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“FRIST TIME FLYER” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alaska Bush Float Plane Service

Alaska Bush Float Plane Service
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Experience Alaska with our family-owned and operated floatplane service. We live locally in Talkeetna, AK. and our father and son pilot team has over 45 years of experience flying in the Denali and Alaska Range. Our two pilots have a perfect safety record, making safety our number one concern. We pride ourselves in offering great personal service and all employees have direct interest in our business success. Every one of our passengers receives a window seat and 2-way headsets allowing your trip to be customized as you converse with the pilot and your family. All of our planes are high winged giving you optimal viewing abilities for taking memorable photos. If you want to experience Alaska in a small, personal setting, then choose Alaska Bush Floatplane Service.
howell nj
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

Best pilot great plane ride .....saw some wild life...the staff young lady from new jeresy was very helpful.
when we return we will fly the Talkeetna range again!

Visited June 2012
3 Thank mdc1947m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
salt lake city
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Flexible Flights, Perfect for Families”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2012

My cousin told us that the very best use of our money in Alaska would be on a scenic flight around Mt. McKinley. Even though they are expensive, she told us they are worth every penny. So, I went inside to check out K2 Aviation. There were so many options: the McKinley Experience, the McKinley Flyer, or as long as you're spending that much money, do you go all out for the Denali Grand Tour? And then should we add a glacier landing? There wasn't much of a discount for kids; they actually recommend having parents take turns and go one at a time while the other parent stays with the kids and plays on the playground. I didn't like that idea at all, and it was raining. And then I realized we had missed the first flight on the schedule and would have to wait for the next one, a few hours later in the afternoon. And if it was raining in Talkeetna, would we even be able to see Mt. McKinley? We drove away and started to leave Talkeetna. But then my husband spotted the float planes and decided we needed to stop and check them out.

He has a thing for float planes (from watching Northern Exposure); he's also attracted to buildings with vegetation growing on the roof. The sign says Mt. McKinley Scenic, but the business is called The Alaska Bush Float Plane Service.

My husband was sold with the idea of landing on a lake. And Molly, the woman who sets up the flights couldn't have been more accommodating. The planes only hold five passengers, but Molly quickly offered to babysit our youngest while the rest of us went on a flight. Perfect! (She told us kids under the age of five usually fell asleep anyway.) She went and talked to the pilot and came back with a reasonable discounted family price. I couldn't decide whether to take the Explore Denali 1.0 Tour or the Explore Denali 1.2 Tour. (The 1.2 Tour is about fifteen minutes longer, takes you over the Climber's Base Camp area, and offers a view of the West Buttress Route that is used by most climbers.) So Molly told me we could decide in the air. Perfect again!

We flew over the Talkeetna airport, over some rivers, up and over the clouds, and then we were in the mountains. I could not believe the view! The glacier lakes were incredible. It looked like someone had dropped blue food coloring onto the snow. We flew right by the south face of Mt. McKinley. But without our pilot, we really wouldn't have been able to identify which one it was. All of the mountains were magnificent. And we were so close!

It was probably ten minutes into our flight before I realized I had a two-way radio on my headset. Our three kids didn't know they had radios until the end of the flight; we didn't tell them because I didn't want them all trying to talk to the pilot at once. I had them raise their hands when they wanted to talk, and then I passed them my microphone.

We should have prepped the kids with some information before the trip because they were full of curiosity. I tried to limit their questions to the pilot because I didn't want them to distract him. Jason, how deep is that snow? Jason, which one is Moose's Tooth? Jason, which one is a glacier?

Without an aerial tour, it is impossible to comprehended the staggering depth of the Alaska Range. There were so many things to see that it was hard to decide which direction to look. The view was surprisingly clear. (Mt. McKinley is so large that it creates its own localized weather.) We decided to fly over the Climber's Base Camp. We were also able to (barely) spot some climbers on the mountain.

The questions continued. Jason, how many people climb Mt. McKinley? (About 1200 per year; roughly half succeed.) Jason, how long does it take to climb Mt. McKinley? (About two or three weeks.) Jason, has anyone ever died trying to climb Mt. McKinley? (120. . . and counting. Four Japanese climbers died in an avalanche just one week after our visit.)

By the way, I just looked these answers up myself. I couldn't remember his responses because I was too busy trying to keep my girls quiet. Our pilot was nice, but he didn't seem accustomed to endless questions from eight and nine-year-olds.

That is one thing they could have improved on. Also, they had my kids sit on life jackets to boost them up to be able to see out of the plane windows. Real booster seats would have been more comfortable.

The views were breathtaking. It was another pinch-yourself-I-can't-believe-we-are-really-doing-this-moment. And then our landing on Fish Lake was fantastic.

What an amazing experience! And how glad I am that we stopped to check out The Alaska Bush Float Plane Service. They are a small, family-owned business and were able to personalize the trip just for us. I'm pretty sure that was the most expensive "impulse purchase" I've ever made, but it was well worth the price.

Visited June 2012
3 Thank mlejane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great, safe float plane service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2012

We did a family trip into a great spot in the Talkeetnas. I had flown once before with Elbert for work and had felt really safe with him. That is really important to me, even more so when my kids are getting in the plane too. We had great flights in and out, relaxed, great info along the way, Elbert gave us great tips on the fishing (great grayling and lake trout fishing) where were going, and ideas on other trips in the area for the future. I really like flying with a small service so I know beforehand who my pilot will be. Elbert and Jason have a great reputation and safety record, and we look forward doing more trips with them in the future.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank GrouseRidge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hickory, North Carolina
1 review
“Best of Alaska”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2012

There is no way to see Alaska as well as by air. This was one of the highlights of our trip and we would recommend it to everyone. This is a family owned business, maybe that is why the service was so nice. Our pilot was awesome, he made sure to circle and let us all see from different angles.. The scenery was breathtaking and the flight was smooth and you could tell the pilot was excellent at his job. We would recommend them to everyone.

Visited July 2012
Thank dpropst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Really Good Bush Plane/Fishing Experiance”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012

We found a really nice fishing experiance in Talkeetna.Starting with Molly the office manager to the pilots and guides. All were friendly and accomodating. Yes we did catch many fish. We arrived on a full moon and and a front coming through. These two things combined with the guide's knowledge led to a wonderful fishing trip for my wife and I.The weather was challenging for the pilot,but he was smart and confident and overcome the winds on the lake.The office is located on a picturese Fish Lake just outside of Talkeetna. I would highly recoomend this compant to any interested in a float plane trip out of Talkeetna.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank Glen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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