RSAN07 Alaska Mountains & National Parks - Rail and Drive Tour

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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. Being the largest city in Alaska, it is rich in indigenous culture; spend your day enjoying the Alaska Native Heritage Center, visiting the Anchorage Museum, or browsing through the Saturday Market. Visit the Lake Hood Floatplane base, go for a walk along the Coastal Train and try out one of Anchorage popular seafood restaurants. With so much of variety of things, for a first time visitor to Alaska or a seasoned traveller, Anchorage has more to offer and is the perfect starting point for your journey into Alaska

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Itinerary

Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Arrive in Anchorage during the day. Transfer to your hotel in downtown 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. Being the largest city in Alaska, it is rich in indigenous culture; spend your day enjoying the Alaska Native Heritage Center, visiting the Anchorage Museum, or browsing through the Saturday Market. Visit the Lake Hood Floatplane base, go for a walk along the Coastal Train and try out one of Anchorage popular seafood restaurants. With so much of variety of things, for a first time visitor to Alaska or a seasoned traveller, Anchorage has more to offer and is the perfect starting point for your journey into Alaska

Anchorage - Denali National Park | Rail Tour ( Driving Distance: 240 miles | Overnight: Denali Village )

The grandness of the nature starts right from Anchorage itself and driving every mile on the Parks Highway gets even better. It is a treat to watch the mountain peaks crowned with snow caps in the distance. On the way you travel across the fertile Matanuska Valley. Because of the immense amount of summer sunlight, vegetables grow to incredible sizes. Feel free to stop at the designated photo stops to enjoy more panoramic views. It is possible to stopover at Talkeetna for a flightseeing tour to Mt. Denali or a canoe tour on Byers Lake. Travel across Denali State Park and arrive at Denali Village. This evening visit Jeff King’s Sled Dog Kennel - Join an intimate group for a personal tour with four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King and his sled dogs at his Husky Homestead Kennel.

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 | Start Self Drive Tour ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Pick up your rental car. 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 - Dawson City ( Driving Distance: 390 miles | Overnight: Dawson City )

Take the Richardson Highway south 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. Travel past Tok and continue your journey on the Top of the World Highway with endless views into spectacular alpine valleys. If you travel after the first hard frost - usually in mid August, the hills turn colors so brilliant that it seems almost unreal. Stopover in the quirky town of "Chicken" for lunch and photos. You'll cross the mighty Yukon River and arrive in Dawson City. The legendary capital of the 1898 Gold rush is a living relic. After 100 years, miners are still digging for gold. Please Note: We can add an overnight in Tok if you wish to drive the distance in two days.

Dawson City ( Overnight: Dawson City )

A full day to explore the goldrush town Dawson City and the gold fields: Visit the historical buildings, Jack London and Robert Service cabins and old stores that were the pulse of the gold rush capital in its hey-days. As you walk through the heart of Dawson City, your imagination will run to the likes of Klondike Kate, Arizona Charlie Meadows and Diamond Tooth Gertie strolling down Dawson's boardwalks. Their spirit is as alive today as it was in 1898. From the one-time capital of the Yukon you'll follow history up Bonanza Creek (pan for gold) to Discovery Claim and Grand Forks once boasted a population of 10,000 where the Eldorado Creek and Upper Bonanza come together. Take a guided tour of the Gold Dredge #4 and visit the Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall for evening entertainment.

Dawson City - Whitehorse ( Driving Distance: 330 miles | Overnight: Whitehorse )

The Klondike Highway often parallels the Yukon River as it winds its way to Whitehorse. Water in the Yukon River travels more than 3,000 km from headwaters near the Chilkoot Pass to the mouth at the Bering Sea. Stop at the Five Finger Rapids and hike down to the shore of the Yukon River. Continue to Carmacks, home of the Little Salmon/ Carmacks First Nation at the junction of the Yukon and Nordenskiold rivers. The Tagé Cho Hudän Cultural Centre has many exhibits depicting the lifestyle of the Northern Tutchone-speaking people of this region. Stop at Montague Roadhouse, a monument to the trials of travelling in an open stage during the cold Yukon winters. There were roadhouses every 20 miles to rest the horse and refresh the passengers. Arrive in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon Territory.

Whitehorse - Skagway ( Driving Distance: 110 miles | Overnight: Skagway )

Time to explore the sights of Whitehorse: The McBride Museum, SS Klondike and the Yukon Beringia Center. During the last ice age, a land bridge joined Asia to Alaska and the Yukon, forming a subcontinent known as Beringia. Bordered on all sides by glaciers, Beringia was once home to woolly mammoths and other fascinating Pleistocene-era animals. This museum presents the archaeological and paleontological past of Beringia, with life-size exhibits of ice-age animals, multimedia displays and dioramas on its prehistoric ecosystems. The South Klondike Highway winds through the subalpine landscape of Tormented Valley to Tutshi Lake, Tagish Lake and the much photographed Emerald Lake. It offers some spectacular scenery as it descents by 11 percent grade from the White Pass to Skagway.

Skagway – Alaska Ferry Transfer to Juneau ( Overnight: Juneau )

Board the Alaska Ferry to Juneau. Juneau, the capital of Alaska, is situated in the heart of the Tongass National Forest. Nestled at the base of towering mountains overlooking the Gastineau Channel, the community's rich culture and history is displayed throughout the town. Juneau has a vibrant urban feel with great dining, shopping and lodging, while being surrounded by jaw-dropping scenic vistas. Choose hiking miles of scenic trails through temperate rainforest, tidal beaches and up mountains capped by alpine meadows, or take to the air for stunning views of the Juneau Icefield. Helicopters and floatplanes give visitors an exhilarating view and make it possible get a sense of the vast wilderness. Backcountry camping, bird watching, bear viewing and berry picking can all happen in the same trip!

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 ( Overnight: Juneau )

Journey through one of the most dramatic sites in the world - Tracy Arm Fjord. This narrow fjord twists and turns for over 30 miles, culminating in a spectacular view of the twin tidewater Sawyer Glaciers. Your captain will navigate as close as the ice floe allows, stopping for an extended stay at the face of the glacier. Watch for seals relaxing on the icebergs and bald eagles soaring above the cliffs. Learn about the natural history of the fjord, glaciers and the wildlife from our onboard naturalist. Gain insights into Tlingit Native culture. Overcast days will not dampen your enjoyment as clouds and mist only heighten the drama of the fjord and intensify the glacial blue color. Included: Tracy Arm Fjords Glacier Cruise

Juneau

Spend the morning relaxing or doing your favourite outdoor activities. Sample the city’s local fare is a big part of any vacation and a visit to Juneau delivers tastes that delight the senses. From Alaska salmon, halibut and crab to sourdough bagels, homemade fudge, and award-winning coffee and beer, Juneau can satisfy even the most discriminating palate. One of the local favourites is Tracy's King Crab Shack in downtown Juneau. Return your rental car at Juneau Airport.