Take a journey from Anchorage on the Glacier Discovery Train as we make our way south. You'll stop in Girdwood, where you will have a quick shuttle ride to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. The center is Alaska's premier rehabilitation facility for the injured and orphaned wildlife and we'll have an interpretive & guided tour! The Bears Tour at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is about 1.5 hours and includes both driving and walking options to view the animals. Guests will also receive a sack lunch during this portion of the tour.
After the Bears Tour, the guide will bring you back to hop on the Glacier Discovery Train. From there, you will proceed onto your next experience at Spencer Glacier. This mellow 2-hour float will get you up-close-and-personal and is great for all ages. Along with our professional, experienced guides, you will be a stone's throw away from both beautiful and picturesque icebergs. As your guides row the float you will take in panoramic views of the stunning mountains that surround Spencer Glacier.
Afterward, you will return to the station via the Glacier Discovery train. A motorcoach will then take you back to Anchorage. Included: Lunch, rail transportation, rubber boots, rain poncho, life vest.
Please note: Children under 2 are allowed but not guaranteed to be approved. It will depend on the number of rafts available on the date requested.
Duration: 9 hours (Roundtrip from the Anchorage Historic Rail Depot.)
- Lunch provided with dietary restriction substitutes available with advanced notice
- Roundtrip rail transportation from Anchorage or Girdwood
- We provide rubber boots, rain poncho (if needed) & Personal Flotation Device (life vest)
- We require all guests to sign a release of liability on all of our tours.
- Bring warm clothes & layers, extra socks, a hat & gloves. (These are more important in August & September, but nice to have in June & July with Alaska's unpredictable weather)
- Please leave a note in your order if any guests participating will be weighing over 240lbs or if any guests will be requiring any dietary restrictions or special requests.
Duration: 9 hours. Tour times below are approximate:
- 9:45 AM Glacier Discovery Train departs Anchorage
- 11:00 AM Disembark Glacier Discovery Train at Girdwood
- 11:00 - 11:15 AM Shuttle ride to the AWCC
- 11:30 - 1:00 PM Guided stop at the AWCC
- 1:00 PM Catered sack lunch provided, return to station
- 1:25 PM Train departs for Spencer Glacier whistle stop
- 1:55 PM Train arrives Spencer Glacier whistle stop
- 2 - 4:45 PM Spencer Iceberg & Placer River Float – 2 hours on the water
- 5 - 5:15 PM Return via train
- 5:30 PM Anchorage & Girdwood guests board motorcoach bus for quicker transportation back to the original boarding location.
- 5:45 PM Motorcoach arrives Girdwood/Hotel Alyeska
- 6:45 PM Motorcoach arrives Anchorage
- This tour meets at the Anchorage Downtown Historic Railroad Depot at 9 A.M. Guests are required to provide their own transportation to the Railroad Depot. Fully detailed instructions will be included on your finalized ticket vouchers. If you're interested in meeting the tour in Girdwood with your own vehicle, please leave a booking comment at checkout.
ADA Accessibility of Tour:
- This tour is not wheelchair or limited mobility accessible. Both walking and driving tour options are provided at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Guests must be comfortable getting in and out of a river raft.
Can I bring a bag, backpack, or purse?
You may bring bags on this tour and you're welcome to leave them on the train while participating in activities. Please note that the tour operator and the Alaska Railroad are not able to guarantee the safety of your bags, but in over 10 years of operation they have not had any problems with belongings going missing.
Will I see any wildlife on this tour?
Moose, black bears, snow shoe hares, bald eagles and beluga whales are also seen on this tour however is not a designated wildlife tour and specific wildlife cannot be guaranteed. You will be with experienced guides who will have bear spray and are familiar with the wildlife area.
What are the age requirements for this tour?
The minimum age allowed is about 2-5 years old. If you have young children in your party, the tour operator must be notified in advance in order to pre-approve them with the Alaska Railroad. Children must fit in a life vest, and they must be able to sit for at least 2.5 hours in a raft without jumping around, rough playing, etc. Please reach out if we can provide further information about this tour's eligibility for children.
There is no maximum age! We've had guests in their 90s on this excursion. Please reach out if we can provide further information about this tour's accessibility levels.
Will our group ride together on the same raft?
If you have a request to be with a friend, please let us know on the train. Max capacity is 9 adults in each raft. Most often we have 7 to 8 guests per raft. Please let us know if you want a private raft for your family, there will be an additional cost for a private raft.
How rough of a float is it? Will I get wet?
Placer River Float is a Class I to II (With High Water), mellow braided river, no big rapids. Most guests will not get splashed with water. If you are concerned about getting splashed request a spot in the raft that is NOT “splashy” when speaking to your guide.
Are food and drink included?
Lunch is provided.
Are there restrooms on this tour?
There are restrooms on the train and at the Spencer Whistle Stop. There are no restrooms on the river, backcountry options only.
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Jul 2023 - Christina C.
This was the best part of our trip to Alaska. Great scenic train ride. We got up close to the glacier on the raft. Our tour guide was fun and made it a great experience. A must-do when visiting Alaska.
Aug 2022 - Michael H.
The trip was wonderful and well run by the staff. I only wish we could have seen wildlife on the raft ride to and from Spencer Glacier, but the raft ride was fun as well as seeing the wildlife conservation center.
Jul 2022 - Susan S.
We enjoyed a great tour with Josh exploring the Alyeska Resort, driving through the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center and a boat tour of Portage Glacier. Josh provided a lot of detailed information about the sights we visited and created a fun tour experience.
Aug 2021 - Ronald T.
A wonderful adventure! It was the first thing we did after arriving in Anchorage. Loved the train, large animal viewing, and the gentle rafting trip. Our guides gave us excellent info at each step. We had fun!
Aug 2021 - ROGELIO C.
Had a wonderful time on the tour. It was a great experience. Lots of fun and our guide, Kendall, was awesome! Beautiful views from the train ride and rafting down the river. Would definitely recommend this to anyone.
Jun 2021 - Xuanli L.
Awesome tour and adventure! The representative was extremely helpful in helping me book. The guide was very professional, fun, organized, and friendly. The only thing I would have liked was the train to be a little faster. Lots of waiting around time.
Aug 2019 - Wendy C.
This was awesome! The conservatory was neat bc we were guaranteed to see animals. The rafting was a lot of fun. Getting up close to the ice was a novel experience for sure.
Aug 2019 - Winfried R.
Awesome day and an absolutely must do!
Jul 2019 - Zhiyi Z.
It was the best tour in our Alaska land tour.