Tour buses Review
Tour buses offer a guided introduction to the park. Advance reservations are required for the tour buses and are recommended for the park shuttles. Reservations for the following season become available on December 1, so if you have only a small window to see Denali, plan far ahead. If you're not organized enough to think six months or more out, you can usually get on the bus of your choice with less than a week's notice—and you can almost always get on a shuttle bus within a day or two—but try not to count on that. Work as far ahead as you can to avoid disappointment.
Rides through the park include a five-hour Natural History Tour ($76.50) a six- to eight-hour Tundra Wilderness Tour ($123.25), and an 11- to 12-hour Kantishna Experience ($169). These prices do not include the park entrance fee, but kids are half price. Trips are fully narrated by the driver-guides and include a snack or box lunch and hot drinks. Although the Natural History Tour lasts five hours, it goes only 17 mi into the park (2 mi beyond the private-vehicle turnaround), emphasizing Denali's human and natural history. Do not take this tour if you want the best wildlife- or Mt. McKinley-viewing opportunities. You might see a moose or two but not much else. The Tundra Wilderness Tour is a great way to go for a fun, thorough introduction to the park, but if it leaves you wanting more, the Kantishna Experience travels the entire length of the road, features an interpretive guide and ranger, lunch, and some walking. Note, though, that none of the tours allows you to leave the bus without the group or to travel independently through the park.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $599 & up -- Oceanview: Alaska 7-Night Summer Cruises American Express Travel
- $599 & up -- Balcony: 7-Night Alaska Cruise on Norwegian — $599 American Express Travel
- $299 & up -- 7-Night Alaska Cruise on Holland America — $299 American Express Travel
- $279 & up -- 7-Nt. Alaska Cruise on Princess from Vancouver — $279 American Express Travel
We have done a fair amount of traveling (often with help from these forums) and so people are always asking us where we are going next. Read more
My husband and I really wanted to get to Alaska this year, but due to scheduling conflicts the only time-frame we could make it work was the last weekend of September through the first week of October. Read more
DH and I are thinking of taking a week long trip to Alaska in July. Read more
· News & Features
The curious and daring among you will discover the vibrant, gilded landscape of Istanbul, the city tha... Read more
Viking Ocean Cruises to debut in May 2015 with a small ship, all-inclusive experience in Scandinavia and... Read more
Apparently 2013 is the year of major airline uniform upgrades.... Read more