These Alaska Railroad train trips offer stunning views and chances to spot the northern lights.

By Cailey Rizzo
Updated December 21, 2020
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Credit: Danita Delimont/Getty Images

Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.

Alaska is one of the best places in the United States to see the famed aurora borealis, and this winter, Alaska Railroad is offering unforgettable journeys through snow-swept landscapes underneath the northern lights. This year, the company has a range of experiences and packages (including Alaska Railroad's famous Aurora Winter Train) with COVID-19 health and safety procedures and policies in place.

Make the most of your Alaskan vacation with The Aurora package, a six-night trip. The journey starts in Anchorage, where travelers can explore the city. From there, the train travels north through Talkeetna, with an option to explore Denali, the highest peak in North America. It’s also possible to sled through the snow with an Iditarod champion kennel. The journey ends in Fairbanks, world-renowned as one of the best places for northern lights spotting. The Aurora package starts at $1,479 per person, based on double occupancy, and it's available in March 2021.

Explore the Arctic Circle on the Arctic Circle Adventure, a remote 5-night trip starting at $1,669. Looking for a shorter winter vacation? Try the Winter Escape, a 1-night trip that takes passengers between Anchorage and Fairbanks, offering guests similar views in a shorter time frame. Denali in a Day offers day trips from Fairbanks to the famous Alaskan national park with a return journey on the Aurora Winter Train.

But those who just want to jump on a train and watch Alaska roll past their window can book the 12-hour Aurora Winter Train. The service passes through Wasilla and Talkeetna, along with 50 miles of track through “roadless backcountry south of Hurricane Gulch,” according to the railroad. The train departs on weekends from mid-September through mid-May, with weekday service added in March.