Alaska Transportation

Getting From Anchorage to Fairbanks (and back)

3857293492_a41ef086b9Being the two biggest cities in Alaska, Anchorage and Fairbanks are on the itineraries of many visitors to Alaska, and there are several options for traveling between the two cities. Which one is right for you depends on your budget, your style of travel, and how much time you have to spend.

Flights between Anchorage and Fairbanks

By far the fastest way to get between Anchorage and Fairbanks is by plane. This is also sometimes the only way to make the trip during the winter months, when roads are closed and trains aren’t operating. There are multiple flights daily on Alaska Airlines, and flight time is about an hour. To search for flights, use the form in the right column of this page.

Trains between Anchorage and Fairbanks

Alaska Railroad runs daily service (in the summer months) between the two cities. The trip lasts about 12 hours, and passes through some of the most beautiful countryside in Alaska, including stops at Talkeetna and Denali National Park. If you don’t mind dedicating a day of your trip to this leg, the views are spectacular, and there are always great conversations to be had with your fellow passengers as you watch out the windows for wildlife and scenic vistas. For those travelers looking for more than a simple train ride, there is the Princess Tours Midnight Sun Express, a full-service luxury train with a domed glass ceiling for the best possible views, and onboard fine dining options.

Driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks

As nice as a glass-domed train ride might be, you still can’t stop and choose your own speed on the train, and so some travelers prefer to drive themselves. The only road option is the George Parks Highway, or Alaska Route 3. The 358-mile trip takes about 7 hours, not including stops, and you will want to make stops, since the road passes through not only Denali National Park, but also less well-known spots like Eklutna Lake. Plan on a full day for making this trip – keeping in mind that a full day in the summer can last quite a while. For those wanting to make it more than a day’s trip and stop in the middle, Talkeetna is close to the halfway point and offers a very different kind of Alaskan experience than either of the cities.

Photo by lisahazen

Los Angeles Transportation

Getting from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon

grandcanyonAs two of the certain must-visit places in the US, Los Angeles and the Grand Canyon are easily combined in one trip, but getting from one to the other isn’t quite as straightforward as you might expect. There is a small airport at the Grand Canyon, but there aren’t scheduled flights from major airlines, so it can be a little tricky unless you know how to pull this off.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll be discussing the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, as this is where the vast majority of the tourist infrastructure and famous views can be found. The North Rim is actually a long drive from the South Rim, and it’s much harder to reach from Los Angeles as well. The South Rim is a far better place to visit for first-timers as well, so forget the North Rim for now.

Los Angeles to Grand Canyon

  • Distance apart: 410 miles / 660 kilometers
  • Driving distance: 502 miles / 808 kilometers

Quick summary

Unless you intend to actually spend some time in either Phoenix or Las Vegas, which isn’t a bad idea now that we mention it, then driving to the Grand Canyon is probably the best bet for most people. You can also fly to one of three airports or take a train or bus, but all of those options won’t get you all the way there.

Flights from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon

This is where it gets complicated. There is a small airport near the Grand Canyon, but it only does charter flights, mostly out of Las Vegas and for aerial tours of the area. This means if you are intent to fly you have 3 options.

Fly into Flagstaff, Arizona (FLG) – This small airport is about 90 miles south of the South Rim, and has a few regular flights that have surprisingly low fares if you book in advance. There’s a bus company called Open Road Tours and they have regular coaches to the Grand Canyon from Flagstaff.

Fly into Phoenix, Arizona (PHX) – This is a huge city and airport about 240 miles south of the South Rim. From here you can rent a car cheaply and it’s a lovely drive as well.

Fly into Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS) – This growing city is about 280 miles from the South Rim, and a bit less to the North Rim. Rental cars tend to be cheap, but then again the drive itself isn’t much farther than driving all the way from Los Angeles.

Trains from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon

You can’t take a train all the way to the Grand Canyon, but you can take it directly to Flagstaff, which is only about 90 miles away. From there you can take the Open Road Tours bus to the Grand Canyon. One tricky thing is the trains usually leave in the evening, so you arrive in Flagstaff the next morning.

