Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Alaska Railroad’s Aurora Winter Train, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Iditarod Festivities
Activity Level 3
Pace Level 3
Embark on a magical journey to see Alaska as it was meant to be seen – in the winter – when the northern lights and the excitement of the world famous Iditarod are underway. On this adventure of a lifetime led by an Alaskan guide, you’ll discover our nation’s largest and perhaps most beautiful natural wonder while exploring Fairbanks, Anchorage and Denali National Park with a ride aboard Alaska Railroad’s Aurora Winter Train providing a true Alaska winter wonderland!
Optional transfers from home or one of our departure points this morning will have you at LAX for a connecting flight to Fairbanks, Alaska. Those guests making their own flight arrangements may arrive in Fairbanks at any time. You’ll board a deluxe vehicle (motorcoach or van depending on the size of the group) and continue to your Fairbanks hotel with the balance of the evening at leisure.
Following an included breakfast, embark on a guided Fairbanks city tour including a visit to the Morris Thompson Cultural Center and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. This afternoon relax at the hotel or take advantage of optional excursions including dog mushing and an Arctic Circle air adventure. Optional excursions are additional with bookings/payments made with your tour director while on tour and available as weather permits. This evening, travel just outside the city for aurora borealis viewing with an included hot beverage. The northern lights are beautiful dancing waves of light that occur when energized particles from the sun collide with Earth’s upper atmosphere. Northern lights are not guaranteed as they are based on weather and solar activity. Return to the hotel late tonight. (Breakfast)
After an included breakfast, travel south to Denali with a stop to visit the town of Nenana, home of the Nenana Ice Classic! Upon arrival in Denali National Park, visit the Murie Science and Learning Center (elevation 3,000’) which acts as the Denali visitor center in the wintertime. Enjoy the national park film Heartbeats of Denali, hear from a park ranger and take advantage of an opportunity to go snow shoeing! This evening, a second opportunity to see the aurora borealis. Overnight in Healy. (Breakfast, Boxed Lunch)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll board the deluxe railcars of the world-famous Alaska Railroad’s Aurora Winter Train. Your “Adventure Class” seating offers comfortable, forward-facing seats, large picture windows and Alaskan tour guides. Experience the quiet serenity of Alaska’s backcountry in winter while keeping an eye out for views of Mount Denali, the tallest peak in North America. Begin a five-night stay at a deluxe hotel in Anchorage this evening. (Breakfast)
After an included breakfast, embark on a guided Anchorage city tour. Visit the historic downtown district and Lake Hood where float planes take off and land. Visit Earthquake Park to learn about the massive earthquake in 1964. Travel south this afternoon along the scenic Seward Highway and Alaska’s spectacular Turnagain Arm framed by the Chugach Mountains and ocean vistas. Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to see some of Alaska’s largest wildlife like moose, bison, elk, deer, caribou, musk ox, fox and birds of prey. Tonight, take part in official Iditarod festivities with an included dinner at the official Musher’s Banquet where you’ll meet the mushers who will compete in this year’s Iditarod. Attendance at the banquet is only guaranteed for guests paid by January 1, 2024. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Following an included breakfast, travel north to Happy Trails Kennel to meet Martin Buser, fourtime Iditarod Champion, who will share his personal stories from the Iditarod trail. Also, an included visit to the Iditarod Headquarters to see a replica Iditarod Trail station first-hand. (Breakfast)
The big day has arrived! Following an included breakfast, head to 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage, providing a great viewing location of the official Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod, known as the “Last Great Race” (weather and snow conditions permitting). Cheer on mushers and dogs from all over the world as they burst through the Iditarod start line, and take part in other Iditarod festivities at leisure. This afternoon, visit the Anchorage Museum – an impressive art, history, ethnography, ecology and science museum in the heart of downtown Anchorage. (Breakfast)
Following an included breakfast, travel north to the quaint community of Willow, Alaska for the official Restart of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Prepare for a bit of a walk to find the perfect spot along the race fence line. Cheer on the mushers and dogs as they take off every two minutes across Willow Lake on their 1,049 mile journey into the Alaska Wilderness for Nome. The Willow Community Center is open and offers a break from the cold with vendors selling food and drinks as well as local crafts. Return to Anchorage this evening. (Breakfast)
Following an included breakfast, an included transfer to the Anchorage International Airport for a
return flight to Los Angeles. Those guests making their own flight arrangements can depart Anchorage at
any time today. Upon arrival in Los Angeles, those guests with pre-arranged transfers will be returned
to their respective drop-off points. Return home with many fond memories of the incredible scenery
and the excitement of the Iditarod and northern lights on this unique winter adventure. (Breakfast)
In the rare event the Iditarod Restart is relocated north beyond Willow due to weather and trail conditions, a full day of activities in Anchorage will be substituted and will include a visit to the Alaska Aviation Museum, an opportunity to meet an Alaskan bush pilot, an included lunch at a locals’ favorite and visit to the E. Street Theater to see an interactive movie about the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.
This tour may be different from other tours offered by Good Times Travel due to the cold temperatures, snow and ice underfoot. Guests should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances over slippery surfaces. Comfortable, waterproof shoes or boots as well as winter clothing are required for this tour.
The land portion of this unique tour is operated by a local tour operator partner of ours (Premier Alaska) that specializes in this region and provides a professional, Alaskan tour director to lead the group upon arrival in Fairbanks. Our group will be joined by guests from other parts of the U.S. A Good Times Travel tour director will accompany our group only with a minimum number of Good Times Travel guests.
While we make every effort to operate our tours as outlined in the itinerary, we ask for your patience, understanding and flexibility and to retain a sense of adventure while traveling with us. Situations may arise that necessitate changes to the itinerary. Should we need to adjust the itinerary either prior to or while on tour, these changes will be communicated to you and only done when absolutely necessary.
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