They say the best way to see Alaska is on the Alaska Railroad. We took a trip on the “Hurricane Turn” train last weekend from Talkeetna. This is a unique “flag stop” train. Homesteaders, hikers, fishermen, rafters and hunters literally “flag” the train down.
The train winds its way along the Susitna River, offering riders spectacular vistas of the river and Denali including the AWESOME Hurricane Gulch (pictured, right). Additionally, the train often stops so travelers can get a good photo of the scenery or wildlife.
There is no food service on the “Hurricane Turn”, so it’s best to grab a “Hurricane Box Lunch” at the Talkeetna Roadhouse on Main Street before you board. We supplemented that, of course, some brownies!
Although two passenger cars are very comfortable, our Conductor, Warren Redfearn (left, he helps passengers board the train), invited us to ride in the baggage car. It’s open-air, so you get a great breeze through the car. This is a perfect vantage point for taking photos.
Redfearn has worked for the railroad for almost 39 years, including 9 years as a conductor on the Hurricane Turn. He’s a wealth of knowledge for folks interested in the history of this unique train.
The Hurricane Turn runs Thursdays-Sundays between now and mid-September. It’s just one of the unique routes on the Alaska Railroad.
Our co-host, Erin Kirkland, rode the the Hurricane Turn with her family two weeks ago. Conductor Redfearn proudly announced that Erin had declared the train a “family friendly” activity. No kidding! In fact, kids go free when traveling with adults!
Other great rides:
“Glacier Discovery” from Portage to Spencer Glacier and Grandview. Here’s a video:
“Coastal Classic” from Anchorage to Seward. Railroad aficionados claim this ride is the best of all! Perhaps it’s time to see for yourself!
“Denali Star” between Anchorage and Fairbanks, stopping in Talkeetna and Denali National Park. Check out some great specials, featuring rail and hotel from either Anchorage or Fairbanks.
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