Journey time: About 10 hours
Typical price: About $59 each way
>>Amtrak site

Buses from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon

The bus situation is exactly like the train situation, mentioned above. You can take a Greyhound bus to Flagstaff and then the Open Road Tours bus from there. It’s a bit slower, and even a bit more expensive than the train, but at least you have the option of traveling during the day.

Journey time: About 12 hours to Flagstaff
Typical price: $64 one-way if you buy online in advance, and up to $85 if you buy on the day.
>>Greyhound website

Driving from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon

This might be your best bet, since all the other methods are complicated and indirect anyway. You can get specific directions on any online map site, but the quick version is you find your way to I-40 out of Los Angeles, and then drive about 420 miles to Williams, Arizona, at which point you’ll take AZ-64 north for about 70 miles and you are there.

Journey time: About 8 hours

Los Angeles Transportation

Getting from Los Angeles to popular tourist cities explained

carjump1As someone who grew up in Los Angeles, it’s easy to forget just how complicated the transportation city can be. When I am planning a trip to another city for the first time I have been known to spend a lot of time researching exactly the best way of getting from one place to another, and it can often be far more complicated than you’d think.

You may have already noticed that we’ve been working on this series for a while now, and we’ll keep it going adding new places regularly. The main things we are trying to help people sort out is when is it best to fly or to take the bus, or drive, or is there even train service available? Some of these things aren’t nearly as straightforward as you would guess.

On each of these articles we not only discuss how long each method takes, but also the typical price of each method. Many places on the internet seem reticent to quote prices, for fear that they’ll quickly be out of date, but most of these things are fairly stable, and even if the prices go up by 5 or 10% next year, having this information should still be enough to help you determine which strategy works best for you.

Getting from Los Angeles to…


When most people are planning their first-ever trip here, they at least want to know how they’d get to Disneyland, even if they don’t actually go through with it. The fact is that getting from LA to Anaheim is somewhat complicated and time consuming unless you’ve got a car, but of course this is Los Angeles and you really should rent a car if you can. There are buses and even trains that will help, though they aren’t fast or cheap, which really sucks considering how close Disneyland is to most of Los Angeles.

San Diego

This is kind of similar to Anaheim in that you’d think there would be a variety of cheap and relatively easy ways of getting from LA to San Diego, but again the best method by far is by car. There are buses and trains, but both of them tend to be slow and complicated, and not all that cheap either. You would never want to fly between these two cities, as they are just close enough that it would actually take way longer dealing with all the airport stuff than any of the other methods available.

San Francisco

This one is far more straightforward. Getting from LA to San Francisco is usually done by air, and cheap flights are usually available if you book a bit in advance. There’s also a train, and even though it’s kind of slow and expensive, it’s actually a great ride with incredible scenery. You can of course drive or take a bus, and at least you don’t waste a lot of time making connections on this route.

Las Vegas

This is similar to San Francisco, except with no train option. Getting from LA to Las Vegas is usually done by air as well, and flights can be crazy cheap if there is a promotion on. Driving takes about 5 hours each way, or a bit less if there is no traffic. There are buses, but you really don’t want to take them unless you have to.


Here’s another nearby city with a similar situation, except we add a complicated train trip in as another choice. Getting from LA to Phoenix is very easy by air, and there are nonstop flights leaving every few minutes from one of LA’s five major airports. But if you want to drive yourself it’s a rather nice journey. There are cheap buses, and even trains that will get you fairly close.

Grand Canyon

This one is tricky since there is no proper airport near the canyon itself. Getting from LA to the Grand Canyon means getting to Flagstaff, Arizona, one way or another, and then driving or taking a shuttle bus from there. The instructions are all here, and driving the whole way may be your best option.

New York

This one is obvious, but still there are quite a few people from abroad who wonder if there are trains or buses running between these huge coastal cities. Well, there are, so getting from LA to NYC has plenty of choices involved. Flying is surprisingly cheap most of the time, but one of the land-based methods can make for an unforgettable trip (but avoid the buses).

