Anchorage, Denali National Park and Preserve, Fairbanks
Day 1 Anchorage
Fly into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Spend the day exploring the variety of local boutiques and art galleries downtown and stop in at the Anchorage Museum for a look at Alaska’s rich heritage. Unwind from your flight at a local day spa, followed by dinner at one of many restaurants featuring wild Alaska seafood, including salmon, halibut and king crab. Take in a local theater performance or show, followed by a nightcap at one of the local brewpubs featuring handcrafted Alaska brews.
Day 2 Anchorage – Denali
In the morning, board the Alaska Railroad’s Denali Star train at the downtown depot for an eight-hour tour north. Rail travel in Alaska features all-in-one convenience for exploring the wilderness of the Last Frontier. Relax in glass-domed cars offering panoramic views of the passing landscape. First-class Gold Star Service also includes a dining room and outdoor viewing deck.
Just before the charming town of Talkeetna is the first vantage point for viewing Denali, North America’s tallest peak. After stopping in Talkeetna, the train continues north along the Susitna River toward Denali National Park and Preserve. Watch for black and brown bears on the riverbank and additional views of Denali as you approach the park.
Day 3 Denali
Denali National Park and Preserve is one of the most popular visitor destinations in Alaska and offers a variety of activities. Tours range from full-day to shorter options, and include flightseeing, wildlife viewing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, fishing and more. Stop in at the visitor center to learn about Denali and arrange tours. Overnight at one of the many hotels, lodges and cabins (reservations recommended) at the park’s entrance, or opt to fly to a remote lodge deep in the heart of the park.
Day 4 Denali – Fairbanks
In the morning, take a guided wilderness tour of Denali. Keep an eye out for bears, moose, caribou, wolves, ptarmigan and other wildlife. After the tour, continue north by rail toward Fairbanks, the northern terminus of the Alaska Railroad. Fairbanks is Alaska’s second-largest city and offers a multitude of adventure and leisure activities alike. Choose to stay in town for the night before heading back down the rail belt to Anchorage, or fly home direct from Fairbanks International Airport.
Instead of traveling by way of the Alaska Railroad, rent a car or RV in Anchorage and follow the same route. Stop in communities like Talkeetna and Healy at your leisure on the way to Denali National Park and Preserve and Fairbanks. Alternately, begin your trip in Fairbanks and follow the route south, ending in Anchorage.