Article •  Alaska, USA

The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska From Fairbanks To Anchorage

Last Updated On: February 26, 2021


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There is something so magical about train travel. The screech of the tracks, the blare of the horn from the engine beyond. Nothing can quite compare to the carefree feeling of sitting by the window lost in thought, admiring the passing and often untouched scenery.

The Aurora Winter Train by the Alaska Railroad offers an unforgettable ride through snow-covered landscapes and breathtaking scenes between Anchorage & Fairbanks. Riding aboard the Alaska Railroad is an experience in itself.

We quickly came to find out that this wasn’t just an ordinary train ride, but a tour. Throughout the trip, the onboard crew would come on over the intercom to point out historical sites & landmarks, mountain ranges & towns along with any wildlife hightailing it to the trees. Expect your journey to be just as spectacular as the destination.

The 500-mile long track stretching from Fairbanks in the north to Seward in the south was completed in 1923 and has shown many travelers and locals some of Alaska’s most scenic landscapes and popular destinations.

If you love train travel as much as we do, keep reading for all the information you need to book this magical winter excursion.

The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape

Why you should ride on the Aurora Winter Train!

While it is much faster and cheaper to fly, I would choose this train ride over a plane again and again.

Let me start by saying that this is an 11 and a half-hour train ride! I was prepared to get to a point where I would be bored of my book, done with my work and ready for this train ride to end, it is a half-day train ride after all. But that moment never came, quite the opposite.

The only downtime I had was a few hours at the beginning of the ride, simply because it was dark outside. But the minute the sun peaked above the horizon, we couldn’t stop gazing out of the window, running from one side of the train to the other admiring the beauty of Alaska’s untouched backcountry.

Prepare to be blown away around every curve. Evergreens wrapped in snow as far as the eye can see beside frozen glacial rivers. Snaking through Denali National Park and over Hurricane Gulch, you will go where no cars have ever gone.

If one day is not enough to make sure to check out the 6-night journey starting in Anchorage.

Quick Facts: Aurora Winter Train

  • Departure Time: 8:30 AM
  • Arrival Time: 8:00 PM
  • Duration: 11.5 Hours
  • Price: From $209/person
  • Schedule: Runs weekends from mid-September to mid-May! Northbound Saturdays (Anchorage to Fairbanks), Southbound Sundays (Fairbanks to Anchorage)
  • Route: Anchorage <> Wasilla <> Talkeetna <> Hurricane <> Denali <> Fairbanks
  • Popular Highlights: Denali National Park, Hurricane Gulch Bridge
  • Food: Dining Car with Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Buy Tickets
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape

Important Boarding Information

  • Make sure you are at the train station for boarding at least 20-30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time
  • On your boarding pass, you will see your car letter and seat number, please be aware of your seat before approaching the train
  • Have your boarding pass ready to show to the car attendant when boarding the train
  • Smoking is not permitted on the train but you will be able to find designated smoking areas at each depot
  • If you are looking for a gift or souvenir make sure to look at the Anchorage or Fairbanks Depots
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape

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The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
The Best Winter Train Ride In Alaska | Bare Escape
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