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A flightseeing tour of the park is one of the best ways to get a sense of the Alaska Range's size and scope. Flightseeing is also the best way to get close-up views of Mt. McKinley and its neighboring giants, and maybe even stand on a glacier, all without the hassle of days of hiking and lugging food and gear.
Most Denali flightseeing is done out of Talkeetna, a small end-of-the-road town between Anchorage and Denali, and the operators will offer several tours, including a quick fly-by, a summit tour, a glacier landing—something for everybody. We suggest you take the longest, most detailed tour you can afford, so you don't go back home wishing you'd had a chance to see more.
K2 Aviation. Specializing in flightseeing and glacier landings in the Alaska Range, K2 Aviation's prices range from $205 (for a 1-hour flightsee) to $390 (for a 120-minute flightsee with a glacier landing). 14052 East 2nd St., Talkeetna Airport, Talkeetna, AK, 99676. 907/733–2291 or 800/764–2291. www.flyk2.com.
Sheldon Air Service. Owned by a family with more than 80 years experience landing on mountains and glaciers, Sheldon runs flightseeing trips and provides flight support to climbers. The Denali Grand Tour flightseeing trip lasts 90 minutes and costs $375 per person. A glacier landing adds 30 minutes to your flight and costs an additional $75. 907/733–2321 or 800/478–2321. www.sheldonairservice.com.
Talkeetna Air Taxi. Fly with Talkeetna Air Taxi for breathtaking exploration flights close to massive Mt. McKinley, as well as glacier landings. See Ruth Glacier and the South Face ($205, or $290 with glacier landing); the base camp ($265, or $350 with glacier landing); or the Grand Denali tour ($305, or $390 with a glacier landing). 14212 E. 2nd St., Talkeetna Airport, Talkeetna, AK, 99676. 907/733–2218 or 800/533–2219. www.talkeetnaair.com.