1014
Alaska
Discover Alaska by Rail: A Traveling Adventure
Learn about the Alaska Railroad while journeying its entire length. Explore a cross-section of Alaska life (and wildlife) in Fairbanks, Denali, Talkeetna, Anchorage and Seward.
Rating (5)
Program No. 1014RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
4,999
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12 days
11 nights
32 meals
11 B 10 L 11 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Fairbanks
D
River's Edge Resort

Dinner: Dinner- At the River's Edge Resort in a private Banquet Room.

Evening: Introductions- Meet and mingle with your fellow Road Scholars and your Group Leader.

DAY
2
Mary Shields Tour and Museum of the North
Fairbanks
B,L,D
River's Edge Resort

Breakfast: Breakfast at the River's Edge Resort

Morning: Morning tour at the kennel of Mary Shields, the first women to run the Iditarod. Get up close and personal with Mary's dog team. On the way, enjoy a brief stop at a view point of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline

Lunch: Lunch

Afternoon: Discover the pioneer history of Fairbanks, Alaska's WWII history, and the spectacle of the northern lights at the newly renovated University of Alaska Museum of the North.

Dinner: Dinner at the River's Edge Resort

Evening: Free time to relax and explore

DAY
3
Train to Denali National Park
Denali National Park
B,L,D
Denali Education Center

Breakfast: Breakfast

Morning: Enjoy the first leg of the 470 mile train journey south to Denali National Park

Lunch: Lunch

Afternoon: Get oriented to Denali National Park and you home away from home. Take a hike or enjoy some free time to relax and explore. At 5:30 .pm. all participants will meet in Riverside Hall for introductions to Denali Education Center, your group leaders, and your program's support staff. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule, and any changes. Learn about DEC's rich history with Road Scholar and take a short walk on campus to get familiarized with the landscape. Wildlife safety and emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff will be addressed. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as soon as possible. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding.

Dinner: Enjoy your first healthy, home-cooked meal at Riverside Hall. All meals are served buffet-style. The menu varies greatly and is always healthy and balanced. Water, coffee, tea, and snacks are available at all times.

Evening: Life in Denali- Learn about the trials and joys of each season from one of our year-round staff.

DAY
4
Sled Dog Demo and Welcome to the Subartic
Denali National Park
B,L,D
Denali Education Center

Breakfast: At Riverside Hall enjoy a breakfast buffet with rotating choices such as eggs, hot and cold cereals, granola, and fresh fruit.

Morning: Learn about the sometimes surprising, always extreme, conditions that shape life in Denali and define a subarctic ecosystem in “Welcome to the Subarctic.

Lunch: Enjoy a buffet style lunch on our Riverside Hall. We strive to make all of our meals healthy and balanced.

Afternoon: Attend a Sled Dog demonstration with the only National Park sled dog team. Learn about these amazing working dogs and how they spend their winters patrolling this 6 million acre park.

Dinner: Riverside Hall

Evening: Evening presentation topics will vary depending on local speaker availability. Presentation topics could include learning about living in Denali, predator-prey relationships, or climbing the mountain. The schedule for evening presenters in Denali will be announced on first day of program.

DAY
5
Journey to the Heart of the Park
Denali National Park
B,L,D
Denali Education Center

Breakfast: Riverside Hall

Morning: Travel to the heart of Denali National Park by shuttle bus on a day-long journey to the Eielson Visitor Center. Along the way, enjoy breathtaking views of the Alaska Range and its many peaks. Have your cameras ready as this tour offers a good chance to view Denali's wildlife, which may include caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, moose, wolves, and more!

Lunch: Lunch will be a packed field lunch. We provide re-usable lunch sacks at Riverside Hall. Lunches are assembled after breakfast - choose your favorite sandwich fixings, snack bars, and fruit.

Afternoon: If you want to hike independently in Denali's pristine wilderness we invite you to leave the bus behind and travel independently through its wilderness. Anyone interested in this option will need to catch a later bus from the Eielson Visitor Center to the Park's entrance and back to Denali Education Center. This will necessitating that you get dinner on your own (your group leader will provide local suggestions that include shuttle service to DEC's campus).

Dinner: Riverside Hall

Evening: Free time to relax or explore

DAY
6
Wildlife of Denali
Denali National Park
B,L,D
Denali Education Center

Breakfast: Riverside Hall

Morning: Denali is home to 39 iconic mammal species and an impressive 169 bird species. Join a Denali Education Center field educator as they explore and explain the extraordinary ways that Denali's animals survive at high latitudes. In “Wildlife of Denali”, our 3-hour hands-on educational program, you will explore the adaptations that allow Alaska's wildlife to survive and thrive. Throughout the program you'll be given the opportunity to examine the fur pelts, skulls, and hooves of these animals and see first hand their survival traits.

