Things to Do in Alaska
Denali National Park
4.5
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This park, located 50 miles south of Denali National Park, offers hiking opportunities.
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  • Corine Poot Blok
    196 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful park
    Visited the park just before the busses were put in service so we experienced the park from our own car. Went several times, mornings and evenings. Only 30 miles could be driven, rest of park was closed off. Saw several wild animals including a moose approaching us on the road while driving there in the evening. He came within 3 ft of our car and we were kind of holding our breaths. Magical moment. Fortunately we had two clear days so saw Denali many times.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 22, 2023
  • Ashley B
    Minden, Louisiana125 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    30th Anniversary trip
    The park is massive and there is only 1 road in the park. You can only drive your personal vehicle into the park for 15 miles. There are shuttle buses that take you farther into the park for hiking, camping, etc. The visitor center is very nice, along with the gift store. There is a restaurant there but we did not eat there. If you are stamping the National park passport book there are actually 2 stamps at this park. One at the visitor center and one at the sled dog kennels with in the park. We took the Wilderness Tundra tour and joined the 30% club and got a Grand Slam. What this means is that actually only 30% of the people that visit will see the peak of Denali. It’s so high it’s covered in clouds most of the time. Today we actually got to see both the North and South peak several times. To complete the Grand Slam you have to spot the Big 4. That is moose, caribou, grizzly bears and dall sheep. We saw lots of wildlife. This is a long bus ride (5 hours) with only 2 bathroom stops. They did provide us with a boxed snack box and water and gave a souvenir book at the end. The bus only takes you 42 miles in. That’s as far as anyone can go due to the road having collapsed.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 9, 2023
  • Arthur M
    Hamilton, Canada1,044 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Seeing Denali was a miracle considering the weather forecast!
    Denali National Park clearly knows how to manage large crowds in a fragile ecosystem such as Denali's, located on permafrost. The visitor centre was large and informative. It plays two 20-minute films which rotate on schedule. The gift shop is separate from the visitor centre and it was large as well. There are multiple restrooms in the visitor centre complex, and the bus depot for bus tours deep in Denali are located away from the complex. The Denali Park Road is only accessible up to Savage River for private vehicles, and driving through it requries some extra careful attention since we saw moose just outside the visitor centre, and one along the paved section of the Park Road. The bus tour was very informative and we saw multiple wildlife such as caribou, mountain goats, and even birds such as ptarmigan! The views are unparalleled everywhere you go, even if the buses can't go past Mile 43 for now. Maybe when the bridge is built, the view would be even more epic for sure, so if you can't wait to visit Alaska and Denali, it's worth visiting since you can still see Denali at Mile 8, but if you want a full experience, better wait until 2026 at the earliest.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 2, 2023
  • MichiganTourists1
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan28 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A wonderful park to visit!
    A great park to visit. Especially enjoyed the hiking trails near the visitors center. Also enjoyed driving along the first 17 miles at night. Unfortunately, did not enjoy the ranger walk as it seemed geared towards 4th or 5th graders even though there were no kids in the tour group. Woukd like to see that remedied.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 3, 2023
  • Portage077
    Irving, Texas1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lost in a heaven!!!
    Denali national park is home for different creatures. They have been conserved in a really good manner. Nature is so adorable. For me Alaska as. whole is heaven. We can do various adventures activities in Denali national park such as ATV in a off road which is really fun, rafting in Nenana river, helicopter tour to admire the panoramic scene of Denali, flight-seeing tour which is one of the best activity that you can do in Denali. Through flight seeing we can have close look of mountains, glacier, soar and river. If you are planning to travel Alaska make sure you have your budget ready accordingly because some of the activities are little bit costly around $500-$700. But whatever you spend you will love it. There is camping area around national park as well. One day might be not enough to explore whole Denali national park as it is greater than some of the states . There is lot of things to do in Denali national park. I loved it and I am grateful enough for getting chance to insight such a heavenly beauty.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 19, 2023
  • Ronald B
    Arlington, Virginia3,749 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Denali Husky Kennel
