Denali Train Tours for your next Adventure in Alaska

02/08/2024 Back To Blog

When traveling by train, the journey is every bit as captivating as the destination itself. Long before the age of cars and airplanes, trains unveiled new horizons, bringing distant wonders within reach. Even in today’s fast-paced world, train travel retains its allure, navigating through landscapes unreachable by any other mode of transportation. Exploring Alaska through train tours allows passengers to view sights they would have otherwise missed and enjoy slower trips with their feet kicked back and a promise of enjoying every mile traveled as much as the destination.

Train travel in Alaska offers a unique and immersive experience with unrefined natural landscapes across the state. From the comfort of their seat, passengers will have unparalleled views of mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers and wildlife. With knowledgeable guides providing insights into the region’s history and ecology, train travel becomes not just a means of transportation but an enriching and memorable part of the Alaska adventure. Rail tours with Princess Lodges include travel on the Alaska Railroad route, lodging and the option of additional tours.

The history of the Alaska Railroad

The Alaska Railroad predates Alaska’s statehood, with the construction of the first railroad beginning in 1903 in Seward. Even Anchorage’s origins begin with the railroad, starting as a tent town and construction community for the railroad to expand from Seward to Fairbanks. The main stretch of 470 miles was completed in 1923, as President Warren G. Harding drove in the ceremonial golden spike in Nenana. For 100 years, the Alaska Railroad has been central to transporting freight and passengers across the state.

Sights along the way


Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, has the perfect blend of urban and wilderness. Visitors can explore the Anchorage Museum to delve into the state’s rich history and art or meander through downtown and explore a variety of dining options and unique boutiques. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail offers breathtaking views of the inlet and mountains and a likely chance of moose viewing. Right up against the Chugach Range, there are numerous opportunities for hiking, backpacking and mountain biking. Train travel from Anchorage offers a front row seat to some of Alaska’s natural splendor, including diverse perspectives of the Chugach Range and the Knik Arm. Passengers lucky enough to ride on a clear day might even catch Mount Denali peeking through the clouds.

Matanuska-Susitna Valley

As you get closer to the Mat-Su Valley, passengers can see the Matanuska Glacier. The vast and awe-inspiring river of ice stretches approximately 27 miles. Renowned for its accessibility and stunning vistas, visitors to Matanuska Glacier can explore its icy expanse, witness crevasses and ice formations, and partake in guided activities, making it a popular destination for those seeking an up-close encounter with one of Alaska’s iconic glaciers.


A favorite stop along the Denali train is the small town of Talkeetna. With a population of 1,200 people, this charming town is filled with cute shops and delicious dining options. Popular activities include a flightseeing tour of Denali and the Alaska Range, a riverboat tour along the Susitna River or a dogsledding tour that can be enjoyed in the summer. There is plenty to do in Talkeetna, whether stopping for a couple of hours or days. Nearby Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge is the perfect place to spend the night, featuring breathtaking views of the Great One, Denali.


Grizzly bear roaming through grasses in Alaska

Train Tours to Denali National Park are an essential experience for anyone visiting Alaska, presenting a journey through the picturesque landscapes of Southcentral and Interior Alaska before arriving at a destination of unmatched natural beauty. Locals and visitors alike can appreciate endless opportunities for exploring the park, which boasts the highest peak in North America. If you have a few days to enjoy, consider a bus tour that takes you deep into the park and closer to Denali. These excursions, ranging from six to 12 hours, offer the best chance at seeing various wildlife like moose, caribou, bears, wolves, foxes and more!

Denali Rail Tours depart from Anchorage. Hop right on the train at the depot and head directly into the wilderness. Overnight at Denali National Park or at our Mt. McKinley Lodge near Talkeetna, or both!  Book a one- to four-night tour, offered from mid-May to mid-September.  Whether you are a first-time visitor to Alaska or a local needing a staycation, Princess Lodges Denali Rail Tours will take your adventure to the next level.