The highlights are many on this southbound ride on a McKinley Explorer dome railcar. It starts as the train pulls out of Denali Park station, picking up speed across a broad plateau on the way over the track's high point on the Continental Divide. Chances for exceptional mountain views abound as the rail line comes within 48 miles of Denali itself. After a brief stop in Talkeetna, the train continues through Willow, Wasilla, and the Matanuska Valley before pulling into the Anchorage Depot.
Beautiful wide-open views of passing landscape.
McKinley Explorer train cars have two levels, with all passenger seating on the second. Those seats are comfortably equipped with footrests and fold-down tray tables. It's the visibility that makes these seats so special. Curved dome windows running the entire length of the car provide unparalleled views of the passing landscape.
On the car's lower level, guests have access to an outdoor viewing platform and dining area. Breakfast and lunch are served on this route. Breakfast favorites include the Alaska King Crab Cake Benedict and the Fisherman's Bagel, a play on a classic lox spread featuring Alaskan smoked salmon. The lunch menu includes a selection of sandwiches, soups, and fresh salads, as well as irresistible desserts. Passengers can expect to pay $9 to $17 for breakfast and $12 to $16 for lunch. An upper-level snack bar offering light snacks and signature drinks for purchase opens at 1:00 p.m.
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 as well. The route's 5:00 PM arrival into Anchorage is a convenient option for travelers connecting to outbound evening flights or who'd simply enjoy getting into town earlier.
What to Bring
Bring a camera, medications, and government issued photo ID. Bring a credit card for additional onboard purchases (cash not accepted). It is a good idea to dress in layers as it is often chilly on the outside viewing platform.
Check in at the depot with a valid government issued photo ID one hour prior to departure. Boarding passes with seat assignments will be issued then. The McKinley Explorer offers checked baggage service. Passengers are allowed two checked bags plus one carry on, with dimension and weight restrictions like those of airlines. The railroad charges $20 per item for oversized or excess baggage.
Most Denali Park area hotels provide transportation to the Denali Depot. Upon arrival into Anchorage, passengers can transfer to their next destination by taxi, rideshare, or hotel shuttle (where available).
Denali Train Depot Mile 1.5 Denali National Park Road Denali Park, AK 99755
Anchorage Train Depot 411 West 1st Avenue Anchorage, AK 99501
Rates & Dates
Here are the rates and operating dates for this product. Remember, we have a lowest price guarantee for nearly everything we sell.
There is no child rate for this service. Infants under the age of 2 may travel for free but must sit on an adult's lap.
Rates & Dates
5/15/23 (M) to 9/15/23 (F)5/15/23 (M) to 9/15/23 (F)
The rates above are subject to change without notice.
Departure times and locations are listed below. Click on a link for an interactive map.