RSJU01 Best of Alaska Holiday - Rail & Drive Tour from Juneau


Juneau is many things: a mountain town, a coastal community and the most scenic capital city in the U.S. A natural wonder, wildlife hotspot and cultural jewel, Juneau is rich in history, art, music and Native heritage. Your rail, drive & fly tour starts with the exciting day trip to Glacier Bay National Park - one of Alaska's most spectacular National Parks and best viewed during the day cruise on board the “Spirit of Adventure” catamaran. The bay is rich with marine life, including the endangered humpback whale, orcas, threatened Stellar sea lion, harbor seals, sea otters and porpoises. In addition Glacier Bay is home to a large bear population, both brown and black, as well as the blue glacier bear, a rare color phase of the black. Fly to Anchorage, which is home to lot of adventures along with metropolitan amenities. Board the last full-service railroad in North America and choose between the “Adventure Class” seating in the one-storey railway car or the “Deluxe Dome Railcar” on board the Alaska Railroad or with one of the privately operated trains. All train cars feature large panorama windows ensuring unobstructed views around every bend of the majestic beauty of the glaciers, mountains and Alaskan wildlife. Stay two days at Denali National Park which is the natural habitat for many types of wildlife including caribou, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, bald eagles, and the mighty grizzly bears. It is most likely you will spot some of them while taking our full day Denali Transit Bus to Eielson Center, Wonder Lake or Kantishna Roadhouse. Your train journey continues to Fairbanks where you’ll pick up your rental car. Fairbanks is the bouncing-off point for trips into Alaska’s remote villages, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Gates of the Arctic National Park. Your itinerary takes you to Copper Center, the gateway to Wrangell - St. Elias National Park. It is your choice to spend a full day at Kennicott / McCarthy, drive to Valdez and join the Columbia Glacier Cruise or try your luck fishing for salmon in famous Copper River. The finale to this tour is Anchorage. Please read our itinerary to have more detailed day-to-day experience. On request, this trip can be customized and can be organized in reverse order.

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Juneau ( Overnight: Juneau )

Arrive in Juneau during the day. Originally a fishing outpost for local Tlingit Native Americans, the area now known as Juneau was founded in 1880 after two prospectors, Richard Harris and Joseph Juneau, discovered gold. Juneau became the capital of Alaska in 1906. This afternoon you may join a sightseeing tour of Juneau including the visit to Mendenhall Glacier - a half-mile wide and 1,800-feet deep ice field - which is for many the most accessible and breathtaking glacier in Alaska. The Mount Roberts Tramway takes guests up to an observation deck that is appr. 2,000 ft. above Juneau, providing arguably the best picture-taking opportunities in the state.

Juneau ( Overnight: Juneau )

Today join a full day tour to Glacier Bay National Park. Early morning flight to Gustavus, board the high-speed catamaran and discover Glacier Bay's West Arm. For 7-hours passengers will explore a diversified landscape with a rich flora, fauna and history. Explore a waterway that was under a river of ice only 250 years ago. A park ranger assists onboard to spot wildlife and provide information. Glacier Bay includes numerous tidewater glaciers - several are actively calving icebergs into the bay. As water undermines the ice fronts, great blocks of ice - up to 200 feet high - are crashing into the water. The Johns Hopkins Glacier calves such enormous volumes of ice and it is unsafe to get within a 2-mile radius of its cliffs. Watch out for humpback whales, orcas, puffins and murres at the Marble Islands, mountain goats high on the cliffs, and harbor seals on the icebergs. Return to Juneau this evening. Included: Glacier Bay Day Tour

Juneau - Flight to Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Morning flight to Anchorage. Nestled along the Chugach Mountains, the coastal city of Anchorage is not the frozen tundra of Alaska you might imagine. You will find it’s brimming with activities for the outdoorsy and adventurous, as well as the more relaxed. Being the largest city in Alaska, it is rich in indigenous culture; you can spend your afternoon enjoying the Alaska Native Heritage Center, visiting the Anchorage Museum, or browsing through the Saturday Market. Visit Lake Hood - the world’s busiest floatplane base and take a scenic floatplane flight over Cook Inlet, go for a walk along the Coastal Trail with views of Mt. Susitna or hike on top of Flat Top Mountain. In the evening don't miss to try out one of Anchorage popular seafood restaurants.

