Alaska – Train from Anchorage to Denali – Part 1

After spending the afternoon and evening in Anchorage, we boarded the train to Denali.  What is now the Alaska Railroad started in 1903 in Seward.  It only went 50 miles before going bankrupt.  Restarted in 1910 the tracks extended to cover 71 miles before a second bankruptcy.  In 1914 the US government agreed to fund the railway.  It now extends to Anchorage and Fairbanks.  For more on the history, see their website.

The railcars on our trip are all owned by Holland America.  The consisted of an upper level with lots of glass and great views out.  The lower level was the dining area.  Each car had a tour guide, bartender, wait-staff, and kitchen staff.  It was a very comfortable ride.

Rail Car
Rail Car

It was also a beautiful ride with views of rushing streams, still water, mountains, meadows, and Mt. Denali.

This was our first glimpse of Denali.  We were told it had been seen from the train only once in the previous 30 days.

First Glimpse of Denali
First Glimpse of Denali

 

Denali
Denali

 

Denali
Denali

 

Denali
Denali

 

Denali
Denali

Denali was finally obscured by the trees, but there were other interesting views.

Signs of Civilization
Signs of Civilization

Then we got a second chance to see Denali.

Denali
Denali

 

Denali
Denali

 

Denali
Denali

 

Denali
Denali

It is hard to imagine the spectacular views this airplane pilot had with the clear skies and the mountains in the distance.

 

Denali
Denali

 

Denali
Denali

 

Denali
Denali

OK, I know that was a lot of pictures of Denali, but I just couldn’t help it.  It was magnificent.  I will show some other views in my next post.

Mark

2 thoughts on “Alaska – Train from Anchorage to Denali – Part 1

  1. I am loving all of your Alaskan photos. We took our one and only cruise to Alaska in 2008 (the inner passage, also on a Holland America ship) and loved it. Our daughter and son-in-law camped in Denali NP several years ago, at the very end of the season. It rained most of the time they were there, but on their last morning, they woke to clear skies and a magnificent view of Denali. So, you were very lucky indeed to have such a great view of it from the train.

    1. Thanks, Jane. I spoke to Ron about your trip some time ago. We were very pleased with all Holland America had to offer. It was all HA from Vancouver to Fairbanks. We were told the best views of Denali are in the last winter. Fewer clouds, clear skies, but lots of snow.

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