What is the cheapest/easiest way to get to Alaska?

Question by rangerkloog: What is the cheapest/easiest way to get to Alaska?
I’d like to go up to Homer this coming June, but at least to the southern bit (Ketchikan). We’ll be leaving from Washington state but that, too, is flexible. The marine highway is so expensive, and driving is so far, but I’ve had trouble finding information on trains & buses. Anyone have any tips? Thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by JP
Take the mailboat. Nothing fancy, but inexpensive.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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2 Responses to What is the cheapest/easiest way to get to Alaska?

  1. David says:


  2. littlemissknowitall says:

    Cheapest commercial way to get to Ketchikan would be either a web special on Alaska Airlines or as a walk-on (no car) passenger on the Alaska Marine Highway System (ferry). There are staterooms on the ferry, but you don’t need to pay for one. People sleep on the deck in sleeping bags in a covered spot called the Solarium.
    If you are a good cook or have some other skill to offer, and pay for your own food, you might be able to wander the fisherman’s docks and fishing gear stores in the Seattle/Port Townsend/Anacortes area and see if you can find someone in a fishing boat headed north for the summer that will give you a ride. If you got lucky enough to find a ride all the way to Homer, you would have to withstand some fairly rough water in the Gulf of Alaska, so if you get motion sickness from watching Imax movies, don’t do it.
    You could also try to connect with Alaskans attending the University of Washington or other Pacific Northwest schools and see if you can find someone driving north who would give you a ride for the cost of sharing the price of the gas. (try rider boards or craigslist)
    If you are a couple of guys, or a woman and man, you could consider hitchhiking. Take a look at the answer I gave a person who wanted to get from Fairbanks to Vancouver on the cheap. The details on crossing the border, etc. are there, just in reverse.
    The only trains are between Anchorage to Fairbanks.There is no Greyhound type service to Alaska. If you would like to see train service all the way to Alaska, write our governor and let her know. We’d like to see it, too.