We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Awesome Ride!”

Denali Outdoor Center
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Canyon Run Whitewater Rafting in Denali National Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Denali Outdoor Center (D.O.C.) is a full-service outfitter offering whitewater rafting, mild-water float trips, kayaking, canoeing and mountain biking adventures on the boundary of Denali National Park, Alaska. We also offer lakeside nightly cabin rentals and camping at our premier location in Healy, Alaska on the shore of Otto Lake.For convenience, we have 2 office locations, one at Denali Park and the other in Healy, just 10 minutes north of the park entrance. We also provide free shuttle service to and from all local lodging, AKRR Depot, Denali Park Visitor Center and the Wilderness Access Center.Our operating season is from mid-May to mid-September and we are open 7 days from 7:00am to 10:00pm. Our winter hours are M-F 9:00am to 5:00pm Alaska Time.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Covington, Louisiana
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Awesome Ride!”
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Our family of four (kids 13 and 15) was in the Denali area on July 24 and took a thrilling ride in very chilly water with DOC. We had an awesome guide--"Flood" who showed us a very fun time. We did the canyon run in a oar raft. In hindsight, I think we would have really enjoyed the paddle raft, but the age requirement for that is 14. The scenery is so beautiful, and a view that you can't get from anywhere else! The only other whitewater experience we have is in Pigeon Forge, TN on the Pigeon River. I would say the whitewater was very similar on the day we visited except that the Pigeon River is dam controlled so more predictable! DOC provides everything you need to stay dry...just wear very warm socks! Although the water didn't reach our skin, it is still very cold.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Regina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill O, Owner at Denali Outdoor Center, responded to this review, September 3, 2013
Thanks Regina! I hope the kids had a great time and maybe you can come back again when the 13 year old is a little older. I know the water has to be much colder that in TN but it sounds like the "drysuits" did their job. Of course, your feet are on the bottom of the raft and that is definitely the coldest part. It's hard to go wrong when your river guides name is "Flood!"
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

258 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
West Sussex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“White water rafting”
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Had my first ever experience of white water rafting. The event was well coordinated and the focus on safety reassuring. The ride was thrilling, but not too scary for a first timer.

Visited August 2013
Thank Julie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
76 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good Experience”
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Our family of two parents and our grown up son enjoyed the four hour Nenana Half Day oar trip. The preparation process went smoothly as did the orientation. The one down side was that it was quite chilly (in the 50s) and raining. As one said, if we are going to be in the Denali Park area and outside in the rain we might as well be in dry suits, right? It was hard to tell if we got wetter from the river or from the rain.

We chose to go in an oar boat instead of the paddle boats. We felt safe with our guide in control of the boat. I realize the white water experience is largely dependent on the amount of water flowing in the river. DOC and the guides have no control over this. We were a bit disappointed at how tame the rapids were. This is perhaps due in part to the skill of our guide keeping us away from the dangerous whirlpools, etc., but the rapids were generally not much to speak about. I was able to take video pictures while holding on to the raft with only one hand. Only twice did we get much water hitting us. I don't know if our guide "tamed" the ride down due to problems one of the guests was having.

Again, the amount of water in the river on any given day is out of the control of the DOC and the guide. We just happened to be there during a lower flow time. The chilly and wet weather also dampened our spirits some. This is not to say DOC didn't do a good job. They performed well and their equipment seemed very good. The guide was very informative about the geology and the nature of the area. One of us did have trouble with their dry suit--it wasn't all that dry. One foot got very wet. Unfortunately the efficient disrobing process at the end ensured my dry suit was gone before I had a chance to realize my foot was wet and cold and not just cold so I couldn't let the staff know to fix the suit.

Overall a positive experience. You may want to check with the operator regarding the river flow and the degree of rapids for any given day. We expected category 3 or 4 rapids. With the low flow and possibly because of the problematic guest in the boat we didn't really experience much category 3 or 4 rapids. I believe I heard that due to the low temperature of the water the category numbers are higher than they would be for the same rapids if the water was warmer. The category of the rapid has some to do with the consequence of not doing it correctly and the near freezing temperature of the water adds to the consequence. Thus the rapids may not have been much more than category 1 or 2 with one or two 3's. Again, check with DOC on the river flow and plan accordingly if you want truly challenging white water. DOC did a nice job.

I would avoid the float portion of this trip unless you are very unsure you even want to do white water. The first two hours of our trip was pretty tame. The geology and nature was nice, but the "thrill" was not there. Also, once you are in your dry suit you are in it for three to five plus hours depending on how long your trip is. If you can't go that long without a bathroom break you may be in trouble. They will try to accommodate your needs, but it is a challenge.

Visited July 2013
Thank Ford2cars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Do it, it's worth the time”
Reviewed August 9, 2013 via mobile

We had a wonderful time rafting with Dylan, our awesome guide! The river is really cold, and I suggest jumping in with your suit on, it is quite a rush! Also, we were not cold, and everyone who works their are really friendly! This is a must-do at denali!

Visited August 2013
Thank jmp1819
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buckeye, Arizona
Level Contributor
59 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Ride the Bull!”
Reviewed August 3, 2013

Great river rafting experience! Did the 1/2 day paddle trip. Our guide, Al, was excellent. Personable, great stories and gave our group an awesome experience. All staff were helpful, friendly, knowledgeable.

Visited July 2013
Thank Ken J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Denali Outdoor Center also viewed

Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK

Been to Denali Outdoor Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing