Spencer Glacier Rail & Trail (Intransit)
Leave Anchorage by train and head down along the shoreline of Turnagain Arm, where beluga whales feed on small fish and salmon heading to spawning grounds. This area is part of the Chugach National Forest -- at six million acres it is the second-largest National Forest in the United States. Dall sheep come down from the peaks of the Chugach Mountains and eagles cruise the shoreline looking for an easy meal.
After traveling past Girdwood, 40 miles from Anchorage, the train leaves the main line for the 12-mile trip into the port of Whittier. Watch for salmon in the streams along the way before you enter the first of two tunnels. Whittier is the gateway to Prince William Sound.
The train returns to the main line to continue the trip south down the Placer Valley leaving the highway behind and into countryside only accessible by train.
You'll stop at Spencer Glacier among wildlife habitat populated by bear, moose, coyotes and wolves. Swans pause here on their migration; yellowlegs and arctic terns also make their home here. It's hard to believe this is only a few hours out of Anchorage and completely off the road system.
If you like, you can leave the train at the Spencer whistle stop for a narrated two-mile roundtrip hike with a US Forest Service ranger. The trail leads to Spencer Lake for spectacular glacier viewing.
Upon your completion of the hike, the Alaska Railroad will pick you up for the short trip back to Portage. You will then board a deluxe motor coach for the transfer back to Anchorage.
A box lunch is included on board the train -- turkey sandwich, whole fruit, chips, cookie, water. There is also a snack bar onboard with items available for purchase.
You will receive a box lunch voucher with your boarding pass. Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed. This tour is available only to guests whose cruise does not begin or end in Anchorage/Seward.