• pond surrounded by green brush, reflecting a distant range of snow-covered mountains that are dominated by one massive mountain


    National Park & Preserve Alaska


a small propeller plane sitting on a snowfield, with steep, snowy mountains in the background
Image Courtesy Ian Shive

One of the more dramatic ways to tour Denali National Park and Preserve is from the window of a small aircraft. From the air, park visitors can take in the enormity and diversity of the park landscape - soaring over gentle foothills, along meandering glaciers, up to the rugged peaks of the Alaska Range. In addition to the stunning scenery, flightseers can often catch glimpses of mountaineers en route to the high summits.

three prop planes on a snow field with a steep, snowy mountain behind

Landing strip at the Kahiltna Glacier.

Ian Shive

The majority of flightseeing companies, including both fixed wing and helicopter operations, are based in the communities immediately surrounding the park such as Talkeetna, Denali Park, Healy, and Kantishna. Some flight tours also originate in Anchorage and Fairbanks. A variety of routes and itineraries are available, weather permitting. Some operators offer flight tours year-round.

For an enhanced flightseeing experience, visitors can opt to land on one of the park glaciers aboard a ski-equipped airplane. Enjoy a unique opportunity for a mid-summer snowball fight, or for the more experienced, an overnight glacier adventure. Due to variable snow conditions, glacier landings are primarily offered during the spring and summer months.

The following flightseeing concessionaires are permitted to land aircraft on glaciers in Denali National Park:

Fly Denali, with offices in Talkeetna and Healy, AK; 866-733-7768, www.flydenali.com

Sheldon Air Service, Talkeetna, AK; 907-733-2321, www.sheldonairservice.com

K2 Aviation, Talkeetna, AK; 800-764-2291, www.flyk2.com

Talkeetna Air Taxi, Talkeetna, AK; 800-533-2219, www.talkeetnaair.com

Kantishna Air Taxi (Kantishna, AK and Denali area; (303) 449-1146 (Oct - May) and (907) 644-8222 (June - Sept), http://katair.com/index.html) provides air taxi services between the McKinley Park Airstrip, at the park entrance, and the Kantishna Airstrip, as well as flightseeing services from Kantishna.

A host of other air taxi companies are also permitted to operate within parts of Denali.

Private pilots interested in flying in the park should consult the pilot information page for recommended reporting points, airstrip locations, and other flight planning assistance.

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