Alaska by Rail

Alaska by Rail
By Michael Russell

One of the best ways to see the sights of Alaska is through a railroad tour! The Alaska Railroad is a railway that runs between Anchorage and Whittier and also from Anchorage to Fairbanks. On the southern Whittier route, the train also stops at Seward and on the northern route, it stops at Denali and Talkeetna. These tracks cover some of the most beautiful Alaskan countryside and the Alaska Railroad operates several scenic tours for tourists.

Taking an Alaska Railroad tour is one of the best ways to view some of the more remote locations in Alaska's vast countryside. You will not have to worry about where you will stay each night, because the tours include your hotel accommodations at luxury hotels. You will stop periodically along the route to get out and enjoy some of the scenery, as well as mingle with native Alaskans. When you park yourself in the observation car, you will be gazing on some of the most beautiful views in the northern hemisphere.

One of the most popular Alaskan train tours is offered by the Alaska Railroad and is called Alaska by Rail. This tour is designed for the railway enthusiast and takes riders through some of the local culture. You will explore the Kenai Fjords National Park, as well as the shoreline of Kenai. The train will take you into some of the interior areas of the state and you will revel in the wildlife of Denali National Park. One of the stops even allows travelers to ride a sternwheeler down the Fairbanks River! This is a nine-day tour, with eight nights in luxury hotels. It begins and ends in Anchorage.

For those interested in a natural experience, the Visit Denali Tour offered by the Alaska Railroad takes guests on a three-day trip through the massive national park. This is a great way to experience the mountains that Alaska is so famous for. Do not be surprised if you see a herd of caribou on this trip!

For the ultimate rail experience in Alaska, consider the Alaskan Odyssey trip. This is an eleven-day tour of the entire state, starting at the Pacific and ending at the Arctic. It takes visitors to all of the most famous Alaskan destinations and includes transportation by train, plain and bus. You will experience the midnight sun over the Arctic Ocean, the thrill of the Arctic National Park and the opportunity to see some of Alaska's wildlife in Denali National Park. This tour also takes you through the vast tundra, an experience you are sure to never forget.

The White Pass and Yukon Railroad offers tourist trips through the Alaska into the Yukon of Canada. This railway is historic, as it was built around the turn of the century during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush. This trip takes you on cars that are recreations of the original cars through train stations that are also reminiscent of a time gone by. Like the other railway, you will enjoy the most stunning views on this trip and the cars have large windows for you to use to view the passing scenery. Each car is also equipped with outside viewing platforms that you can use to get a taste of fresh air.

Michael RussellYour Independent guide to Alaska

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