Can I bring my pet to Alaska?
Alaska is a great place for a family vacation, even for those of us whose family includes our pets. With some planning, it is possible to arrange transportation, lodging, and activities that can accommodate your pet. Here are the highlights:
- Traveling by rental car or train is best.
- Pet-friendly accommodations should be booked as soon as possible as availability can be limited. Nightly fees will apply.
- Most tour operators don't allow pets, but there are so many other things to do and places to explore (just do it safely!)
- Certified service animals can be accommodated throughout Alaska, no matter how and where you plan to travel.
Pets and Alaska Transportation
There are three common ways to get around Alaska: The Alaska Railroad, Park Connection Motorcoach, or rental car. For the independent traveler, renting a car is a wonderful way to travel. It's also the most flexible option for pets, as several rental car companies allow animals in their vehicles. A cleaning fee may be charged to ensure that the car returns to its original pet-hair-free condition.
The Alaska Railroad also allows pets, but only in airline-approved kennels in the checked luggage car. Luggage cars are not climate controlled. While temperatures are moderate in the Alaskan summer, it's important to monitor the weather while traveling. This is particularly critical while traveling through interior Alaska where daily highs can reach into the 80s. The train may also charge a $20 oversized or excess luggage fee for your pet's kennel.
The Park Connection has the most restrictive pet policy. No pets are allowed either onboard or in the luggage bays, which are not equipped for animal safety. Both the Alaska Railroad and the Park Connection bus line will reserve a seat onboard free of charge for service animals.
Pets and Alaska Lodging
With so much to see in Alaska, most travelers stay in several different places throughout their trip. Pet-friendly lodging options vary from town to town and can be somewhat limited. We can book pet-friendly hotels in Anchorage, Seward, Valdez, Homer, and Fairbanks. No hotels convenient to the Denali National Park entrance allow pets.
Most pet-friendly Alaska properties charge a nightly pet fee of $15 to $20. There are sometimes restrictions for the number of pets per room (usually two to three) and the pet size (if noted at all, the maximum is typically 65 pounds). These hotels only allow pets when there are pet-friendly rooms available. To ensure that your pet can stay with you, reserve your lodging as early as possible.
Pets and Alaska Day Tours
Activities and day tours will be the biggest hurdle for traveling with your pet in Alaska. Due to safety and space restrictions, nearly all tour operators do not allow pets to join. This includes flightseeing, day cruises, rafting, kayaking, and wildlife tours into Denali National Park. Many tours can try to accommodate certified service dogs, but the specifics will need to be discussed ahead of time to ensure availability and safety for you, other guests, and especially your service animal.
Pet Safety in Alaska
One thing Alaska can offer your pet, is miles of maintained hiking trails and endless outdoor space (the Exit Glacier Visitor Center is one notable exception to this; no dogs are allowed on those trails). Alaska isn't your average place, though. We have an abundance of wildlife that typically doesn't react well to people's pets. Bears, moose, wolves, foxes, and even bald eagles can be spooked by, become aggressive toward, or hunt your furry family member. For everyone's safety, always have your pet leashed.