What’s the Park Connection?

The Park Connection Motorcoach is a scheduled summer bus line service that operates between Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali National Park, Whittier, and Seward. This service provides an efficient, affordable alternative to traveling by rental car or train. It's also a popular cruise transfer option and the only scheduled transportation that takes you between Whittier or Seward and Denali Park in one day. In fact, that's how we got our name: Connecting Kenai Fjords National Park and Denali National Park - the Park Connection!

Routes

The Park Connection operates in the summer from about mid-May to early September. There are twice daily departures from each destination, and a once daily departure each way between Seward and Denali National Park.

  • Seward Express: Morning Anchorage to Seward, evening Seward to Anchorage. Leaves plenty of time to catch a Kenai Fjords day cruise or guided kayak trip.
  • Denali Express: Morning Anchorage to Denali Park, early afternoon Denali Park to Anchorage. Stops in Talkeetna. Arrive earlier and stay later in the Denali area.
  • Park to Park: Connect Seward and Denali in one day. Includes a short stop in Talkeetna and longer midday stop in Anchorage.
  • Seward & Whittier Cruise Transfers: Connects disembarking cruisers to Anchorage in the morning and embarking cruisers to their ships in the afternoon. Operates on designated ship days.

Check out the full Park Connection schedule here.

  • Q: Is there a Park Connection route that gets to Denali Park earlier than the train?
  • A: Yes! This is a common question for travelers who want to maximize their time in Denali National Park. The morning Denali Express motorcoach from Anchorage arrives at about 12:30pm, whereas a morning train out of Anchorage arrives at about 3:40pm. Use those extra hours to join a guided excursion or explore the park's front country trails and facilities.

Park Connection crossing Hurricane bridge on it's way to Denali.

Tickets

Book tickets online using the Train & Bus Express Checkout. The tool shows availability, rates, and departure times, so it's also a helpful way to compare options if you're looking to travel one way by bus and one way by rail. This is common!

When booking your tickets, you'll be prompted to enter your pickup and/or drop off location. Usually this will be your lodging (or nearest to your lodging). In Anchorage, pickups are limited to the Dena'ina Civic Center and drop offs to either the Dena'ina or the airport.

You're also welcome to give us a call at 800-266-8625 to book tickets over the phone.

  • Q: Can I request a drop off location that's not listed?
  • A: No, due to schedules and facility access Park Connection pickup and drop off locations are limited to those options listed at booking.

Get your family to your next destination using the Park Connection motorcoach.

Checking In

Check your reservation confirmation for your pickup location and time. We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes prior to your departure time.

  • Anchorage: The Dena'ina Civic Center serves as the Park Connection hub in Anchorage. Check in with Park Connection staff at the Visit Anchorage desk inside the Dena'ina Center. Your bags will be tagged and stored until departure time, freeing you up to grab a coffee or bite to eat for the road.
  • Seward Cruise Terminal: Look for the tall Park Connection flag inside the terminal. You'll check in with staff there and drop your luggage to be tagged and stored before departure.
  • Seward Gateway Hotel/Small Boat Harbor/Windsong Lodge: Check in with the driver when the motorcoach arrives.
  • Whittier Cruise Terminal: Look for the Park Connection representative inside the cruise terminal. Be sure to pick up your luggage before you leave the terminal.
  • Talkeetna Alaska Lodge/Mahay's Jet Boat Office: Check in with the driver when the motorcoach arrives.
  • Denali Cabins/Denali Village/Denali Bluffs/Grande Denali Lodge: If you're on a morning bus, check in Park Connection staff. If you're on an afternoon bus, check in directly with the driver when the motorcoach arrives.
  • Denali Train Depot: Find the Park Connection sign at bus spot 5/6 on the North side of the train depot. Check in with the driver when the motorcoach arrives.
  • Q: Are there checked bag fees?
  • A: Each ticketed passenger can bring two bags. Extra and oversized luggage is subject to a $25 fee and can be taken on a space available basis. There's room above seats in the coach to accommodate smaller items like backpacks and purses, so be sure to hold onto those for the trip.

Pickup at the Seward Cruise Terminal.

Onboard Experience

We made it to the good part, the ride! The Park Connection operates top-of-the-line Prevost motorcoaches. Seats on these comfortable buses recline, and each seat is equipped with seatbelt, footrest, armrests, and a power outlet. There's a lavatory at the back. Throughout the ride your driver may provide light narration, but for the most part you can sit back and enjoy the scenery.

If you're on the Park Connection between Seward or Whittier and Denali or Talkeetna, your trip includes a midday break in Anchorage. You'll get off in downtown Anchorage and have a little over an hour to grab snacks and stretch your legs.

  • Q: Are Park Connection motorcoaches wheelchair accessible?
  • A: Yes! Each motorcoach is equipped with a lift and can accommodate two passengers in wheelchairs. When booking, please let us know if lift use and wheelchair space is required so that we can ensure the bus is set up properly at pickup.

Comfortable interior of the Park Connection motorcoach.



At Alaska Tour & Travel, we specialize in building custom trips for every timeline, personality, and budget. If you'd like to have an Alaskan plan your Alaska trip, give us a call at 800-208-0200.


Posted in: Getting Around