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Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

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Albany, NY
posts: 13
Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

I have read much of the Denali Park forums regarding the shuttle vs. tour bus. But I'm still unsure what to do. I have concluded the shuttle will be the best option since it allows for the most flexibility. We are staying at Princess Lodge for 2 nights. We want to take a shuttle on 9/4/2013. I can't decide on the 7:15 am or 9:15 am. Our major goals are seeing wildlife, taking photos and seeing McKinley. Here are my questions/dilemas:

7:15 or 9:15 - My understanding is that you want to be there 20 minutes before the shuttle leaves. Therefore I need to walk to catch the 7:15 since Princess will not have their shuttle then. Sunrise is 6:48 am so it will be dark when we walk; probably need to leave around 6:00 am (slow walkers). Not sure if that is a good idea. But it seems some have suggested earlier times are better for seeing McKinley and wildlife - I have read many different opinions on this. We could also take a taxi if the earlier departure is better. I have read elsewhere that it is good to go to the Visitor Center first in which case the 9:15 might be better - take the 7:00 am shuttle from the lodge and get to the visitor center.

Food - I know I need to bring my own. Is the Subway in walking distance of Princess Lodge? They don't have coolers on the shuttles to store your lunches do they?

Wonder Lake vs. Kantishna - I think we will opt for Wonder Lake but does anyone feel that the bette bet is Kantishna. Some say there isn't much past Wonder Lake. The only thing that sounds nice is Reflection Lake.

Sorry this is so long; but I can't decide

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
posts: 24,882
reviews: 31
1. Re: Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

I think whatever time is most convenient is the shuttle I would book - book Wonder Lake, and if it isn't a nice day, you can turn around at Eielson. Usually McKinley is "out" earlier in the day, but there is no guarantee for that.

Subway is right across the street from the Princess, so that is easy. If you want a cooler, you will need to bring your own - they do make those collapsible ones - you might try that. I just use a daypack. Have fun! :)

MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
posts: 12,955
reviews: 24
2. Re: Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

The main reason for the early shuttle is the greater chance to see Mt. McKinley. It is often clouded over by mid-morning. That fact was borne true last week when I was there - very clear and cloud-free at 5am, clouded up a bit by 9am and fully engulfed in clouds by noon.

>>Food - I know I need to bring my own. Is the Subway in walking distance of Princess Lodge? They don't have coolers on the shuttles to store your lunches do they?

No coolers. You can bring your own. I just bring my food in my day pack without refrigeration. It is only a few hours or less, so nothing should spoil.

>>Wonder Lake vs. Kantishna - I think we will opt for Wonder Lake but does anyone feel that the bette bet is Kantishna. Some say there isn't much past Wonder Lake. The only thing that sounds nice is Reflection Lake.

Reflection Pond is overrated. You need a clear view of Mt. McKinley plus no wind in order to get the reflection in the pond. But if you go to Wonder Lake you can also get the reflection in some of the ponds near the Wonder Lake Campground.

Fall colors should be incredible at that time. In fact, that is the day I am planning on taking a bus to Wonder Lake to camp for 4 nights.

ottawa,ontario
posts: 86
reviews: 1
3. Re: Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

See post #9 re cab to Denali. There is another shuttle service that goes to WAC earlier than Princess. This shuttle would get you to WAC for 6am. To get SalmonBake Shuttle I think would only require a short walk from the Princess.

MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
posts: 12,955
reviews: 24
4. Re: Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

What is "post #9"? Yours is only the 3rd post in this thread. (confused).

Regina - Canada
posts: 282
reviews: 90
5. Re: Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

Hey fti,

I suspect Lulu54 is referring to the thread below - post #9 of that thread talks about the shuttle from the Salmon Bake, which runs 24 hours a day.

Joe.

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g143022-i1271-k6558…

ottawa,ontario
posts: 86
reviews: 1
6. Re: Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

You're right Joe!

Confused FTI.... Read the posts shown under Cab to Denali Access Center fr Princess Lodge & then it should (hopefully) become clear. I was happy to find out about this shuttle as it will give us more options & I'm sure we will be eating/drinking/shopping at these locations as the reviews r great.!

Albany, NY
posts: 13
7. Re: Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

Thank you to all of you for your quick responses. I am going for the 9:15 shuttle tour, may get box lunch at subway and use the salmon bake shuttle or a taxi for the trip back to the lodge.

Springfield, VA
posts: 51
reviews: 8
8. Re: Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

You can arrange an earlier shuttle from the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. It's the same cost as the regularly scheduled shuttles--$10 rt. The Salmonbake shuttle is another, cheaper option but runs less frequently.

9. Re: Wonder Lake Shuttle Time

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