RAFA03 Alaska Arctic Region by Rail

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Alaska is a great destination to be explored by train, on the road and from the air. This tour combines it all ! This vacation package starts with the guided van tour along the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle and on to Coldfoot. Experience the famous northern arctic region above the Arctic Circle. The Dalton Highway slices through northern Alaska from Livengood, crossing the Arctic Circle to the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay. It carves a path through forest and tundra, crosses the Yukon River and traverses the towering Brooks Range. Overnight in Coldfoot and enjoy the return flight to Fairbanks, this time experiencing the scenery from the air. Now it is time to explore Alaska’s backcountry on board the Alaska Railroad. Choose between the “Adventure Class” seating in the single storey railway car or the “Deluxe Dome Railcar” on board the Alaska Railroad or with one of the private 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. Denali National Park is one of Alaska’s most popular attraction and 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 the full day Denali Transit Bus to Eielson Center, Wonder Lake or Kantishna Roadhouse. Continue your train journey to the quaint town of Talkeetna, located at the confluence of the Chulitna, Susitna and Talkeetna Rivers and known for scenic flightseeing tours to Mt. Denali. Your final destination is Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city and filled with lot of adventures along with metropolitan amenities. On request, this trip can be customized and organized in reverse order. 

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Itinerary

Fairbanks ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Welcome to Fairbanks, the "Golden Heart City" - tucked into miles of unexplored wilderness only 120 miles from the Arctic Circle and enjoying almost 24 hours of daylight during summer. You are invited to explore the local gold rush history, its vibrant traditional native cultures as well as fantastic scenery. You may visit the renown Alaska University Museum featuring Alaska's natural history best collection or take an authentic sternwheeler on a scenic cruise down the Chena and Tanana Rivers. Guided van tour along the Dalton Highway or flightseeing tour to the Arctic Circle is super popular choice for experiencing the Arctic Circle and Yukon River. Enjoy a flightseeing trip to Fort Yukon to understand as well as experience how the Gwich'in Athabascan Natives live in "Bush" Alaska.

Fairbanks – Coldfoot / Arctic Circle ( Overnight: Coldfoot )

Your guided tour departs Fairbanks early morning in a comfortable van. Travel along the remarkable Trans Alaska Pipeline as you follow the Dalton Highway, the solitary land route of Alaska's Arctic wilderness. Visit the Arctic Circle Trading Post in Joy and traverse the mighty Yukon River. Marvel at the beauty of the northland's most famous waterway and learn of the River's storied past. A favorite stretch of the highway for many falls between the Yukon River and Arctic Circle, where you encounter tundra and taiga, with evocative granite outcrops around Finger Mountain. Cross the Arctic Circle in ceremonious fashion and receive the Arctic Circle Certificate. Overnight in Coldfoot. Although rustic by urban standards, the hotel is clean and each room has a private bath, a luxury in the wilderness.

Coldfoot / Arctic Circle – Flight to Fairbanks ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Depart for an adventurous guided van tour into the Brooks Range to Atigun Pass. This is the northernmost pass in the world that is kept open year-round. Then we head into the Brooks Range, where sky-stabbing spires of bare rock tower over 7,000 feet. As the road drops, it skirts the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to caribou and the nesting ground for millions of migratory birds. An impressive 158 species have been recorded in the region, and many birds can be seen along the highway, from songbirds to flocks of migrating waterfowl to shorebird and raptors. Return to Coldfoot mid afternoon. Enjoy the scenic return flight to Fairbanks with eagle views of the remarkable Trans Alaska Pipeline. Included: Brooks Range Sightseeing Tour

Fairbanks – Denali National Park ( Overnight: Denali Village )

Enjoy the scenic ride onboard the Alaska Railroad 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. The train passes through the small community of Nenana, known for the Nenana Ice Classic Lottery. Just north of the Denali park, the train winds along Healy Canyon, following the curves of the Nenana River below. Arrive at Denali Village at noon. 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 – Talkeetna ( Overnight: Talkeetna )

Enjoy the train ride to Talkeetna. Have your camera ready as the train crosses Hurricane Gulch Bridge, 300 feet above the creek. The tracks veer away from the road system and into the backcountry Hurricane area; this region offers views of the snaking Indian River and the occasional remote cabin. Arrive in Talkeetna and transfer to your downtown hotel or to a beautiful mountain lodge with breathtaking views of Mt. Denali. As turn-of-the-20th-century gold-mining center, Talkeetna has retained much of its early Alaska flavor. Log cabins, a roadhouse and clapboard storefronts line the dirt streets. You have time to join a jet boat safari on the Susitna, Talkeetna and Chulitna Rivers.

Talkeetna – Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Another highlight of your Railroad vacation is the flightseeing trip within 6-Miles of Denali's 20.320 ft summit and the Alaska Range. Get a picture perfect view of the Kahiltna and Ruth Glacier with its Great Gorge - over 9.000 ft deep - as well as onto magnificent ice-falls. Add an adventurous glacier landing on Ruth Glacier. Board the train this afternoon for a scenic ride to Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. Nestled along the Chugach Mountains, the coastal city is brimming with activities for the outdoorsy and adventurous, as well as the more relaxed. Visit the Log Cabin Visitor Center, Ship Creek Viewpoint overlooking Cook Inlet and the Resolution Park. Try some fresh Alaska seafood (Salmon, Halibut) for dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants in downtown. Included: Mt. Denali Flightseeing Tour

Anchorage

Spend some time at the Alaska Native Heritage Center: the Gathering Place is center stage for Alaska Native dancing, compelling Native Games demonstrations and intriguing storytelling. The Hall of Cultures features exhibits and demonstrating Alaska Native artists. Visitors discover more about each of the five major culture groups through engaging exhibits. The Theatre hosts a variety of movies all day, including the Heritage Center produced film, "Stories Given, Stories Shared". Guests stroll through six authentic life-sized Native dwellings around beautiful Lake Tiulana and are introduced to the traditional life ways of the native people. Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport.