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“Magnificent but shrouded in clouds”
Review of Denali

Denali
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$87.50*
and up
Denali Wilderness ATV Adventure Tour
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$375.00*
and up
Denali North Face Flight Expedition
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$530.00*
and up
Mt McKinley Flightseeing Tour from Anchorage with Glacier Landing
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: America's tallest peak, this 20,320-foot mountain is the most famous part of this national park.
Florida
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Magnificent but shrouded in clouds”
Reviewed September 27, 2012

The day we took our Tundra Wilderness Tour, we stopped to see Mt. McKinley, and was hoping the clouds would blow away, so we could really get a good shot (photo) of it, but as our driver, said, "Mt McKinley was sleeping". AWESOME SIGHT, however, and really enjoyed Denali.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank SRehbaum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mountain View, California
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“This is the highest point in North America”
Reviewed September 25, 2012

I started seeing Denali in June 1990 and have seen it 1-3 times annually since 2000 when I started helping friends in Fairbanks as a volunteer on the North Slope. The first recommendation I got from the first of my friends to live in Fairbanks was to hire a plane in Talkeenta, I recommend K2 Aviation, I was also given a non-recommendation, but I won't mention that here as service may have changed. Jim was K2 company founder and owner at the time, and Fred Beckey happened to be at the airport, and we took him along on a joy ride (he had just come off down a mountain in that area). A flight see is the best way to see Denali unless you climb it. You have two types of choices: a) an orbit, or b) a glacier landing in a couple of different places.

Some services will fly you directly over the summit with oxygen and pressurization. Our flight July 2012 was canceled due to bad weather.

You have to realize that Denali isn't merely high at 20K ft., but it also stands quite high in relief depending how you count 17K ft. above the surrounding terrain. Other figures might be slightly less by a few K feet. Many non-climbing and a few climbing enthusiasts will claim this is the tallest mountain from base to summit (Nanga Parbat in Pakistan holds that record on the Rupal Flank side, of Mauna Kea if you drain the pacific Ocean).

Weather will be your big problem. During early summer, I have heard the stats are about 1 clear day in 4, but later in summer toward fall, you will have better odds.

A nice Natl. Park Service visitor center is located in Talkeetna as well as the Park entrance itself. It will help you to know and appreciate the mountain if you know a little history and a few of the features (like there's a North and higher South summit).

If you don't have time or money for a flight see, it is visible with difficulty from various road areas on rare clear days near Anchorage (some elevation will help), Fairbanks, or from near the Park in the Parks highway. The best land location is generally regarded at Wonder Lake which requires taking the shuttle bus or the final week when the Park opens the road to private car traffic. This is all the short version of advice.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank eugenemiya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethany Beach, DE
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“The most memorable Trip of my Life”
Reviewed September 25, 2012

We stayed in Healy for five days so that we could visit the park. Took the park shuttle bus in four different times to Wonderlake and to Eilson. If someone had told us spending days on a bus would be the highlight of our life we would have said thats crazy...but it was. We saw about 25 Grizzly bears and cubs ..several times within fifty yards so I got incredible pictures...also saw rutting moose, caribou, Dal sheep and a fox. The bus drivers...with one exception...were incredibly sharp eyed and patient with those of us who wanted to hang out close to the animals for long periods...they were also very willing to share their knowledge and ask questions. The drive into the park is unforgettable... sit on the left hand side going in for the best views...unless you are terrified of heights i which case do something else.
The most incredible sight however was when on the forth day Mt. McKinley...aka Denali...came into view. It took your breath away. We did not hike from the bus because we were sort of afraid of the bears although I wish we had. We were there at the first of Sept....the tundra was red...the aspens yellow. It is the time to go.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank mfharahan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, NC
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

The view from our campground was unbelievable and then the flight was even more amazing! Be sure to book a flight if you are going.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank DanielleDurham_NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malibu, California
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“The tallest peak in North America!”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We took a six hour bus tour of the interior of the park - one of the few options when you're there besides walking. We were told the peak is not always visible due to clouds but we did see it. Beautiful!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank MsMalibu90265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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