Alaska's Turnagain Arm is among those voted as one of the country's most unforgettable, must see areas of Alaska.

Frequently Asked Questions

Help2021-06-02T08:17:45+00:00
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where can I buy a ticket for the tour?2021-04-12T11:59:48+00:00

You can purchase tickets either on this website, at the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Center or from a trusted retailer such as your hotel concierge. All add on tours must be purchased from the vendor you wish to enjoy or on our website if offered.

2. Where do I get picked up/dropped off?2021-04-28T04:56:19+00:00

We pick up at the Anchorage Downtown Visitors Center located at 524 W 4th Avenue. Please visit “Find a Shuttle Stop” for more information.

3. Is there parking at the Anchorage Downtown Visitors Center?2021-04-28T05:07:41+00:00

No, but you can find parking at the many high tower garages located just blocks from the visitor’s center. Metered parking has a 2 hour limit, while parking garages offer payment based on the time parked.

Please find parking well in advance and be out front at the visitor’s center 15 minutes prior to departure. The shuttle operates much like a city bus and will not wait for passengers if they arrive late. The shuttle must remain on schedule for each and every stop so please be ready to depart at the appointed time. If we have everyone we will leave early. Remember tickets are non-refundable and if there is no space on the next shuttle we cannot accommodate you.

4. What points of interest should I know about?2021-04-30T10:06:39+00:00

We encourage you to visit the links “Visit Anchorage” “Visit Girdwood” and “Visit Portage”.

5. If I am going to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center do I need to purchase that ticket separately?2021-04-28T05:14:13+00:00

Yes, most shuttles that depart hourly go through the Wildlife Center. If you go past Girdwood you will be stopping at the Wildlife Center on most shuttles except for the Noon and 3:30 pm departure. The driver will be checking tickets prior to arrival at the Wildlife Center in order to not delay entrance. You should purchase your Alaska Wildlife Entrance Fee on our website when you purchase your shuttle ticket by simply clicking on Purchase Wildlife Ticket.

6. If I go to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center what can I expect?2021-04-28T05:23:05+00:00

You will have approximately one hour to visit the many animals located at the center. The driver will bring you into the center and usually drop you off at the bear exhibit. From there it is just a short walk across the bear board walk to visit the other animals at the center. You will be provided with a map to follow.

At the appointed time the same driver will pick you up in front of the gift shop or just across the parking lot. The van clearly says Turnagain Arm Shuttle on the top. Be sure to be on time to ensure you don’t miss your ride! If you do, you will be responsible for finding transportation back to Anchorage. If all other shuttles are full, an Uber, Lyft or cab ride will cost you approximately $150.00 to return.

7. Tell me about The Turnagain Shuttle?2021-04-28T05:37:39+00:00

The Turnagain Arm Shuttle is the largest hourly shuttle operator in the area on a mission to help visitors discover one of Alaska’s most scenic byways – the Turnagain Arm area situated in the Chugach National Forest. We think once you experience the stunning landscapes of this region you will agree it is the number one place to explore on your Anchorage city visit.

We provide service to many tour operators who offer exciting adventures and tours along the Turnagain Arm. Our motto is a reflection of our commitment to an efficient and affordable service: we “get you there” at a reasonable price.

In addition to being just minutes from Anchorage, the area offers over 30 other activities that you will not want to miss. Because the shuttle service is separate from the cost of other tours you can avoid the expense of hiring a driver/guide for the day. This also enables you to pick and choose the tours of interest to you, saving you money in the long run.

By using the Turnagain Arm Shuttle you will be able to spend the day in Girdwood and the very next day explorer Portage Valley. Both areas have plenty to offer and will fill your day with memorable activities. Most of our shuttles include a one hour visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which requires a separate ticket purchase.

If you have never been to Anchorage before, or even if you are a return visitor, we have provided a number of helpful links to help you research sites and plan your time here. Remember, activities are paid for separately and are self-guided so you can explore on your own and at your own pace, giving you the freedom to tailor your experience to your interests.

Check out our Self-Guided Tours page to learn more about the diverse range of tours available. These tours provide you with departure times, return times, and descriptions to take the hassle out of planning ahead and allow you to see at a glance what your day will entail.

