We opted to take the train South to Seward, and then ride back up North to Anchorage via bus. This would allow us to see both the train route and the Seward Highway.
The train to Seward left early, 6:45 AM to be exact. Fortunately, the Anchorage Downtown Hotel where we were staying offers free shuttle service to the station. So we hopped on the train and were greeted almost immediately by blue and pink mountains reflecting the rising sun.
|Blue and pink mountains in the early morning.|
The views on the train ride down are amazing:
|Turn Again Arm.|
|The front of the train passing a glacier|
|Mama Black bear - her babies stopped the train b/c they were on the track|
|The pictures don't do this glacier justice.|
|Dead trees from the big quake of 68|
The dead trees in the last picture are interesting, they died as a result of the big earthquake in 1968 due to the permafrost liquefying and the ground dropping 7 feet. This caused seawater to rush in which got to the roots and the trees died. In Alaska's cold climate they estimate it will be 100 years before they fully decompose.
The entire ride takes around 4 1/2 hours, so you get to Seward around 10:45 - 11:00 Just about time to get your bearings and eat.
|The train at the Seward station|
All in all it was a great trip from Anchorage to Seward in comfortable seats with decent snacks and some amazing views. Well worth the price ($79/each) of the tickets. I freely admit to being a train ride junkie on vacation so your mileage may vary. For the wife and I however the train ride was a high point of our trip.