    Denali Husky Kennel There was a lot to see and do at Denali. Perhaps the best thing we did, and saw were the Denali Husky Dog kennels. We took the bus ride to the National Park Service husky dog kennel complex. The Park Service raises and employs approximately 35 working huskies at Denali. They are used by the Park Service to patrol vast areas of Denali. Note: motorize vehicles, boats, and aircraft are prohibited by law to go into much of Denali. This was the highlight of going to Denali. Park personal encouraged people to interact with the dogs. The dogs appeared to enjoy the humans. A demonstration of their capabilities was conducted for us to enjoy. We could hear the dogs, who weren’t on show, encouraging them from afar. Once the demo was concluded, all but one dog was loosed to go back to its doghouse.
    Visited August 2022
    Written July 24, 2023
  • Beachwalker007
    Austin, Texas68 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Experience it for its vast scale and size.
    Denali National Park is best experienced for its vast scale, size, and wildlife. It is not a park with breathtaking moments, features, and vistas like Yosemite or Yellowstone. Compared to other parks, there are a limited number of marked hiking trails. The bus ride to the end of the park road (at least as far as you can go) and back takes at least five hours. We did not do that ride, but people we talked to who did said it was somewhat tedious and did not add that much to the park experience. When the park road re-opens past the landslide, that ride might be more dramatic. We were in the park for one full day plus most of another day. That allowed us time to do three nice hikes. We are very pleased that we visited the park and would have regretted not doing so, but we will probably choose to visit other national parks in the lower 48 states before returning here. A big plus is that the park did not feel crowded even during this peak season. There was no wait to enter and plenty of parking. (Note: With the park road closure, there are limited views of Mount Denali from within the park. The best views of Mount Denali are while driving Alaska 3 from the south before reaching the park.)
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 8, 2023
  • Vonda J
    35 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Keep eyes open.
    Beauty to behold. Bus tour in. Saw bear, caribou and moose. Did not know only 30% visitors get to see Denali. Did not win that lottery. Although mild day, fog covered.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 20, 2023
  • DLNY1
    New York165 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exploring Denali
    If you're driving to the park from Anchorage, here is my suggestion: Go to Visitor Center, pay the $15 fee for the weekly pass, enjoy the exhibits there and the movies then walk the Roadside Trail to the 4 pm Dog Kennel Tour then walk back along the Rock Creek Trail. Go to dinner at the 49th State Brewing in Denali/Healy then get a good night sleep. Next day, drive to the bridge at 15 miles and hike the Savage Alpine Trail (4 miles of awesome views) back to Mount Vista Parking area then walk the road two miles back to the bridge where you parked. Drive to Bus Depot and buy tickets for the next day on the unnarrated bus that takes you to Mile 43. After getting tickets park at bus stop letter K and walk the Horseshoe Lake Trail to stretch your legs on relatively flat trail. The next day get up early and park at the Denali Visitor Center lot 3 and hike the Mount Healy Overlook Trail (5 miles), steep and strenuous but has great views. Then back to the Visitor Center, drive to the Bus Depot and get on your ticketed unnarrated bus to mile 43. Hike around the riverbed at 43 then get on a bus back towards the bus depot (get off wherever you want to bushwhack (we liked area around mile markers 35 and 23) then wave down a bus to get you back to the Depot. The next day, spend the day walking the McKinley Station Trail to the Triple Lake Trail. Now you've done it all.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 21, 2023
  • Ken
    Loveland, Colorado1,179 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wish We Could Have Seen More
    Denali is huge - bigger than New Jersey, Hawaii, and Connecticut. There's only one road, of which more than half has been and will be closed for years. There's a good reason for the closure; google "Pretty Rocks Landslide". Most of the open section can only be travelled by bus. There's a good reason for that, too; google "overpopulation". Understanding the reason Denali's one road is so restricted didn't keep it from being frustrating that we only got to see a tiny fraction of this wild and wonderful place. There are other ways you can and should experience the park, but my group included an octogenarian whose spirit far exceeds her physical capabilities.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written January 7, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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The_Travel_Family
Las Vegas, NV804 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
We are a well travelled family of over 35 National Parks. This park from what we saw was beautiful and of course the wildlife amazing! This review is based on how poor this park is managed and the awful logistics bus system clearly only interested in one thing! Dollars!

