Q. I have 2 weeks to spend, what are the top 10 places to go and see? What is there to do at Denali besides the bus tour for kids? What special clothing/items do we need to bring? -Christy
A. I don’t know the date of your trip, Christy, so not sure but what the info is too late for you. If so, I’m really sorry! I’ll go ahead and answer anyway, hoping it is in time, and if not, it will perhaps help others who plan to come.
We’ve been attracting visitor’s for a hundred years. People come for the scenic beauty, the trophy fish, abundant wildlife and interesting history. Tourism is our #1 industry. It’ s a really fun time as you meet nice people from all over the world.
There is a lot to do at Denali besides the bus tour for kids. In fact, guess what? I didn’t even know there was a bus tour for ‘kids’. Far as I know, the bus tour is for everyone. Shuttle buses continually travel from the hotel back into the park and it is a wonderful ride. The drivers stop periodically for getting out and taking pictures, and you see lots of wildlife. We once saw a mama grizzly and twin cubs and they were all standing up on hind legs ‘looking at the lookers’! A favorite sight when I went was a cute red fox running down the road with a rabbit dangling from his mouth. Taking, supper home to wife and babies I thought.
There is a 90 mile long well maintained gravel road running from the entrance back into the park. Regular vehicles are limited on the road however. A certain # of permits are issued, each season, for people wanting to drive back to Wonder Lake, the farthest in campground. If you are just wanting to see the sights, the shuttle bus is the way to go. The 8 hour round trip bus ride is about $23.75 I believe, with discounts for kids and seniors. You would carry a sack lunch and a bottle of water along.
The park covers 6 million acres. Think about it. That’s the size of the entire state of Massachusetts. It has 39 species of mammals and 167 species of birds, 10 species of fish and one amphibian creature – the lowly wood frog.
Here are some things you can do at Denali National Park, where if you are lucky and it isn’t socked in with clouds, you can see the mighty Mt. Mc Kinley, the highest on the North American continent, at 20,320 feet.
Black Diamond Golf Course www.blackdiamondgolf.com
Covered Wagon Tours and ATV Tours www.denalihorsetours.com
Denali Park Resorts offers white water rafting gold panning and a dinner theatre. www.denaliparkresorts.com
Denali Saddle Safaris has 1, 2, and 4 hour rides with lunch furnished on the longer rides. www.denalisaddlesafaris.com
Denali Air will take you flightseeing over the area. Check them out at www.DenaliAir.com
You can even visit a champion sled dog racers kennels. Contact them at www.huskyhomestead.com
There are tremendous hiking possibilities in Denali Park also. Whatever you do you’ll have a good time.
As for what to wear, you probably should bring a rain jacket, hat, and clothes that you can layer, taking off or adding items as needed. It will be chilly in the evenings even if it warm during the day. Long sleeves shirts are good for mosquito reasons. Some years they are not too bad…other years you’ll want both long sleeves and insect repellent applied liberally.
As for what to do in other areas of the state, Christy, please check the question next door to yours – from Laurence. He had similar questions. Hope this helps. Have fun. -Bonnie J.