RSWH02 Mountain High – Alaska Rail & Road Trip from Whittier

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This touring Alaska package includes time in some of the most picturesque areas in central Alaska. We have the perfect Alaska rail and drive combo tour ready for you. Whittier is most visited as the embarkation/debarkation point for one-way cruises between Anchorage to Vancouver by Princess and other cruise lines and an important port for the ferries on the Alaska Marine Highway. Board the comfortable motorcoach and enjoy the scenic transfer along Turnagain Arm to Anchorage. You can view Alaska’s most famous animals - grizzly bears, moose, muskox, caribou, bison - up close in a natural setting during the stopover at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Board in Anchorage 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. Spend 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, Alaska’s largest city and filled with lot of adventures along with metropolitan amenities. 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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Itinerary

Whittier - Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Board the motorcoach in Whittier and enjoy the scenic transfer to Anchorage. Your professional guide will amaze you with fascinating and amusing narration as you travel along Turnagain Arm. Photo stops at Beluga Point and Portage Glacier offer multiple opportunities to view the Alaskan wilderness in all its pristine glory. Included is a 1 hour visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to view Alaska's most famous animals up close in a natural setting. During this visit you'll get great pictures of real live Bears, Moose, Muskox, Caribou, Bison, and more. The motorcoach travels past Bird Creek, a popular fishing spot and then the rocky outcrop of Beluga Point. You will be dropped off at your Anchorage downtown hotel. Included: Sightseeing Motorcoach Tour

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 | Self Drive Tour Start

Pick up your rental car this morning. You are invited to explore Fairbanks gold rush history, its vibrant traditional native cultures as well as abundant wildlife and fantastic scenery. This morning you may visit the renown Alaska University Museum featuring Alaska's natural history best collection, Alaskaland or join the authentic sternwheeler "Riverboat Discovery" on a scenic 20-mile roundtrip cruise down the Chena and Tanana Rivers. A guided van tour along the Dalton Highway or a flightseeing tour to the Arctic Circle is a super popular choice for experiencing the Arctic Circle and Yukon River. Enjoy a bush mail plane flight or a flightseeing trip to Fort Yukon to understand as well as experience how the Gwich'in Athabascan Natives live in "Bush" Alaska.

Fairbanks – Copper Center ( Driving Distance: 250 miles| Overnight: Copper Center or Glennallen )

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. For trout and grayling as well as salmon, try the Gulkana River nearby.

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.