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“Flying around Denali is a pilot's dream” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of K2 Aviation

K2 Aviation
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Denali Grand Tour
Ranked #2 of 25 Tours in Talkeetna
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Experience the wonders of Alaska and Denali National Park, and gain a new appreciation for our state's size and rugged beauty. Our location in Talkeetna provides an excellent launching point for your explorations of Denali, the Alaska Range, and Denali National Park. The K2 Aviation staff is committed to ensuring that you have the best possible experience on your flightseeing tour. Come fly with us!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage
Los Angeles
1 review
“Flying around Denali is a pilot's dream”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

I cannot recommend the K2 experience enough. Both the flying and the views were far beyond my expectations. I am a pilot myself and I have read about bush flying for years which gives me a great appreciation of the difficulty and the skill needed to do what K2's pilots do everyday with charm and grace. Their airplanes are in beautiful condition and several are bush plane "classics" including my favorite, the DeHavilland Beaver which they have on skis and on floats.

I was lucky enough to be able to experience several flights with the K2 team and each was a uniquely wonderful experience. My favorite was the flight around the mountains with the glacier landing in the Beaver but the most spectacular views were from the summit flight in the Navaho twin.

My first flight was on a sunny, clear day so I chose the "McKinley Flyer with Landing" in the Beaver on skis. After flying over rivers and glaciers and through passes with incredible views our pilot landed smoothly on a glacier at a spot called "Mountain House". This landing spot has spectacular views of Mount McKinley and surrounding peaks. Standing on the glacier gives you a true appreciation of the immensity of the steep cliffs and granite walls. It was overwhelming! K2 also does this flight in the larger DeHavilland Otter which is also on skis and has windows at each seat. An Otter landed near us while I was on the glacier and one of my favorite photos is of this bright red plane against the clean white snow and blue skies of Mountain House.

The weather is very changeable in the mountains, going from low clouds and overcast to open sunny skies and back within a few hours so some flights will see more than others. My second flight was on a day with low clouds so I opted for a Summit flight in the Navaho. The Navaho has oxygen which allows the pilot to fly above the overcast to the same 20,300 ft. altitude as the top of McKinley. On my flight, the peak was poking up above the overcast into sunny skies and we were able to circle the peak several times at varying altitudes. We were close enough to see the climbing routes and high camps. It was amazing and my photos turned out beautifully! On our return the clouds broke up enough to allow the pilot to descend among the peaks and gorges at lower altitudes so we were able to see the Ruth glacier and Mount Hunter before we returned to the airport.

Whether you are a pilot or not, flying with K2 is a wonderful way to see the Alaska range. It is an experience I will never forget!

Visited June 2013
Thank Margo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
113 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Pick your flight carefully if you want to do video or photography”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013

While I have nothing but really good things to say about the company in general, the plane they chose for our flight left much to be desired as one of my main goals was to take pictures and video. I have never taken a small plane sightseeing flight before, I didn’t realize how critical positioning was if you wish to take photos and video. We flew in a small deHavilland single-engine propeller plane. There were five basic seats for passengers. The only seat that appeared to have good visual access for photography was the front seat on the right next to the pilot. Someone quickly decided he needed that seat because he had a tendency to get “airsick.” I later realized that he must’ve taken flights on this plane before and knew which seek to ask for. The second row of two seats was comfortable, but if you are tall (6 feet) your window is down and behind you. You do have access to see what’s going on through the front windows, but since there is a single propeller, the propeller artifact will be captured in all of your still and video footage. The people in the seats behind the second row seem to be trying to look out our windows so I must assume that their vision was limited too. In the future I would not fly a plane like this without being able to specifically handpick my seat. They had larger planes which seemed to offer individual windows for each passenger, but I assume since there were only five people taking the trip they chose not to take one. That may be the problem with signing up for a flight in advance and paying in advance – you don’t have much control over what plane they choose. The pilot was great – he made it really easy with a very smooth takeoff, landing, and ride. In the future though I would not reserve a flight without knowing exactly what kind of plane I was going in, what kind of window access I had for photos and video, and see whether or not the propeller would be creating artifacts as well. Apparently we are told that you can only actually get to the top of Denali perhaps one third of the time no matter what type of flight you have signed up for. We had signed up for the Denali flyover and landing on a glacier, but wisely they declined as the weather did not permit it. We did get the proper refund since we had paid for the more expensive trip in advance. Again, I have the highest regard both for the company and the pilot my complaint is that the plane they chose did not permit me to accomplish what I had wanted to do on the trip – not only see things but take pictures and video as well. The reason for giving it only 2 stars is that for the price I expected not only to have an interesting flight but have good vision and be easily able to take pictures and video as well. I therefore was disappointed.

Visited June 2013
6 Thank Smiley006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DLHAlaska, Director of Sales at K2 Aviation, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
We are sorry that you were disappointed with your trip regarding the photographing part of it. After thinking about your comments, I would advise someone whose primary purpose is to take pictures, to mention that when making the reservation. Given that, I can't recall that we have received a complaint such as yours. We have shared it with the staff to see what we could to do to avoid this situation in the future. Thanks for writing!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“glacier landing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2013

Flight was great. Awesome views and great landing on glacier. Great weather. Would
do it again. Worth the money.

Visited June 2013
Thank Ron J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Truly a breathtaking experience.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2013 via mobile

I knew the first thing I wanted to do when I got to talketna was fly around Mt. Denali. I had heard good things about k2 and they defiantly didn't disappoint. There office was easy to find only about 2 blocks away from down town. When we walked In the staff was very welcoming and accommodating. We were lucky enough to get right on the next flight. The pilot was very professional and even though the plane was small we had a smooth flight and I felt completely safe the whole time. It was very clear that day and views from the plane is one of the most incredible things I've  Seen. We flew over Mt. Hunter and the base camp for the climb of Denali we flew around the mountain getting very close to peaks and mountain walls. Seeing beautiful glaciers and Ice fields. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone and would love to do it again with the glacier landing package.

Visited July 2012
Thank Travis M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan Beach, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Mt. McKinley was Awesome!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2013

Wow....we were one of the lucky ones to see Mt. McKinley on a clear day. On Sunday, June 16th, the weather was beautiful and record highs were set, over 90-98 degrees in Talkeetna and clear! The views of Mt. McKinley were more than awesome from our hotel and unbelievable flying around it and landing on the glacier. We scheduled our flight and glacier landing for 3:00 pm that day. Chris W. was our pilot and we felt very safe in his hands. We took the train and I would suggest staying for 2 days just in case the weather is not cooperating so you have a second chance to fly up the next day. I would highly recommend K2 Aviation. The staff was fantastic to work with and we felt very safe in their hands. It was the highlight of our trip to Alaska to see Mt. Danali on a clear clear day, something I will never forget!!

Visited June 2013
Thank D S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DLHAlaska, Director of Sales at K2 Aviation, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Thanks for writing; it has been an exceptional year for flight seeing Mt. McKinley. We agree with you that Chris offers a great tour! you should come back and take our hiking trip; the only fly in one inside Denali National Park.
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