Los Angeles Transportation

Getting From Los Angeles to New York

Los Angeles is a large city located in California that is full of traffic and mayhem. However, many people love to visit on vacation. Los Angeles is home to an estimated 3,849,378 people, some of which are celebrities. Los Angeles has a number of beaches around the area. Some of these beaches are full of people that would be fit for any Hollywood movie, definitely a sight to see. Los Angeles offers hundreds of places to shop for the top name brand products. This city is ranked very high on the places to see list.

Why would anyone want to leave Los Angeles for New York, and what is the best way to get there? The answer is this; New York really isn’t that different from Los Angeles. New York just like Los Angeles is full of Traffic and even more mayhem. The population of the New York metro area is an unbelievable 19,490,297 people, far more than Los Angeles. This city also ranks very high on the places to see list. How do you get from Los Angeles to New York?

By Plane

By far the most popular way to get between these two famous cities is to fly. Since this route is so popular, quite a few airlines have nonstop flights going between the cities all day every day. If you can find a nonstop flight then it should take about 5 hours in the air, though of course the time spent at the airports will add many more hours to that. If the best deal is a flight that connects along the way, you could be looking at 7 to 10 hours from LA to NYC.

Because these two airports are so large and so busy, it is easy to find extremely cheap direct flights. It is not uncommon to find direct, round trip tickets for around $200 at the absolute minimum, but $300 roundtrip is a more normal cheap fare, and during peak travel seasons you might have to pay $500 roundtrip even for the cheapest flights.

Search tip: Los Angeles has 5 major airports and New York has 3, and you can check all combinations if you use the codes QLA to NYC instead of LAX to JFK, but unfortunately the QLA code (for all Los Angeles airports) doesn’t work in all search engines, so if it doesn’t then search for LAX to JFK and use the “search nearby airports” button.

By Bus

Maybe flying isn’t for you, if not you could take a bus. Buses leave out of Los Angeles heading for New York regularly. However, I must warn you, taking a bus ride from Los Angeles to New York will take almost 3 full days. The bus will stop in many different locations along the way, which makes the drive much longer than if you drove straight through to New York. This is more than likely the cheapest way to get from Los Angeles to New York, the cost for a bus ticket runs about $175 each way on Greyhound’s normal fare, but they do sometimes have promotional specials. You will have to add cost for food, drinks, snacks, or anything else you may need on the long ride.

Check the official Greyhound website for all the details, but be warned that the site is confusing and hard to use.

By train

If you fancy the idea of crossing the country by train, just like the Ricardos and Mertzs did when Ricky had ended his Hollywood stay on “I Love Lucy,” then you might be disappointed to know that it’s slow and way more expensive than you’d imagine. First off you take one train from Union Station near Downtown Los Angeles all the way to Chicago, which takes a bit over 42 hours. Then you change there for a different train that goes the rest of the way to New York City, and this leg takes just over 20 hours. There is usually a few hours between these trains, so you are looking at almost 3 full days to get from one city to the other.

The normal fare is around $240 each way, so it’s usually more expensive than flying as well. And of course that’s just for a normal seat in coach, which might not be so comfortable after the first 18 hours or so. Still, the scenery across most of the country is great, and it can be very relaxing as well. There are occasionally good promotional fares on Amtrak, so if you are lucky you might find something cheaper than this. All the information can be found on the official Amtrak website.

By Car

Next you could just drive yourself from Los Angeles to New York. This is another cheaper way to travel, but again you will have to add in for food items as well as hotel rooms you may need, for a break along the way. Driving will take about 43 hours of drive time, the trip is 2,788 miles one way. The fuel cost for the trip in a vehicle with 20 MPG will cost around $300 or more, depending on gas prices at that moment. Most of the drive will be on I40 East, where you will pass through Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. On this drive you will also go through Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

While taking this drive you will definitely want to take you’re time and enjoy the ride. With all these different states you will be driving through, there are numerous things to see on the way. The deserts of New Mexico and Arizona are actually quite beautiful, full of wild life. Just keep you’re eyes open, that way you can catch a glimpse of some natural wonders and beauty that you will definitely pass by on you’re way from Los Angeles to New York.