Lunch: Riverside Hall

Afternoon: Denali is home to 39 iconic mammal species and an impressive 169 bird species. Join a Denali Education Center field educator as they explore and explain the extraordinary ways that Denali's animals survive at high latitudes. In “Wildlife of Denali”, our 3-hour hands-on educational program, you will explore the adaptations that allow Alaska's wildlife to survive and thrive. Throughout the program you'll be given the opportunity to examine the fur pelts, skulls, and hooves of these animals and see first hand their survival traits.

Dinner: Riverside Hall

Evening: Evening presentation with a local Alaskan. Topics are varied and will be announced at the beginning of your program.

DAY
7
Ride the rails to Talkeetna
Talkeetna, AK
B,L,D
Talkeetna Alaska Lodge

Breakfast: Riverside Hall

Morning: Learn about the pioneer community of McKinley Station, the small historic community that was the beginnings of what is now Denali National Park. This optional walk is seeped in history of Denali's pioneer settlers and Park management. The trail that travels 1.6 miles with 100 feet of elevation gain as it winds through one of Denali's boreal forests.

Lunch: Pack a field lunch to take with you on the train. Choose your favorite sandwich fixings, snack bars, and fruit to enjoy as you wind your way south through the Alaska Range.

Afternoon: Enjoy a scenic journey on the Alaska Railroad through Broad Pass and over the Alaska Range to Talkeetna. Keep your eyes pealed for a glimpses of Mt. Denali or wildlife as you pass through Denali State Park.

Dinner: Dine at a locally owned and operated Talkeetna restaurant

Evening: Check-in to the Talkeetna Alaska Lodge, the only Talkeetna lodging with views of Mt. Denali and the Alaska Range.

DAY
8
Train Travel to Anchorage
Anchorage
B,L,D
Inlet Tower Hotel and Suites

Breakfast: Talkeetna Alaska Lodge

Morning: Visit the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum, learn about what it takes to climb Denali at the Ranger's Station, and explore this uniquely Alaskan town on your own.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own. Choose from one of the many options available in downtown Talkeetna. You group leader would be happy to offer suggestions if you need directions.

Afternoon: Travel to Anchorage by train and enjoy this next leg of your railroad adventure.

Dinner: Enjoy Dinner in one of the railroad's dining cars as you wind your way towards Anchorage.

Evening: Check into the Inlet Towers and settle in for the evening.

DAY
9
Alaska Native Heritage Center and Alaska History Museum
Anchorage
B,L,D
Inlet Tower Hotel and Suites

Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the Inlet Towers

Morning: Join a docent for a tour of the Anchorage Museum at the Rasmuson Center. After learning some Alaskan history, continue on to explore the awe inspiring collection of Alaskan art housed in the museum.

Lunch: At the museum

Afternoon: The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a gathering place that celebrates, perpetuates and shares Alaska Native culture, language, heritage and tradition. Explore the exhibits and take in one-of-a-kind demonstrations by Alaska Native artists, dancers, musicians, and story tellers of all ages

Dinner: Dinner in downtown Anchorage

Evening: Enjoy some free time to explore downtown Anchorage.

DAY
10
Train to Seward, Behind the Scenes at Alaska Sealife Center
Seward
B,L,D
Breeze Inn

Breakfast: Breakfast on the train to Seward

Morning: Early morning departure to travel the final stretch of the Alaska Railroad... one of the most spectacular railroad journeys on the continent.

Lunch: At the SeaLife Center

Afternoon: Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour at the Alaska SeaLife Center. Learn about the Center’s marine wildlife research, rehabilitation projects, and life support systems. Discover what is takes to care for seals, sea lions, octopus, seabirds, and 154 species of fish.

Dinner: Dinner at the Breeze Inn

Evening: Check in to the Breeze Inn and settle into your rooms for a relaxing evening.

DAY
11
Kenai Fjords National Park Marine Wildlife Cruise
Seward
B,L,D
Breeze Inn

Breakfast: Breakfast at the Breeze Inn

Morning: Small boat tour to Resurrection Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park. Enjoy extraordinary sightings of glaciers, marine mammals, shorebirds, and pelagic birds. Soak in the unparalleled beauty of Kenai Fjord's wild and rugged coastline.

Lunch: Enjoy a delicious Alaska salmon and prime rib feast served buffet style during the Kenai Fjords boat tour.

Dinner: A farewell dinner at the Breeze Inn

Evening: The evening will conclude with a celebration of your time spent exploring two of Alaska's best national parks. Share highlights of your time together, tell stories, sing songs, and perhaps start planning your next Road Scholar adventure!

DAY
12
Program Concludes
Anchorage
B

Activity note: Motorcoach to Anchorage. Please book a flight departing after 3:00pm AKST

Breakfast: Early Breakfast at the Breeze Inn.

Morning: Board a chartered motor coach bound for the Anchorage Airport. The coach is expected to arrive at the airport at approximately 11:30 a.m. Please do not make departure flight reservations before 3:00 p.m. The coach will make drop offs at major hotels in Anchorage.