This unique winter driving tour in Alaska by 4-wheel SUV from Fairbanks to Anchorage with Northern Lights viewing and stops at Chena Hot Springs, the Arctic Circle, and Denali National Park packs the highlights in for visitors who want to “do it all” during the winter season. Think of it as a “safari” by car. It is perfect for adventurous Alaska travelers who prefer taking on the challenges and rewards of an SUV self-driving tour in Alaska’s winter season. Alaska’s wilderness is in a realm with outstanding scenery, warm Alaskan hospitality, and virtually no traffic! You can take advantage of along the way of winter outdoor activities, including flightseeing over Denali, relaxing in outdoor hot springs or skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing at Chena Hot Springs, and viewing the amazing northern lights (aurora borealis). During the winter, Alaska’s main highways are open and well-maintained, so driving conditions are reasonably good. With a reliable four-wheel-drive SUV, pre-arranged accommodations, and a detailed winter travel kit, you are set to explore some of the best destinations for winter fun in Alaska.
Seven days SUV rental with unlimited mileage and one-way drop fee from Fairbanks to Anchorage
Seven nights moderate level accommodations
4 to 5-hour Aurora Viewing Expedition tour on day 4
Pool passes at Chena Hot Springs Resort
All taxes and fees
What's Not Included
Meals, excursions, gratuities, and admission fees other than those mentioned. Optional insurance for rental vehicle, additional driver fees, or gasoline.
Arrive into Fairbanks at any time and pick up your rental car at the airport. Depending on when you arrive, you may have time for some exploring of Fairbanks and the surroundings. Overnight in Fairbanks.
The day is at your leisure to explore the city of Fairbanks. Take a drive to North Pole, located just outside Fairbanks, and visit the Santa Claus House. One local highlight is the Museum of the North, where you can see ice age animals, learn about the Aurora, and explore cultural artifacts. Or enjoy an optional activity, such as a guided city tour or Northern Lights viewing tour. Another possibility is a guided dog sledding tour (see Tours Add-Ons). Overnight in Fairbanks.
Today you drive from Fairbanks to the Chena Hot Springs Resort. This comfortable resort is famous for its mineral hot springs and as an excellent location for viewing the Northern Lights / Aurora Borealis. This afternoon enjoy the outdoor hot mineral springs and tour the Aurora Ice Museum (not included; currently only partially open due to maintenance), where everything from the chandeliers to the martini glasses are made of ice. Or you can add an optional tour, such as a dog sled ride, cross-country skiing, or massage. Winter gear can be rented at the resort for an additional fee. Overnight at Chena Hot Springs Resort.
Today is free to enjoy the amenities of the resort. Tonight, a 4-5 hour snow coach tour is included in your program. A tracked, military style Small Unit Support Vehicle* will bring you away from the resort to watch for the Northern Lights from the top of a hill for an unobstructed view. Overnight at Chena Hot Springs Resort.
On your way back to Fairbanks, you may want to explore the Chena River State Recreation Area before passing through Fairbanks and continuing on to the Parks Highway to Healy. This town of approximately 900 people is home to Alaska’s only commercial coal mine. It is located just north of Denali National Park which is closed to traffic but is staffed by rangers in the winter. You can drive about 5 miles into the park and visit the ranger station. Overnight in Healy (near Denali National Park).
Today you continue your driving adventure by heading south on the Parks Highway to Talkeetna. This small but unique gold mining community is famous for its special charm and as the expedition base for mountaineers seeking to summit Denali. Overnight in Talkeetna.
This morning, continue your drive south to Anchorage. The afternoon is yours to explore the city. Go shopping, tour local attractions, or take a walk in one of Anchorage’s many parks. City highlights include the Anchorage Museum, the Log Cabin Visitor Center, the Alaska Zoo, local breweries, and the Coastal Trail. Overnight in Anchorage.
Depending on your departure time, you may have free time for some souvenir shopping or additional excursions. Return your car to the Anchorage airport rental car station. Depart or start an additional program.
* Please note that during the tour you will be sitting in a small confined space with other people.
Dates & Rates
*Child rates are available on request.
Our Standard Program Includes:
2 and 3 star hotel accommodations.
The program will include a combination of hotels or motels that are considered moderate to standard tourist class. Please be aware not all hotels have shuttle services.
Standard train car seating on all rail services (reserved seats).
If you would like to book the standard program but with upgraded rail seating, the option and surcharge will be listed when you save to your cart.
Our Upgraded Program Includes:
* 3 and 4 star hotels (best available) wherever possible.
The program will include standard rooms at this category of hotel where possible. Alaska has very limited hotel choices in remote areas and small towns. The properties will typically offer a wider range of services such as a full-service restaurant, room service and perhaps a pool or spa facilities. Please be aware the upgraded accommodations in downtown Anchorage do not have hotel shuttle services. Many of the upgraded hotels also offer guaranteed view rooms for additional cost. If you would like a specific room type, in addition to the upgraded program, please ask us about availability and cost difference.
Deluxe dome train car seating between Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks, or Anchorage and Seward.
All journeys between Anchorage and Whittier are in standard seating as deluxe dome cars are not available on that route.
Contact us to book this Tour.
Thank you for your interest in this tour! At this time, it is not currently available to book online. Please feel free to continue to peruse our website for more Alaska travel ideas. If you would like options and information from our team of Alaska experts, please call 1-866-317-3325 or fill out the form below.
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