Anchorage – Denali National Park | Rail Tour ( Overnight: Denali Village )

Morning transfer to the railroad station where you'll board the train to Denali National Park. Choose between the standard rail car or the glass-dome compartments with large panorama windows ensuring unobstructed views of snowcapped mountain ranges, pristine scenery and abundant wildlife. Enjoy the comfortable ride as the train takes you via the Matanuska Valley towards the Alaska Range and Mt. Denali. Onboard services feature a restaurant, gift shop and snack bar. Arrive at Denali Village late afternoon. Transfer to your hotel and check into your room. Once you settled take a stroll through Denali Village, join a flightseeing tour, wildwater rafting trip or visit Jeff King’s Husky Homestead Kennel for a personal tour with four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King and his sled dogs.

Denali National Park ( Overnight: Denali Village )

Denali National Park offers excellent wildlife viewing and spectacular sceneries. Pick up your tickets, board the bus and watch out for grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolf and fox moving along the ridges and river beds. Your driver informs about the history of Denali National Park, its diverse wildlife and flora. Once an animal has been spotted the bus will stop that everyone can watch and take pictures. The bus turns around at Eielson Visitor Center - 66 miles one way/8 hours round trip. You can get off the bus anytime to go for a hike. Return to the Denali Park entrance anytime during the day. Optional: We can extend the transit bus tour to Wonder Lake or exchange to the Tundra Wilderness Tour, Kantishna Wilderness Trails or Backcountry Lodge Tour. Included: Denali Transit Bus to Eielson Center

Denali National Park – Fairbanks | Rail Tour ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Join this morning the sled dog demonstration hosted by Denali Park Rangers or hike around the Denali Visitor Center. Board the Alaska Railroad this afternoon for a scenic ride to Fairbanks. Just north of the Denali park, the train winds along Healy Canyon, following the curves of the Nenana River below. The train passes through the small community of Nenana, known for the Nenana Ice Classic Lottery. It is a fundraising event in which individuals attempt to guess the exact time the Tanana River ice will break up. Arrive in Fairbanks, the largest city in the interior and gateway to Alaska's Arctic northern region. The city enjoys almost 24 hr of daylight during summer. In the evening enjoy a dinner at the Pump House on the banks of the Chena River.

Fairbanks – Copper Center | Start Self Drive Tour ( Driving Distance: 250 miles | Copper Center or Glennallen )

Pick up your rental car this morning. Travel on the Richardson Highway to Delta Junction - a telegraph station established in 1904. The intersection, marked by an oversized white milepost for Mile 1422 is known as the Triangle. Delta Junction is also home to the 90,000-acre Delta Bison Sanctuary. The area features spectacular views of the Alaska Range and the Delta River. On clear days the panoramas of Mount Hayes, Mount Moffit and other peaks are stunning. Continue to Paxson with it's many sled dog kennels and further on to Copper River area - known as a paradise for anglers and rafters searching for big fish and whitewater adventure. Gakona, Copper Center and Glenallen are great jump-off points to fish for the famed Copper River Sockeye.

Copper Center (Wrangell - St. Elias National Park) ( Overnight: Copper Center or Glennallen )

Today you have several options to spend your day. Visit historic Kennicott in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park for a day. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is home to nine of the sixteen highest peaks in the United States and Kennicott, a historic copper-mining boomtown. This tour includes the scenic flightseeing tour to McCarthy and the 1/2 day Root Glacier Hike or Kennecott Mill Town Tour with a delicious lunch at Kennicott Glacier Lodge. Another option is the day trip to Valdez and join the Columbia Glacier Cruise. Stopover at Worthington Glacier and drive through scenic Keystone Canyon, take pictures at the "Bridal Veil Falls" and arrive in Valdez. Take a scenic cruise to the Columbia Glacier. Spot the Sound's marine wildlife, including Bull Head Sea Lions, Seals, Otters and Whales.

Copper Center – Anchorage | End of Self Drive Tour ( Driving Distance: 180 miles )

Drive on the scenic Glenn Highway towards Palmer and pass Matanuska Glacier. The glacier is one of Alaska's most accessible glaciers, a 27-mile long river of ice poking out of the Chugach Mountains that is visible for miles along the highway. A self-guided hike leads to the gravel-laced ice. Travel towards the Matanuska Valley - a fertile farmland that was settled by families as part of a New Deal relief program in 1935. Because of the fertile farmland and the immense amount of summer sunlight, vegetables grow to incredible sizes. The Alaska record cabbage is 106 pounds! This is just one of the attractions at the State Fair held in Palmer. Arrive in Anchorage during the day and drop off your rental car. Contact us to extend the tour.