Q: We are taking an Alaska cruise from Seward in August. We plan to arrive in Anchorage a few days early and do some sightseeing on our own either by rental car or by a guided tour by rail or bus. We want these day trips to start and end back in Anchorage. What would you recommend? Is it possible to see Mt. McKinley in a day?
Q: What is the driving time from Anchorage to Denali National Park?
A: It takes about 4 1/2 hours to drive from Anchorage to Denali if you are driving straight through, but it somewhat depends on what time you are leaving Anchorage. Commuting traffic out of Anchorage is at its peak from 4:00pm – 6:00pm which could make the drive take longer.
Q: On August 1, we want to get from Seward to Homer and then on August 2, we want to get from Homer to Anchorage. What is the best way to do travel and what are the costs associated with this travel?
A: We do not offer any transportation by bus from Seward to Homer. There is a company called Homer Stage Line that offers bus service from Seward to Homer and from Homer to Anchorage. You will need to contact them directly for schedules and fees.
Q: I will be working in Fairbanks next summer and want to visit family in Anchorage for a weekend. Is that possible?
A: If just visiting Anchorage for a weekend I would recommend flying from Fairbanks. The flight is about an hour. Driving time between Fairbanks and Anchorage ranges from 6 to 8 hours depending on traffic and construction. The train travels between Fairbanks and Anchorage daily during the summer months however, it departs Fairbanks at 8:15 AM and has a duration of 12 hour so may not be practical for a weekend visit. You could travel by train one way and air the other.
Q: Are self-guided tours allowed in Denali National Park?
A: You can drive a personal vehicle 14 miles into Denali National Park. After 14 miles you must be on a park regulated bus. If you are planning on driving an RV, you can make advance reservations for a site at Teklanika campground which is located at mile 29.1 of the Park Road. You are limited to one round-trip only and a minimum of a three night stay.
Special permits are issued to private vehicles only once a year on a lottery basis. These permits are to be used on the Friday through Monday of the second weekend after Labor Day. All other tours into Denali National Park are by bus. Please visit our Denali Tours page for information on the different tours available.
Q: Is there a train to Alaska?
A: There is no train that runs in and out of Alaska. The only ways to get into our state are by flying, driving through Canada, by cruise ship or by taking the Alaska state ferry from Washington. The Alaska Railroad offers daily summer train service between Anchorage, Whittier and Seward and between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Q: I’m bringing my kids to Alaska for a family vacation, do I need to bring car seats?
A: The State of Alaska laws requires children to be properly secured in federally approved car seats or booster seats. Children who are not yet one year old or who do not yet weigh 20 pounds must be properly secured in a federally approved rear-facing car seat. For children who weigh more than 20 pounds who are younger than 5 years old, the law requires that the child be properly secured in a car seat. Children who are over 4 years old and less than 8 years old, weigh more than 20 pounds but less than 65 pounds and are shorter than 57 inches tall must ride in a booster seat or other appropriate child restraint system.
Some motorcoach transportation, such as The Park Connection, do not need to to have car seats but it is very common in Alaska for tour operators to use traditional “school” buses and vans that have seat belts installed. Tours into Denali National Park all require the use of child car seats. In those cases, child restraint systems are required. Most tour operators do not provide the required car seats so if you are coming to Alaska on a family tour you’ll want to bring your car seat from home to avoid any last minute hassles or delays on being able to go on tours.