Visitors to the park can only driver the first 15 miles of the road. To go further you can only book a bus tour through a completely separate company, the park offers “no” free shuttle beyond the 15 mile marker, unless you pay more money, you don’t get to see anymore of this park. For example, Zion NP
offers the free shuttle service so all visitors can enjoy it whist keeping traffic down in the park.

We tried to book the green bus before and during our visit and there was zero availability, this was extremely Disappointing for us. But why should guests pay to book a bus tour additional to the park entrance fees? Reduce traffic by using buses great idea, but also give everyone a chance to see the park and not just wealthy overseas visitors. I will let the reader guess where they were from…

Visitor center closed, they were still basking over Covid concerns “tut” but the gift shop can open, makes no sense, also they are happy to cram buses full of people for “money”. Rangers were generally boring and had no personality what so ever, they need to go back to training I think.

The park map is not up to date and does not show areas such as the husky kennels. It also says the kennels have no parking lot and to use the bus. We drove to the kennels to the left of the park headquarters and there is more than enough parking for private vehicles, don’t bother with the free bus shuttle.

To us it seemed this park was only interested in making money. Do not rush to come here you will be disappointed.

Additionally Denali Bluff was pants, half the shops closed and up for rent, restaurants in the area closed on random days for no reason, again blaming covid, resorts closed. Wait until covid is totally over before coming here.
Written July 27, 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.

waldentenn
Signal Mountain, TN825 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
Frankly this is a disappointing National Park. It’s very crowded and unless you are backpacking into the bush there is no solitude and no wilderness vibe. The tour road is only open for 15 very crowded miles. To go any farther you must book an expensive school bus jammed with people and only get out at a hectic out house stop where you compete with passengers from 10 other buses for a place to pee. There are some decent hiking trails around the park entrance but they too are crowded and not really reflective of the essence of what makes Denali special.

You will probably get a glimpse of moose, caribou, dall sheep, and maybe a bear but from a long distance out the bus window. The mountain itself is almost always invisible due to clouds.

I guess that the more experience you have in visiting wild places the less thrilled you will be with Denali. By the way the Park Service has Covid closed everything even the dog sled demo. Also the tour road collapsed at about mile 45 so the longer tour bus trips are canceled.
Written August 26, 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.

Ryan B
19 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
Place was beautiful and it was awesome seeing bears, moose, dall sheep, plus wolf tracks on one of our hikes. Only reason I'm rating this a 3/5 is because the contracted services by Aramark, especially the campground we stayed at (Savage River), was pretty terrible. Talking to the NPS Rangers there, you could tell there was quite a bit of tension between them and the hired Aramark staff, as I'm sure the Rangers have to deal with (or at least hear) complaints all the time. Looking at Aramark's site, seems they have (unfortunately) nine contracts with NPS for different locations.

As Denali is a huge mountain, this means there are a lot of clouds around it. I believe we read that each day there is only a ~40% of seeing the top, which we didn't while in the park, but luckily we did driving up the highway from Wasilla.

Definitely recommend seeing the sled dogs. There's approx. 20 of them, not including the puppies, that are all husky-type dogs, but still fun to hear how they are used in the winter time.

Lastly, we didn't have too many issues with bugs, but regardless we brought and used bug spray. Do bring binoculars as animals can be far away and often times phone cameras aren't the best to zoom in with. Also, the park is huge and the bus tour/rides can't go to mile 90, I believe they turn around at ~42, stemming from the landslide that occurred recently and will take (from what we heard), about two years to fix. Internet service is available at the main area, but as you go further in the park you'll lose it, and there is a dump/potable water station at the first campground you see upon entering (I don't believe any of the other campgrounds have these).
Written September 17, 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.

Therese J
15 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Friends
This review is for website information and poor logistics rather than the park itself, because we weren't able to see the vast majority of the park. We booked a campsite at igloo, which we did know required a shuttle to access. We also booked a camper shuttle, which is marketed as hop on, hop off, and listed a four hour window on the website when I booked it. We arrived at the park and were told that was the shuttle travel window and that we had to be there at the beginning of that time to get a seat, and that we should've booked the later one/that there were no more seats the entire weekend on the camper bus. This is absurd; if you book a campsite you should be able to get to it, and literally half the people at the bus stop had this issue and couldn't get in. I get that we're in covid times but the booking website is completely devoid of links to the actual schedule and does not clearly indicate the lack of flexibility at least in initial entrance to the park, and the fact that multiple other groups did the same thing indicates a real issue on their end. I didn't travel all this way to just go 15 miles into the park (from which you can't even see the Denali).
Written August 22, 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.

