An Adventure At Denali National Park

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Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!

Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour

Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights

Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure

Denali Adventure in Alaska Vacation
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Where Is Denali National Park?

Alaska’s impressive Denali National Park and Preserve is located in the interior of Alaska, halfway between Anchorage and Fairbanks although Fairbanks is closer. Alaska land tours to Denali routinely leave from Fairbanks, the state’s second-largest city. From Fairbanks, it takes approximately 2.5 hours of driving to arrive at the park!

The quaint town of Talkeetna sits even closer to the park, just 103 miles south of the park’s entrance. Talkeetna is often considered a gateway to Denali and offers a variety of lodging and restaurants for park visitors to enjoy after a long day in the backcountry. Situated at the base of the breathtaking Denali National Park, Talkeetna's charm lies not only in its convenient amenities but also in its panoramic views of the majestic mountain that looms in the distance.  Keep reading to learn more about Denali National Park before you visit!

denali national park in alaska landscape

The Best Time To Visit Denali National Park

The best time to visit Alaska and Denali is during the summer – from late May to early September. During the summer months, the park’s facilities and services, including the Denali Park Road, are open and operational. The weather is also more favorable during this time, with warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours – thanks to the Midnight Sun. Additionally, the Midnight Sun phenomenon allows for unique outdoor activities such as midnight sun hikes and late-night fishing trips in the bright Arctic summer.

Summer, however, is the peak tourist season in the park. Alaska land tours to Denali are very popular during the summer season, along with Alaska train tours to Denali. Park visitors can enjoy hiking, wildlife viewing, photography, and a variety of other outdoor activities, including flightseeing or glacier walking, during their trip to the park. They can also experience the breathtaking beauty of the Northern Lights shimmering across the sky on clear nights, creating a truly magical atmosphere in the wilderness.

How Do I Get To Denali National Park?

If you want to visit Denali National Park, you can get there by bus, car, or train! Alaska train tours to Denali originate in Anchorage and Fairbanks. The train ride from Fairbanks is shorter (and less expensive) than the train ride from Anchorage. But no matter where your trip begins, you will enjoy views of rivers, mountains, and wildlife as you roll along to your destination.

The train from Anchorage to Denali operates all year round. At eight hours, it is the longest travel option, but it is a truly unique experience for visitors who want to enjoy the scenery en route to their destination. The train provides guests with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Alaskan landscape and a luxurious experience as they travel along the tracks toward Denali. For the return trip, guests have the option of purchasing a ticket back to Anchorage or taking an Alaska land tour from Denali to explore a different route.

What To Do In Denali In The Summer

brown bears in water in alaskaDuring the summer season, Denali Park Road is open to private vehicles for the first 15 miles to Savage River. Beyond Savage River, travel is restricted to park buses and bicycles, or you can explore your surroundings on foot. The road is 92 miles long, but only park buses are allowed past mile 15! Beyond this point, the winding road narrows, making it too treacherous for regular vehicles to navigate safely.

During the summer months, the park’s main visitor center is open daily. Visitors can stop by to gather information about the park's trails, wildlife, and upcoming events at the visitor center. The park campgrounds usually open by June 8, but they fill up fast! Reserve your spots early if you want to camp in Denali. Summer bus service begins in late May and is fully operational by June 8. These buses run through Labor Day each year. Sightseeing by bus on the park’s only road is the most popular summer activity in the park! Taking in the breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and lush forests, tourists often feel awe-inspired by the park's natural beauty.

How Do Denali’s Buses Work?

Two kinds of bus services offer Alaska land tours in Denali National Park – transit buses and narrated bus tours. Because the park is so vast, the best way to explore it is by bus! Here’s a breakdown of the two different bus services that are available in the park. For first-time visitors, a bus tour is the way to go!

  • Non-Narrated Transit Buses – transit buses are the main means of transportation within Denali National Park. These buses allow passengers to get on and off along Denali Park Road, which makes them a great option for those who want to hike, picnic, or explore different areas of the park. Transit buses make regular stops for restrooms and wildlife viewing, but if you decide to disembark to explore a particular area you can always re-board a different bus later on. Just keep in mind that re-boarding is done on a first-come, first-served basis. Riding a transit bus is a casual affair, but the drivers do provide general park safety information and point out any wildlife they spot along the way. And with a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, visitors can conveniently stop at various points of interest within the park at their own pace. This is one of the most affordable ways to explore Denali National Park and Preserve!
  • Narrated Bus Tours – if you are looking for a guided excursion, the park offers narrated bus tours. These buses are driven by trained naturalists who narrate the trip, offering stories about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife. Unlike the park’s transit buses, however, tour buses have specific start and end points and will not allow you to disembark along the way. This restriction ensures that tour groups can maintain their schedule and visit all planned destinations efficiently. There are three different tours to choose from, each offering a unique experience for visitors.

A Wild Time In Alaska's Most Popular Park

The best time to visit Alaska and Denali is during the summer when Alaska land tours to Denali are in full swing and the visitor center, park road, campground, and other amenities are operational. During this time, the breathtaking landscapes are vibrant with colorful wildflowers and the wildlife is active, offering visitors a truly immersive experience in the heart of nature. Plan your trip around one of the many bus tours offered by the park, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. No matter how you get there, once you are there you are sure to have an incredible time!

Download all three Alaska tour brochures for tour dates and pricing.