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, Anchorage, and Seward.
Rating (5)
Program No. 1014RJ
11 days
Starts at
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11 days
10 nights
31 meals
11 B 9 L 11 D
Check-in, Orientation, and Welcome Dinner
River's Edge Resort

Activity note: Welcome to Alaska! Check into your hotel, meet the fellow participants, and start getting to know the program.

Dinner: Dinner- At the River's Edge Resort.

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

Learn from Mary Shield and about life in the North!
River's Edge Resort

Activity note: Visit the Alaskan Pipeline, listen to stories of the North from Mary Shields, and explore the exhibits and Alaskan art gallery in the Museum of the North.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the River's Edge Resort

Morning: Stop and view the Alaskan Pipeline and learn about how it was built before traveling to the kennel of Mary Shields, the first women to finish the Iditarod. Get up close and personal with Mary's dog team and listen to stories about the mushing trail and life in interior Alaska.

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 before the group travels south to Denali!

Train to Denali National Park
Denali National Park
Denali Education Center

Activity note: After breakfast, head to the Alaska Railroad and board the train. Enjoy sweeping views as you wind your way south to Denali and your home for the next five days.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at River's Edge.

Morning: Enjoy the first leg of the 470 mile Alaska Railroad as it winds its way south to Denali National Park. From the depot, head to Denali Education Center's campus and your home for the next four nights!

Lunch: Lunch at Denali Education Center.

Afternoon: Get oriented to Denali National Park and your home away from home. Spend the afternoon hiking with a field educator or enjoy some free time to relax and explore. At 5:00 p.m. 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 and the up-to-date daily schedule. 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 also be addressed at this time.

Dinner: Enjoy your first healthy, home-cooked dinner 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.

Welcome to the Subarctic and Denali kennel Sled Dog Demo!
Denali National Park
Denali Education Center

Activity note: Spend the morning learning about the Subarctic and the afternoon exploring Denali's visitor center.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in Denali Education Center's Riverside Hall.

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 one of our home made lunches in Riverside Hall.

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

Dinner: Dinner- Buffet style in Riverside Hall.

Evening: Evening presentation with a local Alaskan

Journey to the Heart of the Park
Denali National Park
Denali Education Center

Activity note: Spend the day exploring Denali on an all day journey into the Park and out to the Eielson Visitor Center. Take in the sweeping views but keep your eyes peeled for wildlife throughout the day.

Breakfast: Riverside Hall. After breakfast, pack your own to-go lunch- tailored to your own needs and tastes.

Morning: Enjoy stunning scenery and wildlife watching opportunities on a day-long journey into Denali National Park by shuttle bus to Eielson Visitor Center.

Lunch: In the field

Afternoon: Want to hike independently in this pristine wilderness? We invite you to leave the bus behind and travel cross-country... at any time throughout the day.

Dinner: Buffet style in Riverside Hall

Evening: Spend the evening resting, relaxing, and enjoying your time in Alaska.

Learn about Denali's Wildlife and enjoy some Free Time.
Denali National Park
Denali Education Center

Activity note: Learn about how Denali's wildlife survives in the subarctic before you enjoying a free time activity of your choice!

Breakfast: Buffet style in Riverside Hall

Morning: Discover the extraordinary animals that call Denali home and learn about their marvelous adaptations to life at high latitudes in “Wildlife of Denali.”

Lunch: Buffet style in Riverside Hall

Afternoon: Explore the rich habitat of Horseshoe Lake. Join an expert naturalist for a 1.5 mile round-trip walk with 250 feet elevation change. Or, take off on your own for free time or optional activities including rafting, flightseeing, flyfishing, or visiting sled dog kennels.

Dinner: Buffet style in Riverside Hall

Evening: Guest speaker TBA. Schedule for expert local evening presenters in Denali will be announced on first day of program.

Ride the rails to the charming town of Talkeetna.
Talkeetna, AK
Talkeetna Alaska Lodge

Activity note: Enjoy the journey south as you wind south to the town of Talkeetna. Take in sweeping views of the Alaska Range. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Denali- as it can be viewed from Broad Pass on a clear day.

Breakfast: Riverside Hall

Morning: Learn about the pioneer community of McKinley Station, the beginnings of what is now the gateway to Denali National Park. This is an optional walk that travels 1.6 miles with 100 feet of elevation gain. Or, spend some additional time taking in the Visitor Center displays at your own pace.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on the train in their dining car.

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

Dinner: Dine at the Talkeetna Alaska Lodge.

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

After breakfast head south on the train to Anchorage.
Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Spend your morning enjoying the town of Talkeetna. Enjoy their town museum and stretch your legs before you board the train and head South to Anchorage.

Breakfast: Buffet style breakfast at the Talkeetna Alaska Lodge

Morning: Tour the town of Talkeetna, a quaint little community that is nestled into the foot hills of the Alaska Range and steeped in mountaineering history.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own at one of Talkeetna's cafes or restaurants.

Afternoon: After lunch you'll board the train and take in the sights as the train winds its way toward Alaska's coast.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner on the train's dinning car.

Evening: After arriving into town we'll check into our overnight accommodations and spend the rest of the evening relaxing.

Alaska Native Heritage Center and Alaska History Museum
Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites

Activity note: After breakfast, learn about the 49th state on a docent-led walk at the Anchorage History Museum. After lunch, head to the Native Heritage Center and come to better understand Alaska's Native traditions and cultures.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the Inlet Towers

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

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 as a group in downtown Anchorage

Evening: Take some time to explore downtown Anchorage on your own.

Train to Seward, Behind the Scenes at Alaska Sealife Center
Breeze Inn

Activity note: Board the morning train to Seward and enjoy the views as the train makes its way along the coast. After arriving in Seward you'll enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the Alaska Sealife Center.

Breakfast: Enjoy Breakfast in the dinning car 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 their 154 species of fish.

Dinner: Buffet dinner at Seward Hotel

Evening: Check into your accommodations and relax for the evening.

Kenai Fjords National Park Marine Wildlife Cruise
Breeze Inn

Activity note: Take in the spectacular view of Alaska's coastline, keep your eyes peeled for whales and our coastal birds. Explore Kenai Fjords National Park and learn about the marine landscape.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at your hotel.

Morning: Enjoy a bit of free time at Seward's small boat harbor to walk around and enjoy the sights of Alaska's coast.

Lunch: Buffet style salmon and prime rib dinner on-board your boat cruise.

Afternoon: Continue glacier-spotting and wildlife watching on Kenai Fjords cruise as the boat explores Alaska's coastal water.

Dinner: Buffet dinner at your hotel accommodations.

Evening: Gather this evening to share stories and moments from your program with your fellow participants.

Breakfast, Charter to Anchorage, and Program Conclusion

Activity note: After breakfast, board a motorcoach to the Anchorage airport. Please book flights departing no earlier than 3 p.m. AKST

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. If you are staying longer in Alaska, please plan to take a taxi from the Airport to your accommodations. The coach is not able to facilitate additional drop offs.

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