My 16 year old daughter and I are going to Denali in June, arriving at noon in Anchorage on a Wednesday, then flying back on Sunday. We were going to rent a car (for $250) as soon as we got there, then spend two days and three nights at Denali before heading back Saturday. But now that I found out that the way to see Denali is by tour bus since you can't really drive around in the park, I'm starting to think that taking the train both ways makes more sense. (And I understand we can't do a car one way and train one way, as there are no car rental places in the park). Taking the train is $650, it also means we'd need to spend the first day in Anchorage without a car since the train leaves in the morning. Plus it means we'd basically be spending one day at Denali, and four out of five days traveling. We've booked the car, but I'm starting to lean toward splurging for the train, and wondering if there are other pros & cons to consider. Also wondering what we might do during our day in Anchorage.
do they run this tour in early september?
My family is spending 13 days in Alaska from Aug 6-18. We fly into Anchorage and are planning 4 days in Denali NP before heading off to Glenallen and then down to the Prince William Sound. We love the outdoors, hiking, wildlife and birding in particular. We have ordered a copy of Ike Waits's Denali hiking book.
Here is our initial cut at a plan for our Denali days:
Day 1 (from Anchorage):
- Early start; drive up Hwy 3 towards Denali
- Stop in Talkeetna
- Reach Denali National Park just before lunchtime
- Hike Mount Healy Overlook near Denali Park Entrance (4.5miles)
- Savage River hike (2 miles)
- Drive to Teknainika Campground (3 day camping stay)
- Hike Tattler Creek/Sable Mtn (5m)
- Hike Cathedral Mountain (3m)
- Back to Campground for Ranger program (7pm)
- Shuttle bus to Eieleson Visitors Center (M66)
- Hike Thorofare Ridge#2 (5m)
- Hike Stony Dome (4m)
- Short walks around Eieleson Visitors Center(if time)
- Hike Polychrome #1 (2.5m)
- Whitewater Rafting on Nenana River (afternoon)
1. We selected the 6 hikes above based on Tripadvisor reviews. Will these give us a good feel for the park or are there others we should consider instead?
2. Can we do these hikes with the Ike Waits book (which I understand has topographic maps) and a compass?
3. We do not make it to Wonder Lake/Reflection Pond. How much of a "miss" would this be?
4. Whitewater Rafting: we are later going down the Seward Highway. How does Nenana River compare with Six Mile Creek for scenery and the rafting experience?
5. Is it worth trying to fit in the dog sled demo?
I want to go to wonderlake for 3 days and take a hike on the backcountry in the south, some of it has t renseingements on southern wonderlake?
Are low top hiking shoes okay in Denali on moderate to strenuous hikes or is a mid top hiking boot better?
We will be whitewater rafting in Denali in mid-to-late August. I'd like to know what to wear for this- it will be starting at 6:30 p.m. for 2-3 hours. Also, if anyone has any tips for other travel ware in Alaska at this time of the year, I'd appreciate it - kayaking, cruise on the Kenai Fjords, etc. Thanks for any help!
We are planning to catch the 7am Parks Connection bus to Anchorage but it does not stop at our campground.
We are at a lost to find transportation this early in the morning. Any ideas?
Ratings or thoughts?
I have independently booked alaska railroad from Fairbanks to Denali with overnight in Princess Lodge in Denali and train next day to Anchorage. Can anyone tell me how to get from train station to hotel. As I did not book a 'package', the hotel will not provide me with shuttle service. Any solutions?
I am considering different excursions in Denali and would love to hear form those who have done them. I was looking at the River rafting in Canyon Run, the McKinley Glacier Landing Flightseeing Tour by Airplane, The Era Helicoptors. So much to choose from and I can't do it all. Help!!
When will the shops close in this area? (looking to go weekend of Sept. 18th)
Does anyone know when the wilderness tundra tour starts ( date ), is it May or June...Thanks ...Joe A.
My husband and I will be traveling from Fairbanks to Denali, Denali to Anchorage and Anchorage to Seward. We were wondering about the carry on restrictions. The AK RR web site says that they only allow a carry on the size of a small briefcase. Does anyone one know how stringent they are? We have camera gear that cannot be put in checked baggage so we are trying to figure the best way to carry it all on and still stay within the restricted carry on size. Can someone give us some tips? We have two DSLR camera bodies and several medium to medium large lenses that we are taking. We can take our shoulder bags for a body and one lens and a vest for the rest will that work or will we be told we can't take our cameras on board?
