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“2010 end of summer Denali Highway road trip.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Denali Highway

Denali Highway
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Denali Highway Jeep Excursion
Ranked #195 of 763 things to do in Alaska
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Located midway between Anchorage and Fairbanks, this highway leads to some interesting tundra hikes.
Anchorage Alaska
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“2010 end of summer Denali Highway road trip.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2010

Our family took a road trip on the Denali Highway September 1-4, 2010.

The Denali Highway is one of our favorite places in Alaska.

We took our older 21 foot RV. We started on the Cantwell side and drove across to Paxson. The road is mostly gravel except for about the first 3 miles on the Cantwell side and about the first 20 miles from Paxon to Tangle Lakes. If you don’t want to drive on gravel it is still worth your time to drive the paved section from Paxson to Tangle Lakes.

The road was in great condition for our crossing, the gravel was smooth with a few rough sections. If you drive slow, 25- 40 mph, you should not have any problems. The highway conditions can change so check before you go.

There a lot of places to pull off the road to sight see, hike and camp. There are a few “formal” campgrounds also. A stop at Alpine Creek Lodge is a must, it is about halfway: http://www.alpinecreeklodge.com Get an Alaska Milepost it is a great guide for the Denali Highway.

Make sure your vehicle is in good condition especially your tires. Take warm clothing with rain gear, sleeping bags, food for a couple of extra days, and tent if you are not in a camper or RV. If you have a break down someone will stop and check on you but sometimes that may take a while and if you need a tow you may have to wait, may as well be comfortable. There is sporadic cell phone coverage, (don’t depend on it though). Make sure you have some type of towing insurance, if you need to be towed it is really expensive. Sam’s Club has a great break down plan that covers all of your vehicles even motorcycles and it is not too expensive, (way cheaper than a tow bill).

If you want to have a campfire take firewood as it is difficult to come by along the highway. Make sure that open fires are allowed as it can get extremely dry and you don’t want to start a tundra or forest fire. Be prepared for all types of weather I have seen it snow in July and August, it did not stick for long, but it was still snow. The night temperatures in the spring and fall can get below freezing. The summer temperatures can get into the 80s.

It is a beautiful drive anytime, take your time and you may see moose, caribou, bears, and all kinds of small game and birds. There is fishing for Arctic Grayling and Lake Trout in many places.

To see a few photos of our recent trip on the Denali Highway click this:


14 Thank Hogfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“one of the best in alaska”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2010

take a drive down this road... the scenery was unreal
the roads bumpy,, have no doubt,,, but the spendor and the vistas plus the fact youre there almost alone adds to granduar of this state,,,i really loved it in september when the tundra as in its fall glory

6 Thank mavrkpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Denali Highway--a must see!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2009

As part of the Princess Alaska cruise/tour, our guide took us on an 8 hour bus ride on the road to Denali. We traveled from Paxson to the Denali National Park. We went on this trip at the end of July which was a perfect time for good visibility of Mt. McKinley (Denali) and we took awesome photos of the mountain. We also saw caribou, bears, Dall sheep and many different birds. One of the highlights was being able to pick wild blueberries at the side of the road!

3 Thank sshirlen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alto, Ga
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2009

We had a wonderful experience driving the Denali highway. We were there in late August. The weather was perfect, just a few rain showers that ended with spectacular rainbows. We didn't see much wildlife, but the vistas were amazing. The Denali Highway truly does give the "feel" of Alaska, secluded!

4 Thank TishaAlto_Ga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
26 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Better than the Denali NP bus tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2009

Even though the Denali Highway does not go through the Denali NP, I thought it was time better spent than the park. Unlike the almost as much wildlife here as in the NP. Plus, you are free to get out of your car and watch them, unlike at Denali NP, where you are quarantined inside the bus if anyone sees an animal. And they won't let anyone out until they have travelled at least one mile without seeing an animal. Plus those crappy buses are filled with loud tourist that scare anything that is close to the bus away. Denali Highway is as quiet as the Dalton in terms of traffic, when you get out to look at an animal, it is just wide open Alaska, and so peacefully quiet, like there is no one else on the planet.

If I go back to Alaska and had to choose between driving a rental on this road or sitting on one of those freakin Denali NP buses, no contest, take the Denali Highway.

14 Thank BruceBe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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