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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Absolutely incredible!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Denali Outdoor Center

Denali Outdoor Center
Book In Advance
More Info
$92.00*
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: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Decatur, Georgia
Level Contributor
308 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
“Absolutely incredible!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2013

Who'd have thought white-water rafting in a 36-degree river would be so awesome?! Our guide, Johnny, made the trip all the more fun. Before leaving for the put-in, we were fitted with dry suits. HINT: ask for our bring neoprene gloves! Dry suits allowed us to wear regular warm clothes on the water so we were otherwise very comfortable; however, our hands were frozen until our guide found several neoprene gloves in his bag - they made a TREMENDOUS difference. The rapids were awesome, the scenery was spectacular, and the entire group on our raft quickly fell into an easy camaraderie. Highly recommended!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Steve B
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 17, 2013
River trips are a great way to meet new and interesting people, whether it's your guide or the other guests, you just never know what kind of stories you might hear. The drysuits are certainly a must and it helps that we have nice new ones that work. Thanks for the great write-up!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

251 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    188
    42
    12
    6
    3
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Waverly, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

We were able to enjoy walking around and seeing everything so nice and clean. No over stuffed garbage cans, nothing flying in the breeze. Someone must always be their picking everything up to make it such a lovely place to see and so pristine

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank baker52n
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 17, 2013
Thank you for noticing and we're glad you enjoyed your visit.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
64 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Paddles up !! DOC : The Best in the West.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

Our family had the pleasure of going on a 2-hr.Canyon Run paddle-rafting trip in class III & IV rapids whitewater, that was full of hands-on action adventure at Nenana river in Healy. We are not highly experienced rafters, but here at DOC it was our best ever river-rafting adventure. Our shortest river-rafting was at Iguassu Falls in Brazil where they skimped the trip way too short while spent hours assisting the group with their drysuits. Our longest ever paddle-rafting was a year ago at rogue-river in Oregon. It was a 3-day rafting trip in contiuous rain (our luck !!). It was a thrill ride but we were cold & wet throughout, and their drysuits were not as superior quality as the ones we wore here at DOC. So, third time here, was the charm for us.
Upon arrival, we were very impressed by the time and effort the DOC team puts in to help everyone get on with their drysuits. They showed a lot of patience & we did not feel rushed at all.The guides here will go through with a lot of safety measures and will entertain you with some real serious & also funny stories before the trip. We noticed they have good-quality, heavy-wt. one-piece waterproof drysuits & riverboots. We didn't get wet at all; only your face & barehands gets splashed.These suits had a very tight & snug stretch latex-gaskets at the necks & the wrists, and also had latex-socks & a rain-hood, with waterproof zippers. Pretty impressive. Why these drysuits are important ? Because the water-temperature in nenana river is 34-37 degreesF throughout the summer.
We decided to take an extra pair of warm socks & a waterproof camera and were all set. They drove the rafters in a school bus to the river-site where they lowered the rafts down & brought it to the river-banks. Our guide, Allan, was a lot of fun, well-experienced, communicative, (gave lot of attention to everyone's safety) and was very skilled at controlling the raft's stability throughout the tour. We were able to take a lot of pictures & videos, while we paddled all, in-together out-together....Suddenly the sun came up with a short appearance of a rainbow !! And also came a wilderness-scenic-train tooting alongside the river on a hill top. Oh what a mesmerizing scenery it was !
Your guide will tell you, your chances of ultimately experiencing the class III & IV rapids actually solely depends on the amount of water flowing (on a particular day) in the river from the melting glaciers. We happened to mostly paddle around class III rapids on the Canyon Run trip. Wildlife is complelety unnoticeable at this part of Nenana river, but paddling the curves of this very cold river was wild enough for us.
Lastly, we want to give our big shout-out to our guide Allan, and his super-friendly & polite young daughter who made our drysuit fitting-time so much easier and was super-fun to be around throughout the trip. For sure, if thinking of rafting in Denali, go fearlessly... with DOC.

PS. Don't forget to get your adventure pics.(flash drive) from their Old Sourdough Studio at the end of your trip. They have restrooms, souvenirs, cookies & hot cocoa.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank SD3TravelBirds
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
Thank you so much for the detailed review. We sincerely appreciate the recognition of the quality of our gear and the genuine nature of our guide staff. You have obviously had previous experiences which provided a reference for the level of service and over-all experience of your trip with Denali Outdoor Center. Again, thank you for the taking the time to write a review and we hope to see you again in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, AZ
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Chilly, but worth it!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

I just returned from a trip of a lifetime to Denali and one of my highlights was a scenic raft trip down the Nenana River with DOC. It was an oar raft trip with our guide Shannon in control. Her knowledge of the river, mountains, geological formations, wildlife and just all things Alaska in general made the trip worth it on a very chilly, rainy day.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank tldiet
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
We are so glad to hear your experience with Denali Outdoor Center and Shannon were a positive part of your Alaska vacation. Shannon has been guiding for D.O.C. for several years and it is always good to receive supportive feedback we can share with her. She is an awesome guide and a highly regarded employee. Thanks again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolzano, Italy
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Don't rent bikes there”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

We had planned to rent bikes and to cycle through Denali National Park. When we got to the Denali Outdoor Center and asked for bikes, the reaction was "Uhmm, let's see... I'm not sure if we have some nice bikes left..." The guy ransacked his bikes, mumbling "Noo, I can't give you this one, this one has issues... No... neither that one, it has a flat tire..." At the end he gave us two really poor looking bikes and let us try them on the parking lot. The brakes on both bikes didn't really work, one of the bikes had issues with the chain, and none of the bikes had any kind of repair kit / pump on it. It's obvious we decided not to rent the bikes (they would charge $40 a day!)....

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Hovat85
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
First, I want to apologize for your disappointing experience with Denali Outdoor Center. However, I want to be clear that Darin is a very genuine person and makes every possible effort in these situations to satisfy our customers. It is unfortunate that the bike rental didn't work out but apparently we did not have an available bike at the time. The bikes that Darin was inspecting had been rented, returned in a state of dis-repair and Darin is not the bike tech.

We are very pleased that Darin took the time to inspect the bikes before merely sending you with bikes that would not perform. D.O.C. makes sure every bike is mechanical sound before renting it, and in the event there is a problem, we make every effort to correct the situation. Please see the review from August 22nd, "Awesome Customer Service."

My recommendation would be to make a reservation next time to ensure that bikes are available.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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