Best Shuttle to Kantishna

May 6th, 2010, 10:38 PM
  #1  
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Best Shuttle to Kantishna

We are going to Denali in August 2010. Is it better to take the 5:30am shuttle to Wonder Lake and transfer somewhere or to take the 7:45am shuttle to Kantishna? We are a group of 5. Thanks.
want_2_travel_06 is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 11:07 PM
  #2  
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Is there anything to see in Kantishna or should we just go to Wonder Lake?
want_2_travel_06 is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 04:06 AM
  #3  
 
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We took the 13 hour trip to Kantishna - not sure I would choose it if I had it to do over - it was a very long day in a school bus with lots of animals - but animals per hour was not all that great. Lunch at Kantishna, took a short hike, fed the mosquitoes, and then the ride back. This was the place we saw Mom and baby moose - fairly close up. But it was a really long day.
gail is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 06:40 AM
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What do you want out of Denali Park?? There is no place to "transfer" to? So not sure what your reference is?? The only "transfering" you are going to do, is departing the bus, deciding IF you want to return on the same Wonder Lake bus back- which has about a 45 minute stop- OR hiking somewhere, and back to the bus stop.

As I have already posted, the day Kantishna TOUR bus trips are little more than a very high cost lunch. There is NO time for any of the lodge activities, and this is an overnight- multiple,area in my opinion. Even the Wonder Lake shuttle can be too much for some. With the shuttle buses you DO have to bring in all your own food and drink. Last full grocery stop is Wasilla from Anchorage, or Fairbanks.

Do your homework on Denali Park, and find out what it is YOU want out of it. www.nps.gov/dena
BudgetQueen is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 08:04 AM
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We are going to Denali in August 2010. Is it better to take the 5:30am shuttle to Wonder Lake and transfer somewhere or to take the 7:45am shuttle to Kantishna? We are a group of 5. Thanks.

Personally I'd just do the 8 hour trip to Eielson Visitor Center. The 12 and 13 hour trips to WL or Kantishna are just a bit too long for comfort for most of us.

If you ARE going to choose between Kantishna or WL (these use the same road for the first 88 miles or so, then there's a fork to either WL campground or straight to Kantisha), then look into what's available at both and decide which you would rather visit.

Kantishna has some old buildings from the gold rush, usually a sled dog exhibit, a roadhouse where you can eat and drink (the have a liquor license), not much else. WL is one of the buggiest places I've ever been in early August, with thick swarms of mosquitos, but has great views of the mountains (if it's clear; usually it isn't) and of the lake. No food (bring your own), nothing but water to drink. You are there on your own about 30 minutes before heading back.
Bill_H is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 05:33 AM
  #6  
 
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I have gone to Wonder Lake several times and always had a 45 minute stop here, never 30 minutes.

As an alternative, book an Eielson shuttle bus, THEN if McKinley is viewable, IMMEDIATELY upon getting to Eielson, upgrade your ticket for Wonder Lake, with the Aramark employee stationed there. Then get on the list for seats. OR you can pay for a Wonder Lake bus, and just bail out at Eielson (or anywhere else) if the day gets too long for your.
BudgetQueen is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 10:29 PM
  #7  
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Thank you for all your replies. We decided to buy a ticket to Kantishna one day (possibly to go to Reflection Lake if Denali is visible) and to Wonder Lake the second day. They had a buy two get one free special so we also book the third day to Wonder Lake for free. The second and third days we may not go all the way to Wonder Lake, but at least we will have a ticket to go if Denali is visible.
want_2_travel_06 is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 09:34 AM
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We decided to buy a ticket to Kantishna one day (possibly to go to Reflection Lake if Denali is visible)

Reflection Pond is about 5 miles from the Kantishna Roadhouse. The driver can let you off but you'll have to wait and get picked up on the return trip (bring lunch). There are no other shuttles in this area so you either walk or wait.

Having spent several weeks in that area staying at Camp Denali and North Face Lodge I would advise going on to Kantishna (or the outlet area) rather than waiting an hour or more at Reflection Pond, but of course it's your trip. I think the views of McKinley and Wonder Lake are actually better a couple miles down the road at the outlet (where the road is at lake level).

I have gone to Wonder Lake several times and always had a 45 minute stop here, never 30 minutes.

No doubt you're right Queen ... the only time I did this we were delayed by a lynx sighting, a wolf kill and 11 grizzly sightings on the ride in, so we were a bit late getting to WL and only got to swat mosquitos for 30 minutes instead of 45
Bill_H is offline  

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