For a one-of-a-kind day trip, ride one of America's last flag stop trains along it's 115-mile route. The Hurricane Turn Train on the Alaska Railroad starts in Talkeetna, follows along the Susitna River with stunning views of Mt. Denali (Mt. McKinley) through the Indian River Canyon, and returns from Hurricane Gulch Bridge.
When the guide and conductor Warren Redfearn says “All-aboard for fun and adventure,” he sets the tone for an unforgettable Alaskan adventure. Follow the tracks into the wilds of Alaska.
Since 1923 the Hurricane Turn Train has delivered local Alaskans to their remote cabins and other outdoor enthusiast to remote areas for back-country skiing, backpacking, camping, and fishing.
On this wilderness run you can get off and on the train anywhere along the 55-mile stretch between Talkeetna and Hurricane. When you are ready to return to civilization, you just stop the train on its return with the wave of a flag. How great is that?
As the train chugs along, it is easy to imagine what life was like in the early 1900’s or to picture how winter must be in the Alaska bush. It is especially memorable to visit with local rural Alaskans and see what life is like along the tracks. When riding the rail, I met author Mary T. Lovel, who wrote “Journey To A Dream.” She lives along the track in Sherman, and autographed a copy of her book for me.
Conductor Redfearn talks about the history of the area, shows photos of the construction of the amazing Hurricane Gulch Bridge all the while loading and unloading interesting passengers and freight. Sail past historic stops like Curry, Hurricane, Spenser and Chulitna and take photos from the doorway. Or stop at the river rafters put-in for a scenic raft float adventure down the Susitna River. It is all very entertaining.
This year the passenger count is up and next year Redfearn hope the train will run everyday for the tourist season. There is talk that Mahay's Jet Boat Adventures will offer a combined tour with the Hurricane Train in Talkeetna. This would be a great addition to summer tour options!
Schedule: The Summer Hurricane Turn Train runs Thursday-Sunday, for the season (mid-May to mid-September), and in conjunction with summer holidays.
The Winter Hurricane Turn Train runs between Anchorage and Hurricane and only operates the first Thursday of each month from October to May.
Time: Departure is at 12:15 pm from the Talkeetna Depot, located at mile 13.5 Talkeetna Spur Rd.
Tickets are available for purchase onboard, however customers wishing to use credit cards must purchase tickets at the Talkeetna Depot or by calling reservations at 800-544-0552 or 907-265-2494.
Tip: Remember to pack a lunch since there is no food service onboard.
Note: The Hurricane Turn is a flag stop train and may run late depending on the number of stops. The train only stops in each location when passengers are getting on or off the train.