McKinley Explorer crossing Hurricane Gulch.

McKinley Explorer Dome Train

Full-length dome windows treat passengers to uninhibited views.

Guests enjoying view from the McKinley Explorer Dome.

McKinley Explorer Dome Train

Full-length dome windows treat passengers to uninhibited views.

McKinley Explorer traveling along the Nenana River.

McKinley Explorer Dome Train

Full-length dome windows treat passengers to uninhibited views.

Aerial view of the McKinley Explorer.

McKinley Explorer Dome Train

Full-length dome windows treat passengers to uninhibited views.

McKinley Explorer Dome Train

The McKinley Explorer dome train provides summer service between Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali National Park. This specialty service runs two trains daily, one northbound and one southbound. It operates on a slightly different schedule than the Alaska Railroad and Wilderness Express. The McKinley Explorer departs Anchorage and Denali National Park at 9:15 AM daily. The southbound train from Denali Park arrives in Anchorage at 5:00 PM, making it a convenient option for travelers connecting to outbound evening flights, or for those who would simply enjoy arriving in town in the early evening. The northbound train into Denali Park also arrives at 5:00 PM, leaving time for a guided hike or other evening activity.

Each stately McKinley Explorer dome car has two levels. All passenger seating is located on the upper deck under dome windows that run the full length of the car. This ensures exceptional views from all seats, which are also equipped with footrests and folding tray tables. There is a small bar area on the upper level with adult beverages and non-alcoholic drinks available for purchase. An onboard car host narrates throughout the trip.

On the car's lower level, passengers have access to an open-air viewing platform, gift shop, restrooms, and dining area. Both the lower and upper levels on McKinley Explorer cars are wheelchair accessible.

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Breakfast and lunch are served on McKinley Explorer trains. Because of the early evening arrival, the train does not offer a full dinner service. The breakfast menu includes local favorites like the Reindeer Sausage Breakfast Burrito and Alaska King Crab Benedict. For simpler fare, the menu includes steel cut oats with an optional blueberry topping, fresh baked cinnamon rolls, and fruit. For lunch, passengers can choose from a menu that includes seared wild salmon in a summer salad, ever-popular fish tacos, classic cheeseburger, soups, and fresh salads. The McKinley Explorer also has a scrumptious dessert menu. For more dining details, check out our McKinley Explorer Train Dining page.

After 1:00 PM, a menu of snacks and small plates is offered in the upper-level bar. Alaska craft beers, wine, and specialty cocktails are also available for purchase throughout the trip.

McKinley Explorer cars are operated by Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Many passengers on these railcars are part of cruise line group tours, but reservations are offered to independent Alaska travelers on a space available basis. McKinley Explorer tickets can be purchased through our Train & Bus Express Checkout. Availability can be limited on some days, so book early to guarantee your seat. If you'd like to explore your Alaska train options in more detail, please give us a call at 800-208-0200.

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McKinley Explorer Dome Train