do once you get there.

I have two other suggestions. If you can work in a trip on the Alaska State Ferry, do it! It was one of the highlights of our trip. The second suggestion is to be sure to make all reservations now. The towns may sound good sized, but they're not. Accomodations are at a premium. And don't be suprised to pay through the nose for meals as well. Food is very costly...bowl of oatmeal in a restaurant for $5.

If you have any questions, please email me. We took several different modes of transportation...plane, bus, car, ship, train...and stayed in a variety of accomodations...cabin, hotel, B&B. I highly recommend the Voyager Hotel in Anchorage. They are super people.

I could go on and was a great trip and can't wait to go back!
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Jan 19th, 2000, 09:23 AM
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Jan 21st, 2000, 02:15 PM
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Marilyn -
I took two train trips in Alaska this summer on the ALaska railroad. The first was from Anchorage to Denali, and the second was from Anchorage to Whittier.
The first, while quite long, was incredibly scenic. If the weather is good you can catch a few glimpses of Mt McKinley. The cars are comfortable with large windows for seeing the sights and there is a dome car as well which you can enter at your discretion for more unobstructed viewing. Their is a dining car that serves very good fare, which you will probably have to take advantage of since it is a long trip. (I had both breakfast and lunch).
The second is not as long, and travels along the scenic Turn Again Arm. There is absolutely nothing to do in the city of Whittier accept catch a boat tour of Prince William Sound. I took the train in the morning, took an extremely crowded one day boat tour, and returned on the train in the evening. It was ok, but I recommend the Denali trip much more.

Hope this info was helpful. E mail if you need more info.
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