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Seward-Anchorage-Denali-Fairbanks -- Car or Train?

Philadelphia...
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Seward-Anchorage-Denali-Fairbanks -- Car or Train?

Hi. I'm planning my first trip to Alaska. I'm planning a 7/10 day trip with my parents (late 50s) during mid July. I have a plan to cover Seward, Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks (spots along the way). I am confused as to whether I should rent a car all the way or supplement some of the transportation through the rails.

My plan is fly out to Fairbanks, and take a train to Denali (2 days), use the shuttle in and around Denali, and another train to Anchorage. From Anchorage onwards, rent a car, and drive to:

1) Hatcher pass

2) Seward (Exit glacier, Kenai Dfords tour)

3) Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier

Could somebody suggest more locations (in Denali and near Seward)? Should i use a car everywhere or is there a benefit taking the train?

5 replies to this topic
Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: Seward-Anchorage-Denali-Fairbanks -- Car or Train?

Seward is about the only place you can get around well without a car - for the rest, you really need a car. Are you coming this summer or next? If this summer, rent your car asap! Do realize one way car rentals can be very expensive. :)

Edited: 12 June 2018, 03:07
Philadelphia...
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2. Re: Seward-Anchorage-Denali-Fairbanks -- Car or Train?

My trip is this summer, and I don't have a lot of time to plan it.

I wanted to avoid a 6 hour trip one way just to return the car. Thats why i thought of taking the train one way. But if most of the way isint accessible without the a car, I think i could drop off the car at another airport. It will be a trade off with time/money.

Could you suggest any locations in Denali or other places apart from the ones I had in mind? I will probably come up with a complete plan in a day or two.

Wasilla, Alaska
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for Alaska
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3. Re: Seward-Anchorage-Denali-Fairbanks -- Car or Train?

You aren't planning on driving to Juneau are you?

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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4. Re: Seward-Anchorage-Denali-Fairbanks -- Car or Train?

I didn't even notice that - Monday! :)

Winnipeg, Canada
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5. Re: Seward-Anchorage-Denali-Fairbanks -- Car or Train?

Did you have any plans for the drive between Denali and Anchorage? I'm guessing not, since you're thinking of doing that stretch by train. So another option would be to rent a car in Fairbanks, use the 2 days to visit Denali (2+ hr. drive), then drive back to Fairbanks. Flying to Anchorage is $80 to $108 pp depending what time you leave. Then rent a second car in ANC for the rest of your trip.

And yeah...Juneau is nowhere near where you'll be. And you'd have to fly--no roads go there.

What time/dates will your planes arrive/depart?

Edited: 12 June 2018, 04:35
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