Best use of 1.5 days in Denali

Old Aug 8th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Best use of 1.5 days in Denali

We will arrive at Denali NP evening of Aug 26. We will spend 2 nights, but want to arrive in ACH by night of Aug 28.

What are some tour recommendations that make best use of one full day, maybe one more half day there? We would like to get somewhat deep into the park, but would also like to step off a bus here and there for some easy hiking.

Also, is it highly recommended we book Denali shuttles or tours in advance, or usually no problems doing it there?
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Old Aug 8th, 2009, 10:26 AM
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By ACH, do you mean Anchorage (ANC)?

IMO, the best bus tours are the shuttle busses run by the National Park Service. I recommend that you reserve your tour in advance: http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisi...servations.htm You can get very deep into the park but detours for hiking, camping, etc. need to be coordinated with the NPS. They can and do drop people off at a given spot and then pick them up later.

You may also find some useful information here: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/desti...nal-park_N.htm

Do you know where you will be staying those two nights?
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Old Aug 8th, 2009, 04:32 PM
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Sorry, yes ANC. Hope to hit either Talkeetna or Hatcher Pass on the way back down if we have time.

We are staying at Denali Park Hotel north of the entrance in Healy.

I will look into booking the tour in advance. Thanks!
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Old Aug 8th, 2009, 06:42 PM
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Vic is right, take the shuttle bus (the park service doesn't actually run them, they are let to a concessionaire) ... ride at least to Eielson Visitor Center (8 hours round trip), maybe to Wonder Lake if you have an iron butt (12 hours). You can get off anywhere (unless there are animals nearby) and walk around, then get picked up by any bus that has room.
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Old Aug 9th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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Looking at the shuttle and tour options, I am probably going to reserve the Eielson VC shuttle so we have flexibility to hop off and hike a bit. It also seems like the tours do NOT stop at the new Eielson VC.
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Old Aug 9th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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If you have binoculars and a digital camera with a big optical zoom, you are in for a treat. Be sure to bring mosquito head nets for each member of your party. They are very cheap and could be a lifesaver if they (mosquitos) are really bad. You'll love Denali. Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 9th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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It also seems like the tours do NOT stop at the new Eielson VC.

The Tundra Tour busses do NOT go as far as Eielson, just to Stony Hill overlook (on clear days, not even that far if it's cloudy). This is several miles before Eielson. Also you cannot get off the Tundra Tour busses and later get picked up by another one, you have to stay with your bus. Most of their customers appear to be older people who are doing a cruise ship - land package.

The green "shuttle" busses are the ones that let you get on and off and go further into the park (and are much less expensive). This link shows 24 busses east-bound from Eielson each day between July 2 and Aug 12, for example: http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisi...-schedules.htm (click dates to see a PDF file with the actual schedules).
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Old Aug 9th, 2009, 08:57 PM
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Thanks to you both!!
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