Denali National Park Tours

Denali National Park Tours

There is only one road into Denali—92-mile “Park Road”—and private vehicles are not allowed more than 15 miles into the park. For land tours, visitors have the option of tour buses (narrated) and shuttle buses (not narrated with the option to get off and on). Bus service begins around the end of May and continues through the middle of September. Given the large size of Denali National Park and lack of access, fly-over tours also are popular.
 

Tour Buses (White)

Denali National Park tour buses have a trained naturalist onboard to provide narration and stop for wildlife viewing and restrooms. Passengers must stay with their original bus. Below are the three different bus tours with their turnaround points on Park Road and duration. Fares are round-trip:

Denali History Tour: Mile 17; 4.5 hours; $66.50
Tundra Wilderness Tour: Mile 53; 8 hours; $113.25
Kantishna Experience Tour: Mile 92; 11 hours; $159

For an excellent visual tour of the Denali Park Road and landmarks along the way, Alaska.org has created a Denali Flyover Video.
 

Shuttle Buses (Green)

Denali shuttles are designed to move people around inside the park. Like tour buses, shuttle buses stop for wildlife viewing and restrooms but there isn’t a narrator onboard and passengers can get off and on anywhere along the road. Shuttles are best for those who want to experience the park on their own terms, including day hikers and backpackers.

The schedule for Denali shuttles undergoes slight changes throughout the summer, but the shuttles pass major pick-up points multiple times per day. Fares for shuttle buses are destination-specific and cheaper than tour buses—it’s $50 one-way to Kantishna and the end of Park Road.
 

Fly-Over Tours or “Flightseeing”

Local aviation companies offer Denali National Park fly-over tours or “flightseeing.” The planes are small (3–6 seats), single-engine aircrafts that can navigate the tight passes, turbulent weather, and glacier landings required in Denali. Scenic fly-over tours range from 1-hour “South Face” flights ($199) to 2-hour “Grand Denali” flights ($385) with glacier landings. Fly-over tours run year-round depending on the conditions. Below are local aviation companies that service Denali:

Talkeetna Air (Talkeetna)
K2 Aviation (Talkeetna)
Sheldon Air Service (Talkeetna)
Fly Denali (Talkeetna and Healy)
Rust’s Flying Service (Anchorage)