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Transportation in Fairbanks

An enjoyable visit to Alaska requires planning. Alaska's isolation and vastness make travel to and through the state more complicated than travel in the "Lower 48."

Just getting to Alaska can be an adventure. You can come by air, highway, or sea, or by a combination of these means.

Fairbanks International Airport
Commercial airlines serve Fairbanks.

Highway Systems
Cruise ships ply Alaska's southeastern waters through the Inside Passage. An  Alaska Cruise is a nice way to enjoy luxury and comfort while adventuring through the state. The state ferry system, known as the Alaska Marine Highway, transports people and vehicles from the Lower 48 to southeast points and between points in southcentral Alaska. Extending 1,500 miles from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Fairbanks, the Alcan, or Alaska Highway, provides a land link with roads to the south. The Alaska Highway is paved through Alaska and most of Canada and maintained year round. Use this next link to check road conditions in the state of Alaska, or this one. For more information on the Alcan, including Canada's portion, use the Alaska Highway link above or button on the left.

To travel to any of Alaska's parklands, other than Denali National Park (covered elsewhere in this web site) you will have several options. Unlike most National Park Service areas in the Lower 48, most of these Alaska areas are not accessible by road. Scheduled jet service to cities near some parklands can put you within air taxi distance of them. To see and experience the more remote reaches of Alaska generally requires significant added commitment in time, effort, and money, involving air and boat charters, rafts, kayaks, hiking, or combinations thereof.

Alaska Railroad

Alaska Railroad LogoThe Alaska Railroad serves the interior, running from Seward in the south to Eielson AFB in the north.


Air Transportation is needed for visiting many of the native villages which can be reached from Fairbanks. Our latest page gives some ideas for combining flying and driving to get the most out of your trip for the least cost.

Transportation Closer to Home (Fairbanks)

Metropolitan Area Commuter System (MACS), is the public bus system for the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

You can purchase an all-day pass for $3. There are several routes, from downtown to outlying areas, including major shopping centers and the University of Alaska.

The main bus depot is at the corner of 5th, 6th, and Cushman St. Schedules are also available at bus stops and at the Visitor Center on 1st Ave. Borough buses do not go to the airport. Follow our link for route maps, prices, and links to the Borough's web site.

Bicycle Rentals are available from Alaska Outdoor Rentals & Guides.

Shuttles & Small Tour Operators

Alaska/Yukon Trails
Operates a daily summer shuttle between Fairbanks and Anchorage, with three-day-a-week service in the winter. Their tours encompass Dawson City and Whitehorse. The company also runs the Fairbanks Shuttle for inexpensive local transportation.
Gray Line of Alaska, or Alaskon Express:
300 Elliott Avenue West, Seattle, Washington 98119, (206) 281-3535 or 1-800-544-2206.
They have been touring Alaska for 50 years, offering local sightseeing tours in every major city in Alaska.
Alaska Bus Guy
Scheduled bus service between Fairbanks and Anchorage. Passengers may elect to stop enroute and reboard at another day/time without additional costs. Stops made in 12 other communities, including Denali Park.
Alaska Direct Bus Lines
This Anchorage bus line offers summer rides between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, with stops in other smaller communities. Their schedule appears to be offer a chance to go as far as Tok and then choose between Anchorage or Whitehorse as your final destination. Be aware there are extra considerations if you plan to cross the Canada/Alaska border.
This page lists some companies that offer tours you might want to try. See also the bottom of the Dalton Highway page

NOTE: Holland Alaska and Princess Tours have not been included on this page since they seldom let their passengers out of controlled, packaged, scheduled activities long enough to see the real Alaska anyway, so we assume that those taking their tours are not interested in this web site. It has been estimated that they average less than a day in Fairbanks, with only an hour or two not scheduled, if that.

Fairbanks also has an abundance of Taxi  and Car Rental companies.


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