For your comfort our shuttles offer spacious interiors with high-top ceilings which allow guests to easily walk on and off.

Because your time is valuable we have made frequency and convenience an important part of our shuttle service which runs hourly and daily most of the year. The shuttle leaves Anchorage daily starting at 8 am and returns hourly coming back from the furthest point of the Turnagain Arm up until 5:40 pm.

8. What is included with my shuttle ride?2021-04-30T10:08:50+00:00

Our Turnagain Arm Shuttle & Tour will provide stops at popular photo opportunity locations (usually 10 minute stops). If you take the roundtrip shuttle all the way to Portage Valley the shuttle will stop at the most popular sightseeing destinations such as Beluga Point, Explorer Glacier, the rainforest and the Alaska Wildlife Center. While on board the Turnagain Arm Shuttle, you may see moose, Dahl sheep, the bore tide, hanging glaciers and other iconic wildlife and sites often present seen along the route.

9. Which days does the Turnagain Shuttle & Tours operate?2021-04-28T05:48:53+00:00

The Turnagain Arm Shuttle runs every day between June 1st and September 15th of the year. The shuttle runs hourly starting at 8 am to 3:30 pm, with the last return from Portage at 5:40 pm that arrives back at Anchorage around 7 pm.

10. How long does the Turnagain Arm Shuttle Tour take?2021-04-30T10:10:48+00:00

Tour duration can fluctuate according to the weather or traffic patterns. Keep in mind if there is an accident along the Turnagain Arm that pick-ups and drop-offs can change drastically, but we will make every effort to alert you to time changes.

11. Do I need to specify a date of travel?2021-04-28T05:54:09+00:00

Yes, you can use your ticket only on the date you requested. If you want to change the date there is no problem up to the date of travel however seats must be available. We may charge you a change fee anywhere from 5 % to 25% of your booking fee, depending on the time of year. If you purchased with another travel partner your charge will appear on your statement as a change fee. You are welcome to buy your ticket on the day if that is your preference, but please note that discounts online are not available on same-day purchases. Last minute sales are often available but guaranteed seats are not.

12. How does the website discount work?2021-04-28T06:00:34+00:00

We regularly provide special offers and discounts on tickets that are available to purchase online if booked well in advance. Take a look at our current ticket offers. Also, it is not uncommon to provide last minute ticket sales at the departure time to fill seats that are not already sold. However, seats are usually sold out. All discount seats are non-refundable and a change fee does apply.

13. Is there a discount available for groups?2021-04-28T06:04:17+00:00

Yes, discounts are available for groups of 14 or more. To find out more, submit an enquiry using our group booking information page.

14. Is it possible to hire a Turnagain Arm Shuttle for a private event?2021-04-30T10:13:17+00:00

Yes, shuttles are available for private hires and charters. For more information or to receive a quote, please submit an inquiry using our private hires and charters page.

15. What time are the first and last shuttles?2021-04-30T10:14:40+00:00

Please visit our Routes and Maps for up-to-date information on the first and last shuttle times for the various shuttles.

16. What is the child ticketing policy?2021-04-30T10:16:07+00:00

All passengers under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a passenger over the age of 15. Infants* and children must pay for a ticket as seats are limited and the law states everyone must have their own seat. Strollers must be folded and stowed at the back of the shuttle. It takes time to get booster seats, child seats and strollers stowed, so please arrive early if you are traveling with an infant or child so as to not delay the driver.

All children under the age of 14 must sit two rows back from the driver. This is the safest place for a child and ensures that the driver is not distracted.

The driver will leave on time in order to maintain the roundtrip schedule. Please do not delay the shuttle. There are NO exceptions and refunds are not granted for late arrivals. Because children have limited places to sit, passengers with children are asked to settle in first so others may start the boarding process.

*Note: If you have an infant please know that you will be at the last row of the vehicle as it is the safest location for infants. We do not have room for large quantities of gear so please bring only what is absolutely needed.

17. How will I know where to get off?2021-04-30T10:19:28+00:00

It is up to you to alert your driver to let them know when you need to get off. Please refer to our routes and map section and follow the route to your destination to make sure you get off at the proper location.

