A bit more expensive but everyone will say it was worth it is a flightseeing tour of the region from an airplane. Because of the extreme remoteness of this area, this is one place that justifies the expense. Fixed wing aircraft even have skies so you can do a tour that will land on a glacier so you can get some even more amazing shots.

Denali National Park

WillhiteWeb.com: Hiking, Climbing and Travel
No trip to Alaska is complete without visiting the National Park with the highest mountain in North America. Denali or Mount McKinley is 20,320 feet tall and stands high above the surrounding mountains. Unfortunately, a majority that visit never even see the peak because of cloud cover. The main entrance to the park is a 3 hour drive north of Anchorage with the occasional viewpoint of the summit far away. The only way to really experience the park as a tourist is the Park Shuttle Bus.
United States Travel

Denali Scenic Air Tour

Park Road Shuttle Bus

Hiking and Backcounrtry Camping


There is one 90 mile road that cuts across the northern portion of Denali National Park. Because the road is narrow, windy and dangerous in places...and the abundance of wildlife to protect from the "crazy" tourist who will jump out of there car and chase a bear for a good picture, the park service requires you to ride on the shuttle bus. This is a real pain because you will need reservations. If not, you'll have a day or two to wait. Another annoyance is that the bus will stop at every sighting of anything that moves. So, if someone spots something as trivial as a marmot, you'll have to endure watching others get excited while you just want to get back because you've been in the backcountry for 2 days and want a hamburger.
The park has a strict permit system where the whole region is divided into zones. You will have to pick a zone beforehand and reserve a permit for that area. Like the shuttle, this can be a real pain unless you are in Alaska with a set schedule. Travel is also unlike what most visitors will be use to. The taiga and wet tundra terrain in many areas makes travel a nightmare. Most hiking routes follow stream beds on rock until dryer tundra can be found. Areas that look like a nice easy meadow to walk can take hours and be exhausting travel in a spongy mess.
Outside of the park is the small town of Talkeetna. This is the jump-off point for climbers flying into the Denali Base camps to climb. The small town has character and much climbing history. Many of the flightseeing tours will start here.
Climbing Denali
On park road before mile 15 at Savage Creek
Eielson Visitors Center viewpoint
My brother working his way from our camp to our bear canister. You'll notice the way he is stepping that the vegetation is not easy to walk.
Wonder Lake from the park road
Distant mountains
Big mountains with bigger ones hiding behind
Our camp on ridge above Kantishna
Camp, Wonder Lake and the illusive Mt. McKinley above the clouds
These were everywhere
Eielson Visitors Center view north
The only bit of Mount McKinley we saw
Views south from the park road
Views from the park road
Park road a bit narrow in places
Grizzly Bear (seen from the shuttle bus)
Park road on edge of hillside
Views from the park road
Views from the park road
Denali National Park Road Map Eielson Visitors Center view Denali National Park Alaska Denali National Park views Eielson Visitors Center viewpoint bear canister Wonder Lake Denali Denali National Park Savage Creek Denali National Park sights Denali National Park road Denali National Park road Denali National Park sights Denali National Park Grizzly Bear Wonder Lake ridge above Kantishna Denali mountain view Denali National Park game