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Can I take the Denali Train from Anchorage and get off at Mt. McKinley for a few days?


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Posted (edited)

You can't take the train from Denali to Mount McKinley because they're the same mountain (renamed in 2015). There has been some to & fro and general hassle, with both names coexisting a long time - Wikipedia has a decent article.

Edited by martincath
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Posted (edited)

Well that's a different kettle of fish!

 

There's a station, with a regular scheduled stop, in both Talkeetna & Denali and the fare page for the route confirms the price between them to be $101 ($51 kids) [less in shoulder season, more for Gold class] so you obviously can book the train for just that leg - and I'd assume the lodges would be happy to shuttle you to the stations.

 

Edit - actually, having just checked the route from Talkeetna train station to the Mt McKinley lodge, it looks like a very indirect trip with a big backtrack, almost an hour... so the odds of a free shuttle to town seem slim! There is a local cab firm though, and they list trips Denali-Talkeetna, so you might find their pricing better than the train - and definitely more flexible...

 

I'd also contact princess to ask about getting bussed between them - there are many and varied cruise tour packages, involving bus/train/both, and you might find the timing more convenient as well as the price lower...

Edited by martincath
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You can take the train to Talkeetna. From there it's an hour drive to the Princess McKinley Wilderness Lodge. In the past Princess has ran a shuttle. I think it cost $10? Maybe not... You can contact them for more info: https://www.princesslodges.com/princess-alaska-lodges/mckinley-lodge/mckinley-amenities/  Although, probably no one will be answering the phones for another month or so.

But, I will say, driving yourself in a rental would be the better option.

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We have stayed at the McKinley View Princess several times as it is a convenient place to overnight when we are driving to or from Seward from our home in Fairbanks.  We only stay for one night, and I don't know why someone is interested in staying there for several days.  The complex is located off of the Parks Highway.  It is not located in Talkeetna (where the rail depot is located) but is at least a 45 minute drive from Talkeetna (assuming no road construction delays).  While Princess offers some cruise tours which include two nights at the McKinley View Lodge  Princess basically sells excursions into Talkeetna.  Or some folks use the time to do their laundry.  

 

In the lodge rooms there is information about the shuttle from the McKinley View into Talkeetna.  The info I've seen lists the shuttle cost at $10.00.  I've also seen the shuttle, and it would not accommodate luggage.  Some Princess cruise tours use the train, and when they do the luggage is moved by truck from the rail depot to the lodge.

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smilejesuslovesu,

 

I  agree with the following poster.  Having a car will provide you with more flexibility.  Particularly at meal time; you may find you would prefer not to be "stuck" having to use the hotel's dining services.  For example, staying at the Denali Princess, the community of Healy is just North of Denali where there are several restaurants.  I can recommend 49th State Brewing Company and is a #1 rated restaurant in Healy on Tripadvisor.  

 

33 minutes ago, AKStafford said:

But, I will say, driving yourself in a rental would be the better option.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Northern Aurora said:

 We only stay for one night, and I don't know why someone is interested in staying there for several days.

 

Have not stayed there, but once considered doing so.  After researching the property and the area,  an overnight stay would have been satisfactory for me.  Longer than that?  I asked myself why would I choose to do so?  

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Check out some of the Alaska travel sites like www.travelalaska.com and the Alaska Railroad schedule.  Princess has some special land itineraries for 2021.  A 2022 cruise tour would get you to both Mt McKinley (Talkeetna) and the Denali Princess Lodge.  The Princess lodge at Denali is closed, I think, for 2021 but the McKinley Chalets nearby is open.

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4 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

I  agree with the following poster.  Having a car will provide you with more flexibility.  Particularly at meal time; you may find you would prefer not to be "stuck" having to use the hotel's dining services.  For example, staying at the Denali Princess, the community of Healy is just North of Denali where there are several restaurants.  I can recommend 49th State Brewing Company and is a #1 rated restaurant in Healy on Tripadvisor.  

 

 

Having a car in the Denali National Park area is a real "plus" as  folks have so much more flexibility in terms of where they can stay and saves time as folks with a rental car don't have to wait for shuttles.  

 

One of the best restaurants in Alaska is actually located south of the entrance to Denali National Park.  It is named 229 Parks as it is located at mile 229 of the George Parks Highway.  While opinions about meals are subjective, I find it much nicer than the 49th Brewing Company.  229 Parks is rarely mentioned by others on this forum since folks on cruise tours have a difficult time going there.  I may be the only person who has recommended 229 Parks.

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36 minutes ago, oaktreerb said:

......  The Princess lodge at Denali is closed, I think, for 2021 but the McKinley Chalets nearby is open.

 

We don't know what year the OP is considering for a trip to Alaska.  But for the summer of 2021 the Denali Princess is scheduled to be closed but the McKinley Chalets will be open.  The Denali Bluffs and the Grande Denali also expect to be open in 2021 (at least the last I heard).

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19 hours ago, Northern Aurora said:

One of the best restaurants in Alaska is actually located south of the entrance to Denali National Park.  It is named 229 Parks as it is located at mile 229 of the George Parks Highway.  While opinions about meals are subjective, I find it much nicer than the 49th Brewing Company.  229 Parks is rarely mentioned by others on this forum since folks on cruise tours have a difficult time going there.  I may be the only person who has recommended 229 Parks.

 

I was not aware of them.  I just checked their web site and looked at a sample menu.  My impression from what I read is that 229 Parks is a more "up-scale" restaurant than 49th State Brewing Company.  Is my impression correct?

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11 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I was not aware of them.  I just checked their web site and looked at a sample menu.  My impression from what I read is that 229 Parks is a more "up-scale" restaurant than 49th State Brewing Company.  Is my impression correct?

 

 

229 Parks indeed is a more "up-scale" restaurant than the brewing company.  The 229 Parks building itself is lovely -- log constructed with high ceilings.  Much of the produce is locally grown.  The owner and head chef is Laura Cole.  Laura worked with the well known chef Kirsten Dixon when Kirsten and her husband owned the Riversong Lodge.  Laura has been a finalist several times at James Beard cooking competitions.

 

 

 

 

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On 4/12/2021 at 4:13 PM, Northern Aurora said:

 

 

229 Parks indeed is a more "up-scale" restaurant than the brewing company.  The 229 Parks building itself is lovely -- log constructed with high ceilings.  Much of the produce is locally grown.  The owner and head chef is Laura Cole.  Laura worked with the well known chef Kirsten Dixon when Kirsten and her husband owned the Riversong Lodge.  Laura has been a finalist several times at James Beard cooking competitions.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for your reply.  I will keep this restaurant in mind for my next visit to Alaska.  

 

I like brew pub type restaurants.  Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage regularly gets some of my money when I visit.  But, I also enjoy upscale dining as well.  

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