Your driver is there to help. As you board we suggest you say “hello my name is…” and “I am going to…” to ensure the driver can help you when you arrive at your destination. If you are unsure of your stop, don’t hesitate to ask the driver for help.

In addition, the tour guide commentary on the bus will announce each stop and will tell you that this is a tour stop and not a drop off point. The only places we allow you to get out of the vehicle to stay for a set duration are Indian, Girdwood and Portage Valley. If the driver knows that there is no drop off or pick up he will elect to bypass the stop. So please let them know of your plans.

If you are on the Shuttle Round-trip and not the Turnagain Arm Tour you will be allowed one hour at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. A ticket is required to visit the Alaska Wildlife Center. You can purchase your ticket on our website by simply clicking on purchase the Alaska Wildlife Center ticket.

18. How do I redeem my ticket?2021-04-28T06:21:28+00:00

Show your printed ticket to a member of staff or the driver at one of our shuttle pick up locations. They’ll review your status as roundtrip, a drop off, return ticket or an additional Pre-Paid Alaska Wildlife entrance fee ticket. If your destination is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center they will ask you to pre-pay prior to your departure to the center. All customers must have a pre-paid ticket prior to going through the gate at the Alaska Wildlife Center and will be verified by the gate before the shuttle is allowed entrance.

19. Are accommodations available for persons with disabilities?2021-04-12T12:34:52+00:00

No, our Turnagain Arm Shuttle fleet is not wheelchair accessible. We have no wheelchair lifts on our vehicles. If you require other special needs please let us know and we can refer you to a company who can accommodate you. Please note that messages left on the office general voicemail do not constitute confirmed arrangements. Please also note that passengers with mobility impairments may not be able to access our drop photo stops or vendor add on tours. We cannot guarantee the accessibility of the various attractions along the tour.

20. Do you allow service dogs?2021-04-30T10:22:18+00:00

Yes, dogs that have a certified vest and certifications are allowed. You must send all documentation to our office when making the reservation. This must be done well in advance as each certification is company verified days or even months prior. If the dog is not marked as verified on your reservation prior to boarding the shuttle you will be denied boarding.

Service animals are not recommended to visit the Alaska Wildlife Center as often times they can upset the animals housed there. We do not allow emotional support animals on the shuttle.

21. Is luggage allowed on the Shuttle?2021-04-28T06:27:57+00:00

Yes, luggage is permitted on board the Shuttle at this time. If you need luggage storage please let us know ahead of time. Usually we can accommodate one piece of luggage per person. If there are extenuating circumstances please give us a heads up so we can try to might accommodate. Please know we charge a minimum of $10.00 per piece of luggage per person.

22. There are no Turnagain Shuttles running due to weather conditions, what do I do?2021-04-30T10:23:23+00:00

First, check the validity of your ticket. If you bought your ticket online and have yet to have this scanned by one of our representatives, it will still be valid for use for up to 6 months after the date of purchase.

If your ticket was bought on-street or has already been scanned by one of our on-street advisors, and we have cancelled our services due to weather conditions, you will be able to apply for a refund. Please check out our Terms & Conditions for full details.

23. How can I find the stop nearest to me?2021-04-30T10:24:35+00:00

Easy! Just check out our Find a Shuttle Stop on our web page.

24. I bought a ticket but it’s for someone else. It has my name on it, is this ok?2021-04-28T06:32:31+00:00

You’re all set! Simply show your voucher(s) to any member of our on-street staff or the driver. The exception to this is if you bought a ticket as a local and you let someone use that ticket. In this case, the name on the ticket must match the name on the Alaska driver’s license shown. We give locals a discount because we want them to enjoy their back yard.

25. Where does the Turnagain Shuttle end?2021-04-28T06:34:13+00:00

You can book your shuttle to either Indian, Girdwood or Portage. The shuttle stops at various photo opportunity locations and the drive will let you know how long the stop will be based on the schedule of that particular shuttle. Most photo stops vary from shuttle departure time. However, stops for Indian, Girdwood and Portage will be a constant for customers getting off and on. If you go through the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center at any point you will be required to pay an entrance fee. Please communicate with your driver to know when you are entering the center as the company will be charged and you may be required to get out of the vehicle if you chose not to pay the entrance fee.

