By Shandra Furtado, Communications Intern

DenaliThis summer American Forests and its partners will be hosting a six-day Alaskan excursion in Denali National Park. The trip offers a great juxtaposition of adventurous and relaxing activities, from backcountry hikes to lounging in the lodge’s exclusive spa.

Even the last day of the trip doesn’t denote the end of the adventure, as we will be embarking on a glass train ride back to Anchorage with stunning views along the way.

On the Alaska Railroad Deluxe Dome Car service, large curved glass windows that run the length of the car give passengers 360-degree views of the surrounding wildlife. There is also a second level outdoor viewing platform, which is said to be the only one of its kind in the world. This is a great place to enjoy a cocktail and revel in the fresh air and scenery. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife throughout the trip, especially for commonly spotted animals such as dall sheep, bears, moose, eagles, beavers, wolves and swans. An on-train tour narration is provided over a PA system by host guides.

glass train ride
Credit: oklanica via Flickr.

Right after leaving Denali National Park, we will go through Broad Pass, the highest point on the Alaskan railroad. You will be surrounded by a beautiful panoramic view of the Alaska Range Mountains and the evergreen forests that surround the pass. The summer deciduous trees will be in full bloom, giving a colorful contrast to the snowcapped mountains in the background.

Before approaching Talkeetna, we’ll cross the 918-foot Hurricane Gulch Bridge, which towers almost 300 feet above the creek below. The view of the bridge alone is breathtaking, but the view from the bridge is even better. It’s considered one of the route’s best photo opportunities, so be sure to have your camera ready.

On a clear day, you are able to see Mt. Denali, North America’s tallest mountain, for most of the train ride. Recently changed back from being Mt. McKinley by efforts to preserve the native name, the original name “Denali” is based on a native Koyukon Athabascan verb meaning “high” or “tall.” Around three hours from the end of the trip, we will be approaching some of the most spectacular views of Mt. Denali. If the weather is good, the train will slow to allow passengers to take photos. Once we arrive in Anchorage a few hours later, you will be able to get transportation to the airport or your hotel for the evening.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to experience Alaska’s wildlife and learn about the native history of the area. Sign up for the trip today!