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Review of Park Road

Park Road
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America the Beautiful - National Parks & Federal...
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Owner description: Scenic 90-mile roadway that winds through Alaska's Denali National Park.
Reviewed August 29, 2011

Had a great time at the Denali National park during the visit to Alaska.

Took the 7 AM shuttle at the park entrance all the way to wonder lake. It was 11 hrs round trip. Our driver 'chatty Cathy' was awesome in providing history of the park, stopping all along for wild animals and views of Mt. Mckinley. we saw all the 5 mammals (Bear, Caribou, Sheep, Moose and wolf/ fox). Fantastic experience to view wild animals in their surroundings.
Next day we did the discovery hike guided by park ranger. Going off on the off beaten path gave us a the experience and feel of the untouched nature. The ranger was experienced and kept us as a group on this strenuous hike. Scree, spit and scat.. A must do to

Date of experience: August 2011
4  Thank notatraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,018 - 1,022 of 1,173 reviews

Reviewed August 27, 2011

It is hard to figure out how best to tour Denali National Park. Private cars are very limited on where they can travel -- they can only travel a few miles into the Park without obtaining a special permit for those who are staying at one of the campgrounds or lodges in the Park. There is only one road in the Park -- the Park Road. Buses are the primary source of transportation and you can only get off the buses at designated stops. There are private tour buses, cruise ship tour buses and the Park's shuttle bus. All cost a fee. The cheapest is the Park's shuttle buses. These will go to the end of the Park Road, and the cost depends on how far you go. They aren't that comfortable, and neither is the road, but if you are looking for an affordable way to get through the Park, this is the bus to take. The drivers don't look for wildlife but if you see an animal and let them know, they will usually stop to allow you to view it. There are plenty of options for private bus tours. We took the one operated by Doyon/Aramark and were very happy with it, it was the Tundra Wilderness Tour. Unlike the Park's shuttle buses, the private tour buses have comfortable seats and provide a narrative of the history of the Park and the wildlife and the climate. Our bus driver would stop whenever we saw wildlife and would use a camera to zoom in and show the animals up close on a video screen in the bus. You can purchase a copy of the video later. She (Cassandra) was also good at letting us know which parts of the Park Road most often have wildlife nearby. We saw the Denali 5 -- Moose, Caribou, Dall Sheep, bear and wolf. The scenery was beautiful and she would stop whenever you saw a "photo opportunity." We got great pictures. She also stopped at places where you might be able to get a peek at the great mountain. I would definitely recommend the Tundra Wilderness Tour.

Date of experience: August 2011
2  Thank abinney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2011

We wanted to see as much of Denali National Park as we could but were a little concerned that the 9-hour Tundra Wilderness Tour on a school-type bus might be very tiring. I am so glad we decided to chance it. The hours flew by, and the bus was actually plenty comfortable--no restroom but plenty of restroom stops along the way. Highlights included seeing a bear eating a caribou and a herd of migrating caribou and getting snowed on at the higher elevations--in early August! Our guide was very informative and entertaining. She stopped whenever she or someone else spotted wildlife, which is actually not particularly plentiful in Denali. This was definitely a highlight of our trip to Alaska.

Date of experience: August 2011
5  Thank Blaze-21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2011

The tour was ok. We traveled with our kids (4 and 9). The kids were busy with the refreshments and other goodies. The driver narration was Ok. While driving into the park, the weather was nice and the driver rushed through and we missed the opportunities for good photo opportunities. At the end of the road at Kantishna village, we were taken to the Cabin of Fannie Quigly and were explained about the history behind her. I was not very interested in that and the place was full of mosquitoes. Then on our return trip, there was heavy rain with hail.

The drive itself is nice but I do not feel the extra drive of a few miles is worth the extra money. A cheaper option will be to take the regular park shuttle and go to the max distance.

At the beginning of the trip you are given a bag with two bottles of waters and with refreshments, and they are full of sugars. The lunch consisted of a veg or turkey wrap which was very light.

Date of experience: August 2011
Thank yatrik10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 25, 2011

We were particularly lucky on our ride, viewing 2 moose, 15 bears, several caribou, and nearly 2 dozen Dall Sheep. McKinley (or Denali) also shed it's veil of clouds for some spectacular views. I came away looking as if I were a professional photographer, merely shooting out the windows of our bus. Worth the trip.

Date of experience: July 2011
Thank seehunt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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