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McKinley Explorer

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Fairbanks, AK

A scenic railroad spanning 356 miles, from Fairbanks to Anchorage.

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 183 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 127
  • 36
    Very good
  • 7
  • 4
  • 0
great way to travel

We took the train and traveled in the special compartment of Princess cruises from Fairbanks to Denali (4 hours). We were the last compartment which means that we could take great... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 September 2013
Karen S
New York City, New York

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183 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 174: English reviews
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
691 reviews
309 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

We took the train and traveled in the special compartment of Princess cruises from Fairbanks to Denali (4 hours). We were the last compartment which means that we could take great pictures standing on the open back part of the train. We sat upstairs and when we were ready we went downstairs and had a great breakfast. We had a... More 

Thank Karen S
Selbyville, Delaware
Level Contributor
85 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2013

We travelled from Anchorage to Denali on the McKinley Explorer. The train was spacious enough for our carry-on bags and comfortable. Our train guide was informative and was as excited as we were seeing Mt. McKinley! She shared much information, but by the end of our eight hours on the train, we were ready for some quiet time. We had... More 

1 Thank sklovessummer
Level Contributor
386 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2013

Travelled the length of Alaska from Fairbanks back to Anchorage - a 12 hour trip. Whilst the train undoubtedly took the strain during that long day, I would seriously recommend only doing half the journey..... Fairbanks to Denali or Denali to Anchorage...or vice versa. This would be ample time to see this magnificent country without the danger of falling asleep... More 

1 Thank Celtic-Wanderer
Level Contributor
115 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2013

Although there was a lot to see, unfortunately we couldn't see it for the tall trees each side of the track. The train is clean and comfortable but goes so slow it can get boring. The restaurant car is OK but a bit pricey and they have a captive audience. I would not bother again.

Thank Angel58Bournemouth
Level Contributor
112 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2013 via mobile

Comfortable scenic way to travel and take in the beauty of Alaska. We are on a hal tour. Coming from Whitehorse via several days on a bus this was a nice and welcome change of pace. Lots more room, comfort, visibility plus a dining car with Alaska reasonable prices. Breakfast $10 -15 and well presented and good with excellent service.... More 

Thank Clintlinda
Northborough, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
225 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2013

The McKinley Explorer train trip was superb, the 12 hrs trip back to Anchorage was long but a lot to see . Just looking at the mountains , rivers, lakes and tundra

Thank cgpabon01
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2013

Great trains with comfortable seats, viewing (and smoking) decks and reasonable quality, but expensive, food in the downstairs buffet cars. Outstanding scenery and great hosts/hostesses that keep you occupied with their knowledge and fun banter. Long trips - 4 hours Fairbanks to Denali and 8 hours Denali to Anchorage but trains ran pretty much on time and the incredible scenery... More 

2 Thank BTB01
Horsham, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
74 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2013

It was a nice experience to ride this train but the only bad thing was it was SO cold on this train. Some of the folks actually had scarves and ear muffs on! After several complaints from different people, they finally turned the air conditioning off. On our way back, we rode this train again and this time it was... More 

1 Thank nan307
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
502 reviews
175 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2013

Our tour group was on a land tour and rode the train from Fairbanks to Denali utilizing the Gold Star Service. This consisted of a domed car with comfy seats and views all around. We also ate breakfast on board. The French Toast was delicious and the service was good. This is just a service that is worth using as... More 

1 Thank houstonnative47
Latham, New York
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2013

We took the train from Fairbanks to Anchorage, with a 2 night layover at Denali National Park. The train from the Fairbanks to Denali portion of the trip consisted of 9 cars, and from Denali to Anchorage 13 cars. The train was pulled by 2 SD70MACs. There is a great HO scale layout in the Fairbanks Depot. The train itself... More 

1 Thank mdl1082

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?