Denali Backcountry Adventure
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Denali Backcountry Adventure

Denali Backcountry Adventure
4.5
Temporarily closedClosed until further notice
About
ADVENTURE IN A DAY. RATED DRIVES OF A LIFETIME BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. Experience the wilderness and wildlife over 65 miles on the rugged Denali Highway, east of Denali national park. Our local guides will ensure you get opportunities to view the region’s best landmarks, introduce you to a host of authentic Alaska activities and provide a delicious lunch at Alpine Creek Lodge. To experience the thrills and beauty of the Denali area, all you need is one day and a healthy sense of adventure.
Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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(119 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles550 reviews
Excellent
394
Very good
62
Average
25
Poor
20
Terrible
49

SteveColumbus_OH
Richmond, IN60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
I want to preface my review of Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours of Denali National Park by saying as a former shuttle bus driver in Denali National Park and a Park Service employee there I have an intimate knowledge of Denali and what to expect from a guided tour of Denali. I was acting as a tour guide of Alaska for my wife as she had never been to the state and the tour of Denali was to be one of our highlights. We were not disappointed. Our driver Justin was extremely knowledgeable about the geology, plant life, wildlife, and history of Denali and Kantishna. He was very personable, excellent at spotting game, a good driver, and very accommodating at stops for photos of game and Denali. Yes the mountain was out in all it’s glory and we took lots of pictures.
We saw an unusually high amount of game. We viewed 25 bears, 22 Dall sheep, 40-50 caribou, 3 cow moose, marmots, eagles, ground squirrels, voles, and falcons. We had close ups of bull caribou and bears next to the
bus.
The 92 mile trip to Kantishna takes 6 hours and when we arrived at Backcountry Lodge in Kantishna we had a 2.5 hour layover with lunch and activities. The lunch served was ample and tasty. The activities were gold panning, historical walk, or botanical walk. We then made the 6 hour return trip back to the park entrance.
I highly recommend taking snacks, drinks, camera, binoculars, insect repellent, sunglasses, hand sanitizer. Masks are required.
It was the tour of a lifetime and absolutely worth every penny.
I highly recommend Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours and no I am not a paid spokesperson.

The Enrights
Written August 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patsy O
The Villages, FL22 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
The10+ hour bus ride is well done and our driver/narrator was great. Ticketing and the pickup process was excellent. It was just too long on a bus with very little to see. Perhaps the bus ride into Denali with the road closed is the same. They did all they could to make us welcome including drinks out the back of the bus. It's a long wait till the rest stop, 2 hrs. It was nice that the bus wasn't full and gave a lot of space for folks to spread out. If you don't want window wind blowing on you, best to sit closer up front, as the windows get very dirty, no one's fault, and so folks open the windows to take pictures. Thankfully they went to the back of the bus to do this. It would be very uncomfortable on the ride if the folks sitting in front of you had the window down.
We didn't see wildlife, of course the tour can't control that.
The lodge we went to was nifty and the folks were very nice. The lunch was good. The little bar was cool and the drink was fun but WAY overpriced over $25.00 for a shot. We videoed our flaming shot so a nice visual memory. The dog sled family and the dogs were interesting and did a great job sharing info about competitive dog sledding. We tried the gold panning but the young man who was supposed to help us, was terrible. He provided no verbal instruction at all. There was another small group with a different fella and he was really great with them. We finally just walked away from that. I don't know that I would do the trip again. Just because of the time on the bus and not traversing toward denali and not seeing wildlife. From other's that we spoke with, similar experiences, even in the park. We heard there was a rough winter that may have affected quantity of wildlife. It's really limited what you can do in Denali. I think I would do the park trip the next time. The NPS Center is interesting.
Written August 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
PatsyO, We appreciate the positive feedback and constructive criticism in regards to your experience. We are always trying to improve our experiences so we will share your thoughts with everyone involved. I'm not sure how the weather was on the day you went on the tour but a nice clear day makes a big difference in what you see along the way. The landscape is beautiful and covered with mountains, rivers, glaciers and tundra/taiga. Seeing wildlife is always a challenge because they are so elusive, so hopefully next time you return to Denali you'll have better luck seeing wildlife in the park.
Written August 14, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

