Denali, Alaska offers so many great activities and once in a lifetime
experiences we recommend staying two or three days to get the most out
of your trip.
While exploring Denali keep in mind the weather changes quite often from sunny, windy, rainy and back to sunny all in one day so dress in layers. Also an extra day in Denali may reveal the best view of Denali.
#1 Activity a must for anyone visiting Denali!
Ride a National Park shuttle bus into Denali National Park
The best and most affordable way to see both Denali (weather
permitting) and the wildlife is to ride the bus into the park. THIS
SHUTTLE BUS LEAVES FROM THE WILDERNESS ACCESS CENTER, which is located
one mile inside Denali National Park. Private vehicles are only allowed
the first 15 miles into the park so a bus is the only way to really see
the park. There are 2 types of buses to choose from a shuttle bus or a tour bus. Both buses travel along the same road and stop to see wildlife. The difference is the shuttle bus
is cheaper, you can get on and off anywhere along the road, it is not
narrated and you pack your own food. However the bus driver usually
talks and will help spot wildlife. The tour bus is
narrated in full by the bus driver, you will learn a lot about the area
and wildlife and a choice of snack or lunch is provided.
Both buses offer different options of varying length and various departure times. It is preferable to make a reservation for a bus prior to arrival since buses do fill up.
To learn more about the bus options and the park call 907-683-9532 or click here.
To make a bus reservation call 1-800-622-7275 or 907-272-7275 or click here.
We recommend riding the bus to the Eielson Visitor Center. On a clear day it offers amazing views of Denali. This is a full day adventure, round-trip duration is 8 hours. Don’t forget your binoculars!
Inside the park you may see grizzly and black bears, moose, caribou, wolves and dall’s sheep. It is also common to see artic ground squirrels, red squirrels, foxes and marmots. Because of the ever-changing weather, chances of seeing Denali are about 20%.
We suggest packing your own lunch and beverages as there are no concessions offered inside the park. Many local restaurants offer box lunches to take into the park you can pick it up the night before and store it in your fridge in your hotel room.
Activities in Denali National Park
- Tour the Denali Visitor Center Free.
- Visit the Murie Science and Learning Center Free.
- Go to a Sled Dog Demonstration Free.
- Take a drive to Savage River, 15 miles into the park, hike or picnic.
- Go for a hike, many trails start near the park entrance Free.
- Go on a ranger-led walk Free.
- Fishing in Denali National Park Free and no fishing license required.
Activities outside of Denali National Park
Our friendly front desk staff can assist in booking local activities and adventures. (*) Activities below with an asterisk are based out of Healy, which is where Denali Park Hotel is located.
Denali is best viewed from the air. Even on a cloudy day, most of the 20,320 feet of Denali is visible above the low-lying cloud level. You can do a summit flight or a flight that lands on a glacier! This is an experience you will never forget.
Raft or Kayak the Nenana River
Choose from an exhilarating whitewater adventure or a relaxing scenic float trip. If you feel like some solitude you can rent a kayak and paddle around Otto Lake on your own which is less than a mile from Denali Park Hotel.
Denali Outdoor Center*
Golf at Midnight!
Other tee times are available on this nine hole course. They have everything you need to play a round. There is also a mini-golf course and restaurant.
Black Diamond Golf Course*
Ride an ATV into the Alaskan Wilderness
Experience a 4 x 4 Truck Adventure
Go ATV riding or on a Covered Wagon Adventure
Enjoy a Fun and Lively Alaskan Dinner Theater
Visit the Canyon
Wander through the “Canyon” by the park entrance and browse the shops, have a pizza, go out to eat or listen to some live music.
Daytrip to Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks is an easy 2-hour drive from Denali Park Hotel and has some great activities to enjoy.