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“Long Day, But Worth It”

Denali Backcountry Adventure
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: An Adventure of a Lifetime in Just One Day! On the Denali Backcountry Adventure, enjoy a full-day exploration to the end of the 92-mile restricted Denali National Park Road. This narrated bus trip is the most complete trip into Denali National Park offering you the most opportunities to view wildlife and experience the stunning beauty in the Park. Our experienced driver and guide will help you search for bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, and other wildlife while educating you on the unique biology and geology of the region. You will arrive at the Denali Backcountry Lodge in Kantishna, for a buffet lunch and an afternoon activity. Try your luck at gold panning, or take a nature trail walk. The return trip offers a different perspective of the stunning landscapes and more opportunities for wildlife sightings. Key viewpoints include Polychrome Pass, Eielson Visitor Center, and Wonder Lake. Lunch and light snacks are included.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed August 30, 2013

As others have written, this is a long tour, lasting about 13 hours. The time passed quickly for me, though. I enjoy road trips, and (to me) that's basically was this was.

The bus leaves at 6 a.m. We returned to the cabins around 7 p.m. that evening. It was a rainy & cloudy day, but we were able to see many different animals and some beautiful scenery. There are a few rest stops along the way and snacks are offered.

We didn't get to see Mt. McKinley due to the weather, but there isn't much anyone can do about that.

The driver shuts off the bus and cautions everyone to be quiet when an animal is spotted. The theory is they do not want the animal to be disturbed by all the commotion of everyone looking at it. It's far different than Yellowstone where an animal near the road will cause traffic jams. Also, no one is allowed off the bus to view the animal. Again, this is very different from Yellowstone, where I've seen folks get out of their cars and get too close to an animal.

I do agree that the bus driver should not also be the tour guide. Although the driver/guide was very friendly and helpful, I would have felt better with him just driving instead of driving and giving information.

The lunch at the end of the road was better than I thought it would be. There were several different types of salads, soup, fruit, sandwich fixings, and two types of desserts.

If you aren't a fan of long road trips, you may want to look into a shorter tour.

Thank travels3rd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beth B, Director of Sales at Denali Backcountry Adventure, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2013

Thank you for taking time to write a review of your experience on the Denali Backcountry Adventure!

We are glad your enjoyed your day trip into Denali National Park and Preserve! The safety our guests, our employees, and the animals we encounter along the way is always a top priority for us. As a natural preserve, we are lucky to see animals in their natural habitat, which makes Denali such a unique experience.

If your travels bring you back to Alaska, we hope you you will visit us again!

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124 - 128 of 141 reviews

Reviewed August 26, 2013

Way too long. The few animals that we did see were in the first few hours. To go all the way into the terminous was tedious and not worth the time and effort. Bad enough that it was raining. I understand this trip costs $125+. Trust me, save yourself the time, money and aggrevation and take the park $20 tour. it doesn't go as far but really gives you the same flavor.

To be fair, the driver was a knowledgeable guide. However, he really needs to have his mind on the road. It is a treacherous drive and he did a masterful job. I suggest that the tour company have one driver and one guide.

Thank TravelswithmyTeen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beth B, Director of Sales at Denali Backcountry Adventure, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2013

Thank you for taking time to review your experience on the Denali Backcountry Adventure.

I'm sorry to hear your experience did not meet your expectations.We work very hard to provide our guests with every opportunity to see as much as possible while visiting Denali National Park and Preserve. However, the unfortunate reality is that the wildlife and weather can be unpredictable.

It is helpful to receive feedback so we can learn where we can improve, and celebrate our successes. If your travels bring you back to the Last Frontier, we hope you will consider visiting us again.

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Reviewed August 26, 2013

We enjoyed our entire day. Bring extra batteries for your camera just in case. Be sure you are rested up the night before, because this tour started at 6:00 am and lasted all day and late into the evening. You board a bus with other excited tourist. Your guide will inform you of the history on the park as its being driven down the road. Keep a keen eye out for wildlife such as bears, moose, sheep, wolves, birds, caribou. He will stop for plenty of picture taking. There will be several bathroom breaks and picture taking opportunities of the mountains. Not all trips will see the tip of Mount McKinley but its still an enjoyable and beautiful place. We were taken to the end of the road and fed a very nice lunch. Participated in a short vegetation tour learning about the edible berries which was great because we hiked and used what we learned. Definitely worth the time and money to take this tour.

Thank Kim4321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beth B, Director of Sales at Denali Backcountry Adventure, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2013

Thank you for taking time to review your experience on the Denali Backcountry Adventure!

I am thrilled to hear you had a fantastic visit to Denali National Park! We are fortunate to have a team of drivers and naturalists who are passionate and knowledgeable about Denali and sharing with our guests.

We hope to see you again!

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Reviewed August 25, 2013

We had a clear day, though Mt. McKinley was a bit obscured. The amount of moose, caribou, bear and ptarmigans were more than could keep count! The bus driver Jim Cavin was a storehouse of information from history to ecology- great guide. The stop at the Nashtika Lodge was a good rest stop and the lunch was better than average.
I have already recommended this tour to friends considering an Alaskan trip.

Thank Frank S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beth B, Director of Sales at Denali Backcountry Adventure, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2013

I'm glad you enjoyed your experience on the Denali Backcountry Adventure! We had a spectacular summer in Alaska, and it is great to hear you were able to see all that Denali has to offer.

Thank you for taking time submit your review, and we hope to see you again!

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Reviewed August 23, 2013

This is an amazing place, but this tour is too long. We were running late from the beginning so it seemed that we were making up time all the way. Don't get me wrong we saw animals and the beautiful mountain, but we could have seen this on the national parks buses too.
No morning tea - just a muesli bar & cookie on the way. Finally arrived at the lodge where we were supposed to have 2 hours to be told we only had just over 1 hour. I think someone complained as they stretched it half an hour. Average lunch was all that was provided.
We did not travel back on the bus the thought of another 6 hours banging around on it was too much so we took a plane from kathisima air - cost $ 225 per person but it was beyond worth it. Up close and personal with the mountain made our day.

Thank Shell B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beth B, Director of Sales at Denali Backcountry Adventure, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2013

Thank you for taking time to review your experience on the Denali Backcountry Adventure!

We understand the 92-mile journey on the Park Road can make for a long day, but we hope our guests enjoy the unique experience to view wildlife and the stunning landscapes of Denali's backcountry. I'm glad to hear you took advantage of the opportunity to pair your Backcountry Adventure with a flight-seeing tour; it is a great way to add another perspective of the Park.

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