Arthur M
Hamilton, Canada1,044 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
Denali National Park clearly knows how to manage large crowds in a fragile ecosystem such as Denali's, located on permafrost. The visitor centre was large and informative. It plays two 20-minute films which rotate on schedule. The gift shop is separate from the visitor centre and it was large as well. There are multiple restrooms in the visitor centre complex, and the bus depot for bus tours deep in Denali are located away from the complex.

The Denali Park Road is only accessible up to Savage River for private vehicles, and driving through it requries some extra careful attention since we saw moose just outside the visitor centre, and one along the paved section of the Park Road.

The bus tour was very informative and we saw multiple wildlife such as caribou, mountain goats, and even birds such as ptarmigan!

The views are unparalleled everywhere you go, even if the buses can't go past Mile 43 for now. Maybe when the bridge is built, the view would be even more epic for sure, so if you can't wait to visit Alaska and Denali, it's worth visiting since you can still see Denali at Mile 8, but if you want a full experience, better wait until 2026 at the earliest.
Written July 2, 2023
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.

Beachwalker007
Austin, TX68 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Denali National Park is best experienced for its vast scale, size, and wildlife. It is not a park with breathtaking moments, features, and vistas like Yosemite or Yellowstone. Compared to other parks, there are a limited number of marked hiking trails. The bus ride to the end of the park road (at least as far as you can go) and back takes at least five hours. We did not do that ride, but people we talked to who did said it was somewhat tedious and did not add that much to the park experience. When the park road re-opens past the landslide, that ride might be more dramatic. We were in the park for one full day plus most of another day. That allowed us time to do three nice hikes. We are very pleased that we visited the park and would have regretted not doing so, but we will probably choose to visit other national parks in the lower 48 states before returning here. A big plus is that the park did not feel crowded even during this peak season. There was no wait to enter and plenty of parking. (Note: With the park road closure, there are limited views of Mount Denali from within the park. The best views of Mount Denali are while driving Alaska 3 from the south before reaching the park.)
Written August 8, 2023
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.

Heather K
Bolton, MA127 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Denali is everything I dreamed of and more - it did not disappoint. We took the Tundra Wilderness bus tour and drove into the park and hiked several other times on our own. We went in May and the wildlife viewing was outstanding, highly recommend going early in the season, it's less crowd and animals are abundant.
Written June 29, 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.

poolboyal
Loudon, TN126 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Couples
Extraordinary, beautiful, wild, .... We were blessed with perfect weather... Saw Mt Denali the whole time.

At the visitor center you can catch a free bus to the dog demonstration area where they keep their shed dogs. We were told you can ride the green buses all day thru park for$30 which is cheaper than the your we took. Once in a lifetime trip.
Written June 1, 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.

Tony K
Moreno Valley, CA738 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
The Green shuttle bus tour is much cheaper and you learn/see exactly the same thing. The Drivers talk/narrate while driving the Park road. Because of the landslide the bus turns around at 43 miles. Actually that is a good distance and a good chance to see plenty of scenery & wildlife.
Written June 12, 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.

aeroeng22
85 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Hard to overstate the beauty and majesty of the mountain, Denali. It's hit and miss, though; many days Denali cannot be seen from the park (on a clear day, you can see it starting about Mile 9 I think on the park road) because of cloud cover. We got very lucky, one of our days the sky was clear of any clouds.

Only saw one moose (a male with a big rack), and no bears (good thing). There are a number of hiking trails, all the ones we took were well maintained and were easy. Two trails are considered difficult, Savage Alpine Trail (accessible with free park shuttle) and Mount Healey (accessible from the Visitor Center).

One caution: the park road is washed out Mile 42, so you can only go to Mile 15 on the free park shuttle. If doing it again, I would wait until the road is fixed. Because you cannot go the full 92 mile length, you miss access to Wonder Lake and the Eielson visitor center, not to mention the animals from Mile 15 to Mile 92.

We bought an Alaska Railroad package, so that lodging and luggage toting was part of the package. That worked out very well for us, as we knew nothing of the area before going.
Written September 15, 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.

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