26. I bought my ticket but can’t make that date, can I use it on another day?2021-04-28T06:34:49+00:00

Turnagain Arm Shuttle & Tour tickets purchased online or via the app are typically valid for six months up until the point of the ticket being scanned (redeemed) – then the clock starts ticking and you’ll need to enjoy your tour within the time purchased. This is usually, one, two or three days. If you have a non-refundable discount ticket you will need to pay the difference in price. Change fees do apply.

27. How do I know when the next bus is coming?2021-04-30T10:25:49+00:00

You must have outbound and return times pre booked. If you miss your shuttle you must contact the dispatch office. Please know that your shuttle may be delayed by unforeseeable circumstances so at the very least give them a 10 to 15 minute grace period prior to calling dispatch.

If you are not at the designated pick up location at least 10 minutes prior you will be considered a no show. We run our shuttle much like a city bus and try to stick to our schedule. That being said we cannot foresee road delays or be responsible for delays due to construction, accidents or traffic. If you miss the shuttle you will have to call a cab for alternative travel arrangements which will cost at the very least $100 or more one-way.

28. I am waiting at a stop and can’t see any buses, what do I do?2021-04-30T10:28:50+00:00

Hang in there! The Turnagain Arm Shuttle route will most likely throw all sorts of challenges at our drivers, who are doing their best to get to you as quickly (but safely) as possible.

It’s a good idea to get a sim card* which allows for local cell phone service via a local carrier. If you have a local sim card, text us to let us know you are waiting. If after 10 to 15 minutes your shuttle does not arrive please call us.

*Note: We recommend all international customers visit a local carrier which can be found at the 5th avenue mall in downtown Anchorage to get a local sim card. If our drivers can’t reach you then you are responsible for your return trip back regardless of any inconveniences.

The company will not be held liable if, for example, you venture out into the Chugach National Forest without a way to contact us and you are delayed returning because you run into a problem. The driver will not look or wait for you – it’s their job to stick to the schedule and be on time at every stop. The office will try to contact you should the driver report you as a “No Show”. Remember this is the wilderness – always be prepared with a way to contact someone should you encounter a problem.

Passenger Etiquette

  • Please be on time as not to delay the shuttle and others who need to be at a destination to connect with another tour operator.
  • Please be mindful that you are with other customers. Use your indoor voice, let others participate, be mindful of smells and remember you’re on vacation. Relax and enjoy meeting others. People love making new friends, as long as you are considerate!
  • If you see wildlife let the driver and everyone know. Let’s get excited!
  • Remember the driver needs to speak about sights as they approach, pass or arrive. So when the driver speaks please stop talking. The driver most likely will be trying to give out instructions or directions that everyone needs to hear.
  • If you are traveling as an interpreter it is best to sit three rows back so as to not talk over the driver who will be speaking to passengers throughout the journey. Be mindful that people around you will still need to be able to hear the driver, just as the person you are interpreting to needs to hear you.
  • Please do not eat or drink food or beverages with strong odors, as this could be offensive to some passengers
  • Please do not wear cologne or perfume that is over powering as the space is small and you will be with others for upwards of 45 minutes to 5.5 hours. Body odors have been a number one complaint.
  • Tips are always appreciated when a driver provides you with a safe and enjoyable experience.

Friendly reminders…

  • Pack weather appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes.
  • Do NOT take food out on the trail with you. This can attract the unwanted attention of wildlife.
  • Most people bring along bells that jingle or talk to their partner to ensure animals are not caught unaware of their approach. Nobody likes to be snuck up on! Wildlife will not bother you if you don’t encourage them.
  • Your shuttle driver is not responsible for you. Their job is to ensure the shuttle is on time and provide a safe, enjoyable journey. Please be on time for shuttle departure. Your driver will not wait for you.
  • Self-guided tours provide the incredible opportunity to see some of Alaska’s most inspiring scenery, but you are responsible for your own safety and must manage your time to ensure you don’t miss your shuttle. The last thing you want is for a great day of sightseeing to end with a missed shuttle and a $150 cab charge to get back to civilization.

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For general enquiries, please get in touch using our contact form. For more specific answers please select one of the options below.

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