The road into Denali National Park runs from the Park entrance at mile 237 of the Parks Highway roughly 90 miles through the heart of the Denali National Park to the historic mining distinct of Kantishna. Public vehicle access is limed to the first 14 paved miles, beyond which the road is gravel and access is by shuttle or tour buses. All buses that go into Denali Park are modified school buses. The shuttle buses are a reasonable option if you are looking just for basic transportation into the Park. Reservations can be made in advance through the Park Service or in person at the Denali Park Visitor Center.
The two most popular bus tours are the tundra wildlife tour and the Kantishna Wilderness Trails bus tour. The wildlife tour is 6 to 8 hours long and travels roughly 53 miles into Denali Park. Tours depart in early morning or early afternoon. Your trip will be fully narrated and includes a snack box meal. Frequent stops are made for photos and restroom breaks. The most extensive bus tour of Denali is the Kantishna Wilderness Trails tour. This full day trip travel all the way to the end of the Park road, and features a two hour stop at the famous Kantishna Roadhouse for a hearty lunch and interpretive activities. This trip will give you your best views of Mt. McKinley and the best chances for seeing wildlife. Depending on road conditions the wildlife tour generally operates mid May to mid September, while the Kantishna trip runs from early June to early September.
The other most popular Denali Park tours are rafting and flightseeing. There are a number of rafting companies in the area and most trips run about two hours on the water or three hours total. You can choose from a scenic float trip or a white water trip through the canyon with class III and IV rapids. Flightseeing is a great way to see Mt. McKinley and trips are available in either fixed wing aircraft or helicopters. Several different helicopter tours are available including some with glacier landings and heli-hiking options. If you are staying in the canyon, consider enjoying a dinner and show at the Denali Princess Lodge dinner theater.
Get more information on Denali National Park from Alaska Tour and Travel or the National Park Service.
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