Denali National Park Deals - Mt.McKinley - Alaska Travel Deals
Denali National Park & Mt. McKinley 2-for-1 Travel Deals
Denali National Park is near the top of the list for visitors to Alaska. Mt. McKinley, or Denali as it's called in Alaska, is the tallest mountain in North America. But it's not just the big mountain that draws thousands of visitors to Denali National Park each year. The wildlife preserve is home to bear, wolf, moose, caribou, eagle and many other critters. It's important to make plans early for visiting Denali National Park. You can access the park from the entrance, or by air from Talkeetna, which is "base camp" for climbers from all over the world. Some choose to take the bus tour from the park entrance. Others want to take a flightseeing tour from Talkeetna. Some Denali Park tours like flightseeing, even include a glacier landing! Since access tothe 85-mile road through the park is restricted to buses or campers' shuttles, plan on an early start if you want to take the bus.
Most of the bus tours of Denali National Park start between 5:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Using the exclusive 2-for-1 coupons available in the Alaska TourSaver, you'll enjoy exclusive savings for lodging, flightseeing tours and other Denali tours. Don't wait: get your Alaska TourSaver® and start saving on your trip to Denali National Park today! There are so many coupons for Alaska tours included in TourSaver that using just one of the offers covers the $99.95 price.
Denali National Park & Mt. McKinley are two of Alaska's top attractions. All TourSaver Deals.
There are lots of big facts about Mount McKinley. Some of the glaciers on Mount McKinley are well-known. For example, the Ruth Glacier is where bush pilot Don Sheldon built a cabin. The "Mountain House" still hosts visitors from around the world. The glacier is a favorite landing spot for travelers who want a brief glacier landing as part of an air tour. Kahiltna Glacier hosts "Base Camp" for those who are climbing to the top of the mountain. However, there are dozens of other glaciers around the mountain. On an air tour, you can see many orange cones, many of which denote a glacier landing strip staked out earlier by pilots.
There are many larger-than-life Alaska pioneers that spent years on or around Mount McKinley. Bradford Washburn and his wife, Barbara, mapped out Mount McKinley in the 1950s. Today, their calculations and technical data still figure prominently in any geographic analysis of the mountain and its surroundings. Washburn helped produce a great book on Mount McKinley: "Mount McKinley: The Conquest of Denali". It's an incredible essay with stunning photographs of the mountain by Washburn. The book is out of print, but go to the "Alaskacam" home page on the link above, to find the book from private parties.
The Washburns depended on Bush Pilots like Bob Reeve, Lowell Thomas, Jr. and Don Sheldon to ferry supplies up and down Mount McKinley. While much of the business for air taxis was hauling freight, the same pilots often were called on to rescue injured climbers. Don Sheldon was regarded as one of the "super airmen" of the mountain. His story is recounted in a popular Alaska book, "Wager with the Wind".
Since Mount McKinley is inside the Denali National Park and Preserve, all climbers need to register with the Park Service. Climbers must register with the Park Service at least 60 days prior to their climb, then pay a $200 fee (plus park entrance fee). The Park Service's ranger station in Talkeetna is the nerve center for monitoring climbers on the mountain. Even if you're not planning on climbing Mount McKinley, a stop at the ranger station in downtown Talkeetna offers an interesting look at the mountain, its special properties and obstacles.
The best way to get up close and personal to Mount McKinley is to take an air tour. Two companies offer great air tours from differing perspectives.Talkeetna Aero Services offers a "Summit" tour of Denali in a pressurized, twin-engine aircraft, departing Talkeetna. Era Helicopters offers a heli-hiking flightseeing tour. Tour includes approximately 3.5 hours of guided hiking and a 15 minute helicopter flight.
There are several excellent resources for information on Denali Park, including the Denali Foundation. Another online resource is the National Park Service's own web page on Denali National Park. Here, you can learn about the wildlife in the park, options for access, including the park service shuttle and camping/RV facilities.
At the park entrance, there are many options for activities and accommodations. Denali Park Resorts has a host of hotels for visitors. Choose from flightseeing, rafting, horseback riding--even a visit to Iditarod Champion Jeff King's dog kennel (that's a favorite with the kids).
If you choose to explore Denali National Park from this vantage point (at the park entrance) and you only have a day or two, be sure and take one of the bus tours offered by Denali Park Resorts. Choose the "Tundra Wilderness Tour". It leaves early, but that's the best time to see the wildlife!
Another great option to see Denali National Park is by air from Talkeetna. Companies like K2 Aviation offer daily flights around the mountain. Talkeetna Aero Services offers twin-engine aircraft wtih oversized windows that give travelers a wonderful view of the mountain. On some tours, you can even fly over the mountain! Talkeetna Air Taxi will land you on a glacier so you can walk around ON THE ICE. This is really fun!
At the end of the 90-mile road through Denali Park is the old gold-mining community of Kantishna. Because there are three lodges back at the end of the road, it represents a more exclusive approach to exploring Denali National Park. That means it's expensive. But it's worth it if you want to see a piece of the park accessible to less than five percent of the visitors. You can save some money on tours around Mt. Mckinley as well by using the Alaska TourSaver.
These lodges, including the Kantishna Roadhouse and Camp Denali, sit near the shores of beautiful Wonder Lake. A small stream runs past the lodges--visitors can fish the stream for Arctic Grayling. There are interpretive programs each evening and nature hikes during the day. You can go flightseeing with Kantishna Air Service--it's just spectacular!
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