There are many ways you can explore Alaska, but one of our favorites is by train. From eating a freshly-cooked meal while you gaze out at the mountains to being able to sit back and relax as you gain mileage, exploring America's 49th state via the railroad is an experience you’ll always remember. Below, we list all the reasons why you should consider leaving your car behind when traveling around Alaska.
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Sightsee without the stress of driving
One of the most compelling reasons to experience Alaska by train is that you can focus on taking in the spectacular sights such as mountains, valleys, forests and rivers, instead of worrying about driving! When you’re behind the wheel, it’s difficult and dangerous to steal another glance at something. But when you’re on the train, you can take a second peek without taking any risks. Some train cars even offer observation platforms and wrap-around domed windows, making it even easier to witness the beauty.
Discover places that are inaccessible by road
The railroad often weaves through the land where no cars go, allowing you to see landscapes that haven’t been paved with cement or dotted with stores and homes. Alaska is already sparsely populated, but witnessing the desolate and beautiful scenery from the train will provide a sense of peace and quiet that you don’t often get when if you live in the city.
Enjoy onboard dining
Want to be able to eat while still covering miles? Many trains include a formal dining experience! You can enjoy fresh Alaska cuisine or cozy up with a cup of coffee or tea, all while gazing out the window or meeting one of your fellow travelers over breakfast.
Make new friends
Hopping aboard a train is one of the best ways to meet interesting people. Folks from various walks of life are wont to ride the rails. You’ll find people both young and old, coupled and single, choosing to spend their time adventuring in Alaska, which will make for some fascinating conversation. And if you’re looking for travel tips along the way, the new friends you meet could be an excellent source of information!
Learn from the rail guides
If you want to learn even more about the land, taking the train is one of the best places to quench your thirst for this type of knowledge. The trains themselves are rich in history. For example, you might not have known that in 1943, people drilled two tunnels through the Chugach Mountains to Whittier, which was a strategic military supporting efforts in WWII. This is just one of the types of stories that the friendly onboard staff will regale you with.
Opportunities to View Wildlife
Worried you might miss out on viewing wildlife if you ride the train? In addition to offering in-depth narration and historical facts, rail guides will often point out wildlife and scenery along the way so you can sit back and relax. There also isn’t as much of a reason to be in a rush when you’re on the train compared to in a car, so locomotive drivers might slow down the train if they see moose, bears, or caribou. Not only will the massive train windows give you a clearer view of these majestic creatures, but you can safely view them from inside the train car.
If only a week or two spent traveling by train doesn’t sound long enough, you should consider joining one of our teams onboard a train as a Rail Operator. Have any questions about these positions? Alaska Tour Jobs has many openings, which you can discover on our Rail Services page.