My wife and I are planning a trip to Denali late May 09. What kind of weather can we expect this time of year? We plan on flying in to Anchorage, renting a car and take a do-your-on-thing to Denali and maybe Fairbanks if time permits. Planning on staying outside the park @ Denali Grizzly Bear Lodge or the like. Is everything open this early in the season. Will have approx. 8 days to actually sight-see, hike, etc. Any suggestions on what are must sees and must do's?Thanks in advance, Nailbender
Hi all, I was wondering what to expect temperature/weather-wise for tenting in early June (approx. 8-10). We were thinking of staying at Riley campground and perhaps also at Wonder Lake for a night. Also, has anyone been on one of the ranger-led discovery hikes? Right now it looks like we will only have 3 days at the park so I'm weighing my options between making it out to Wonder Lake and doing some hiking along the way, or going on one of the discovery hikes. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
Current tentative itinerary:
Day 1 - arrive afternoon - visitor centre, short local hike - amp at Riley
Day 2 - shuttle to Wonder Lake in morning, hike, camp at Wonder Lake
Day 3 - shuttle back to entrance, stopping along way e.g. polychrome - camp Riley
Day 4 - hiking trails around entrance; depart afternoon
Day 1 - arrive afternoon - visitor centre, short local hike - camp at Riley
Day 2 - Discovery hike - camp at Riley
Day 3 - shuttle to Wonder Lake in morning, stopping at polychrome, hike, camp at Wonder Lake
Day 4 - morning shuttle back to entrance; depart afternoon
Second itinerary incorporates both, but it might be too rushed and a lot of vehicle time??
This is a longshot, but I didn't know where else to post this. I will arriving in Denali by train, and need to leave on June 9 to go back to Fairbanks. There appears to be no early bus out of Denali, and the train does not leave until the afternoon, so if someone would like their gas to be paid for in exchange for an early ride and departure from Denali to Fairbanks, kindly let me know. Thanks!!
Will be in Alaska in June. Is Wonder Lake far enough into the park to see the most? Is there a better terminal location? Is it difficult to get on a bus once you get off? Thanks
My husband and I are coming to Anchorage in march. Is there a possibility to visit Denali national Park around that time? If so, how?
My husband and I will be in Alaska the second week of July, 2008. We will be traveling by rental car and staying two nights in Healy. We want to take a bus tour of Denali during our stay. We are aware of two tours that we can choose from: (1) the Tundra Wilderness Tour provided by the National Park Service and (2) the Kanteshna Tour provided by Doyon Tourism. Can anyone give us some information that will help us decide which tour would be best? Has anyone gone on the Kanteshna Tour? What are the buses like?
Planning to spend 2-3 nights at this campground. Is it worth bussing to this site rather than staying at the entrance? is it possible to get away from crowds here or is it still bustling with bus tours?
Any other tips?
Many thanks, Karen
We are heading for Denali in a few weeks and were looking to purchase a copy of the Photo Traveler guide for Denali. We have used other Photo Traveler guides and they were great. The Denali one is currently out of print and when I talked to her on the phone today she has no plans to print more. I offered to purchase a electonic version and print myself but the format is quite old and not an option.
Does anyone know where I can get a copy for our trip? eBay and used book stores have not been helpful.
We are headed to Alaska in a couple of weeks and will spend 2 nights in the Denali Backcountry. I have heard the tundra is wet and marshy. Will sneakers be enough or do I have to carry my goretex boots? I am thinking that sneakers and sandals will be all I need for the rest of our trip. We will be drivng from Seeward to Denali and finding mini hikes and adventures along the way. Thanks!
If I take a shuttle bus to fish creek, where is there a nice spot to get out and hike? any other suggestions for shuttle bus fun? Thanks
Is there a good/bad time of the day for the glacier flightseeing , due to amount of sunlight etc?
We plan to tent camp in Denali, no back country. I like the idea of the
showers being near Riley Creek! Any information, ideas or suggestions will
be greatly appreciated.
Also, plan on going down Seward Hwy. and Chugach State Park area. Information
on these areas would be great, too.
Anyone stayed at this hostel? What are your thoughts?
How is the Skyline Lodge in Kantishna in Denali National Park? Any of you stayed there? It's much cheaper than other lodges, but how good is it? Is it clean, comfortable? Is there good sound insulation from other rooms? How is the food there and how much is it?
We are traveling on a Princess Cruise-tour with their Tundra Wilderness Tour included. I understand I can get99.00 credited back to me if I don't go on this tour. I am considering doing the tour with the National Park service instead. Does anyone know the differnce and how much father does the Park service one go? Any advice is welcome!
I will be visiting Denali National Park with my family in August by RV.
I booked 3 nights at Teklanika Campground inside the park and the shuttle bus.
I have recently read that private vehicles are allowed to drive into the park on first day and out on the last day.
I have also read that you can change/cancel your reservation up to 7 days prior arrival.
So I am wondering what would happen if something unexpected (road accident, engine problem ...) prevents us to reach the park on the first booked day.
Am I going to lose everything? May I get in one day later?
How is the private vehicles traffic checked inside the park? Are there rangers at the campgrounds?
Many thanks for any help you can give me!
If you are taking the bus into the park at 5 am, which side of the bus would be better to sit, in terms of wildlife sightings as well as scenery?