Explore the Alaskan Wilderness on One of America's Last Flag-stop Trains
The Hurricane Turn is one of the last remaining flag-stop trains still in operation. A flag-stop train allows the conductor to make unscheduled stops to both pick up and drop passengers off along its route, giving riders a chance to pick and choose where they'd like to have their next adventure.
Passengers can ask to depart the train at any point and can wander through an area until the train makes its return back on the route.
The Hurricane Turn train offers travelers a way to access the remote wilderness cabins, hunting territories, and fishing expanses of Alaska that they'd otherwise have a tough time accessing.
The route, which goes from Talkeetna to Hurricane in the summer and from Anchorage to Hurricane in the winter, weaves passengers through majestic views of the Denali and Alaska ranges and of the Susitna and Indian Rivers.
The train's turning point at Hurricane Gulch, the highest bridge on the Alaska railroad system, offers panoramic views.
The service became a common form of transportation after the Alaska Railroad was completed in 1923, since the state didn't have many roads at the time and locals needed a way to access cabins and homes considered remote, according to Meghan Clemens of the Alaska Railroad.
The Hurricane Turn provides travelers with a way to access remote cabins tucked away in the forests and to travel to ghost towns like Curry, all at their own pace.
While most Alaska Railroad trains run on a set schedule, the Hurricaine Turn's flexible schedule allows the conductor the ability to bring the train to a complete stop when rare opportunities like wildlife sightings happen.
With only two passenger cars, the train feels intimate and gives travelers the chance to meet and bond with locals who have lived in Alaska's remote areas for decades, according to Clemens.
You'll also get interesting tidbits about Alaska from your conductor along the way.
Rail travelers can combine the journey with excursions like the Flagstop Rail-n-Raft, which takes you through a floating trip on the Susitna River and Talkeetna, where you’ll see salmon spawning areas and walk on a glacial silt islands.
Prices start at $104 for adults and at $54 for children under the age of 12 for the full round-trip journey, which spans 110 miles.