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“Its a long day but its one of the best” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kantishna Wilderness Trails

Kantishna Wilderness Trails
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Visit Denali National Park and travel in comfort through the most scenic road in North America – Alaska's Denali Park Road. We escort you into the heart of Denali on a full-day, round-trip guided adventure through Denali Park and into the Kantishna Historical District.Visitors will be treated to a hot lunch and activities at the Roadhouse. See wildlife, Mt. McKinley and everything that makes Denali National Park a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Its a long day but its one of the best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2012

We went to the Kantishna Roadhouse by bus that left at 06;00 AM. It was a long day and a long ride and it was cold, wet and raining and some yahoo had to have the window open but on getting to the road house, hot soup and hot tea soon revived me. The staff were very good, especially the yoga instructor who was very personable and well informed on the area and its perks.
We did not go panning for gold but opted to sit by the fire. The meal was satisfying and part of the tour so no extra costs needed to be applied other that tipping the guide. The fellow was very well informed on the history and the wildlife and very accomodating in letting us take oodles of pictures of the wildlife and scenery. This is the way to see Denali if you're not up to hiking for days and days and days.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Silveralder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Lots of wildlife, but very long.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2012

Joe was an awesome driver and tour guide. He helped us locate animals and told us what to look for. His knowledge about the hiking trails would have been much appreciated, if we had time to go back and do some hiking. The first animal we saw was a LYNX, that was a wonderful surprise. My kids counted at least 11 bears, including a mother and 2 spring cubs playing, very close to the bus. Many, many caribou, Dall sheep, squirrels, eagles, ptarmigans, long-tailed jaeger, and lots of small animals all around. The trip stopped plenty along the way for bathroom breaks, snacks, etc. Upon reaching the Kantishna Roadhouse, we were served a delicious turkey wrap and soup for lunch. Having more choices would be great, but I liked what they served, so it was not a problem for me. The kids then decided to pan for gold rather than hear about the dog sleds (they would see them later in the trip). The kids were able to find a little gold in the bottom of their pans (after a little help from adults) and they were excited about that. The trip back out of the park did seem a bit long, but with all the wildlife around, it kept our family awake and alert. The views are ever changing and once you know what to look for about the animals, it is pretty easy to spot them. I would suggest going all the way into the park as there was plenty to see after mile 66 (where most tours turn around). Even though the mountain was hiding, the views were still majestic.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank KCJ66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
46 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Trapped on the bus”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2012

We tend to avoid like the plague long guided tours, but looked like one of only ways to see all of Denali National Park, so after pleading with our travel agent to find a good option, we ended up booking this one. Bus picked up of family of four at our hotel (mom, dad, and 2 teenage girls) and we were off. Running commentary by our driver for the majority of the 13 hours of the trip remains a running family joke due to its non-stop nature and rambling relevance - some interesting, some just plain boring. Stops every 1.5 hours became oasis for us to escape. Halfway stop at Kantishna Roadhouse for bland chicken wrap and vegetable soup just about caused full mutiny for our team, who highly considered paying the $250/person Kantishna Air Taxi escape route. A hike around the area and we settled for trying to sleep on the drive out - the low point of our 10 day trip for sure.

May be good fit for others less adventurous, but we found it torturous. Would recommend considering just taking the park buses for as far as they go and getting off for a hike or two along the way. We did the hike at the end of the public access road the first day which was excellent.

Helpful?
5 Thank FDchicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canyon, Texas
Level Contributor
43 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Wildlife...but be ready for long day”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2012

I am rating this as 'very good' because of the wildlife viewing. However, when you are traveling 13 hours in a basic bus (this is not cruise/motor coach with arm rests or bathroom on board), you may be exhausted by the time it's over.

Looking around, a lot of the people on the bus were sleeping throughout the trip and only got engaged when someone yelled, "Bear," or "Sheep." The best advice I could give is know ahead of time that it is not going to be non-stop wildlife for 90 miles and it's going to be tiring.

That said, the historical information provided by the driver/guide was very interesting. The glacial features throughout the trip were fascinating; i.e., to see the valleys and formations created by massive glaciers was very educational. The tour of Fannie Quigley's cabin at the end of the road was also very informative and hearing her story from a Park Ranger was a nice touch in understanding the the hardships of Alaskan pioneers.

I would say go on this trip if you enjoy history. Know that wildlife viewing is hit-or-miss; maybe you'll see a lot, maybe not. But make sure you know that even with getting off the bus (restroom stops and Quigley's cabin), it's going to be a long day. Personally, I enjoyed it and was glad I did it, but I know a few folks who were glad for it to be over--even though they enjoyed many parts of the tour.

Notes:
1) No restroom on the bus, but they stop at several rest areas along the route.
2) Box lunch provided at start of trip (nothing for food to buy along the way). Bring snacks if in doubt as to whether you'll like chicken wrap in box lunch. There were water bottles, Granola-type bar, apple, and chips in box as well.
3) Bring binoculars and camera.
4) Bring mosquito repellent (they provided head nets) at the end of the road.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Japheaux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hastings, Michigan
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“The Biggest Bang For Your Buck”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2011

This was an incredible day of seeing wildlife, great lunch, snacks on the drive both ways, and one of the best guides that we had on our whole 6 week adventure. This is definitely a do not miss. We were on a Princess Tour, but booked this ourselves. It was the highlight of our trip - Grizzlies, Dall Sheep, Moose, Caribou in abundance and the fall colors on the mountain sides were so beyond anything we had ever imagined!!!

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
7 Thank 711Gail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheDenalBear, Public Relations Manager at Kantishna Wilderness Trails, responded to this review, November 2, 2011
Thanks! Glad you had a great time. Feel free to post pictures on our facebook page to share with others.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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