The train is a great way to get to Denali National Park. The train was really the only way to visit Denali Park from 1922-1957. In the early years guests arrived by train and stayed in wall tents at Savage River Camp until the hotel opened in June 1, 1939. The Denali Highway opened in 1957 which allowed visitors to drive to the park from Fairbanks and Anchorage. Car camping at the park became popular for Alaskans as a way to visit the park. Driving to the park was a long trip on an unpaved rough road. The train remained the way most people arrived at the park. In 1971 the Parks Highway was complete from Fairbanks to Anchorage providing access to the park on a paved road. The train remains popular today and provides a scenic trip not to be missed.
The Alaska Railroad provides daily service. Trains leave Fairbanks and Anchorage at 8:15 am each morning. The Fairbanks train arrives at the park about 12:25 pm and continues on to arrive in Anchorage at 8 pm. The train from Anchorage arrives at the park 3:55 pm and gets into Fairbanks at 8 pm. The Denali River Cabins & Cedar’s Lodge provide complementary pick up and drop off at the train station in Denali Park.
If you are headed to the Kantishna Roadhouse you will meet the bus for your ride out at the train station. The Kantishna Roadhouse bus will meet those people arriving from Fairbanks and will return from Kantishna to drop you off in time to catch the train to Anchorage or Fairbanks. If you are traveling from Anchorage you may want to consider taking the bus up to the park and the train back down to Anchorage. If you take the train up from Anchorage you will have to arrange to spend the night at the park entrance and catch the Kantishna Roadhouse bus the next day.
There is bus service from Anchorage to the park and back provided by The Park Connection. Alaska/Yukon Trails provides bus service between Fairbanks and Anchorage, between Whitehorse YT to Dawson City YT, and between Dawson City and Fairbanks. Check out their websites for rates and schedules.