GadaboutLady
Commack, NY132 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
The Denali Backcountry Adventure was the best wat to see the most of Denali National Park in one day. While some may think that spending an entire day on a bus would be long and boring, I beg to disagree (although I would NOT recommend this tour for families with young children). The bus was comfortable, the snacks more than ample, the bathroom breaks were well timed, and the driver's commentary was personable and informative. Wildlife spottings were frequent (though at a distance) and even the Great Mountain was visible that day! The lunch and activity (we chose a nature hike) were a perfect way to break up the day before heading back out of the park.. The pick-up and drop-off at our hotel made it all very convenient.
Written July 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Traveler405
Orange County, CA5 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
Using Denali backcountry adventure is recommended if you'd like to spend more time and see more of the park. The charges are quite steep but it is the best way to spend a day at the park. I wish they didn't run the bus at 100% capacity. Running the busses at 60%-70% capacity would mean that people can move about. It is a long long day journey and there needs to be options for users to move to front/back of the bus.
Written August 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephen M
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
What a horrible experience. Booking from Australia for this trip I found out when I got on the bus that it didn't go into the park and in fact took you 65 miles away from it. If I knew this I never would wanted to go. The bus driver was great, He spoke to the passengers and said they could get off and get a full refund. At least 90% got off. Why would we come to Denali and head away from the park? DO NOT GO ON THIS TRIP. People come to Denali to go into the park. If this review is still visible then I have yet to get my refund. Very disappointing and has left a bitter taste of Denali and this is sad.
Written July 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
StephenM, Sorry to hear that you were disappointed in your experience. It sounds like there was a considerable disconnect between your booking information and what you received. Did you share your booking number and information with a team member on the day of your tour? Also, 80% of all activities offered to guests when they travel to Denali National Park do not occur in the national park. Perhaps you are one of the few travelers who would only participate in an activity that occurred inside the park boundaries, but most participate in many activities outside the park. Feel free to call us at 907-777-2808 so we can discuss the issues.
Written August 14, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

TOAKNY
Dublin, Ireland1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Denali - you hear about it and develop expectations of what you will see there. The reality was different from my expectations. It is not like safari. The animals don't travel in packs, so animal sightings are rarer than I had expected and you will need a very good zoom lens to get photographs and binoculars to see them.

What made this trip outstanding was our guide, Missy. Hat's off to these guides who drive for 12 hours (with a 2 hr break), on a difficult road, while providing commentary on the park and enforcing park rules, Covid rules, and bus rules. Missy was fully in control without being controlling. She made everyone feel safe on her bus and her knowledge of the park and the route was evident. She is a great storyteller with excellent comic timing. I have been on many tours in my life, with good tour guides, but Missy is in a class by herself. If you go to Denali, ask to be on her bus.
Written August 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ariel R
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
Booked a trip with my 4 kids. Called twice to confirm that the tour would follow National Parks Covid safety rules as they were driving into the park. Arrived to find not a mask in sight and staff unapologetically aggressive about telling people they did not need to follow any Covid safety procedures. It was a terrible experience but we had spent over a thousand dollars on 6 tickets and kids were super excited to see Denali.
Written August 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wlb718
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Trip was not what we expected. Instead of going through Denali National Park the trip went in general back country to a lodge. The gold mining and dog sled demonstration was great and a pleasant surprise since it was not mentioned on the website. The bus trip is waaayyyy too long and with very few opportunities to get out and make pictures.
Written June 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wlb718, Each day our guests are given the opportunity to stop and take photos wherever they want, along with multiple stops along the way to get off the bus and stretch your legs. As you know we stop for restrooms, snacks and viewpoints along the way. The 2 hours at Alpine Creek Lodge is another opportunity to be off the bus and experience something very Alaskan in the wilderness. Sorry to hear that this trip was not what you expected! We will continue to communicate the experience with guests as we operate in the future.
Written July 25, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AMSommers
White Bear Lake, MN5 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
There was no "knowledgeable guide". Just a bus driver, that didn't even know where the Denali mountain was. He gave absolutely NO historical or geographic significance information about the area, or any information for that matter. Yes, we made stops to take pictures, got snacks and used an outhouse. The Alpine Creek Lodge staff was fantastic. We enjoyed learning about the sled dogs, how they train, gear they use, etc. The youth that were involved in presenting information to the tour group did a fantastic job. The lunch that was provided was good. The best part of lunch was the berry pie that we ordered for dessert!

Only the 2 hours at the Alpine Creek Lodge were worthwhile in this tour. The other 9 hours of our day, was a complete waste of our time and money.

This tour/excursion did not meet the expectations of our group of 6 adults.
Written July 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
AMSommers, Our bus drivers and guides pride themselves in providing a great experience for all guests so we are disappointed to hear that this is not the experience that you had. We would love some additional information as to when you went on the tour and more specific constructive feedback on your guide. Feel free to give us a call at 907-777-2808 so we can discuss a solution.
Written August 1, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

R S
Las Vegas 5 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
When the road in Denali was closed due to a landslide, this was offered as an alternative. Not worth the price. Not that it's expensive, it's just that you don't get to visit Denali often (once in my case) and I wouldn't recommend spending it on a 5 hour boring bus ride. The Alpine Lodge was good...food was okay and the activities were fine. No problem there. But getting there and back was painful. The few places that were interesting, the bus didn't stop and let us out to explore or take pictures. Perhaps they couldn't, I don't know, but absolutely can't recommend to anyone else.
Written August 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
R S, It was disappointing to hear that you wanted to take photos somewhere along the way and didn't get the chance. Our drivers can stop anywhere along the way for photos but stopping can be a challenge without a pullout. As you know we do have a few stops along the way for viewpoints and restrooms, but you can always request additional photo stops. I'll reach out to our drivers and discuss the feedback and ensure that all guests know that photos stops are available throughout the trip!
Written August 25, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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