Sightsee on a Denali Shuttle Bus

a bus parked with many people standing outside looking at a scenic landscape
A particularly beautiful day for a shuttle bus trip in Denali, as seen from Stony Dome (approximately Mile 59 on the park road).

NPS Photo / Claire Abendroth

Denali is a unique park in many ways.

There is just one road in the park, and traffic on most of it is regulated to prevent congestion, preserve a wilderness experience for sight-seers and reduce stress on wildlife. Travel on the road is mainly limited to a variety of bus trips.

Shuttle buses are not narrated, but they are a great way to see and experience the park. Restroom breaks occur about every 90 minutes, and wildlife viewing stops will occur any time animals can be seen. Passengers are welcome to disembark to hike, either on the road or off-trail in the wilderness, and can board a different bus later in the day to continue their journey.

Details

When you buy a shuttle bus ticket, you'll choose how long of a trip to undertake. Choices are 6, 8, 10 or 12 hours round-trip. Durations include stops for wildlife viewing, bathroom breaks, and more. 

There are no minimum ages; but state of Alaska child safety laws mean that kids under age 4 must be in a car seat. Car seats are not provided by the bus company, so please bring your own.

Pets are not allowed on shuttle buses. 

Ticket prices vary depending on the duration of the trip. Please visit the shuttle bus company's website to find current prices.

Generally, shuttle bus trips start from a building near the park entrance called the Wilderness Access Center. 

If your visit will be short (e.g., 3 days or less), reservations are strongly recommended. Please visit the shuttle bus company's website to book in advance. 

Visitors who will be in the Denali area for more than a few days may find it more convenient to wait until arriving and purchase tickets in the park, at the Wilderness Access Center.

The summer season in Denali is from May 20 to mid-September. The final day for shuttle bus trips each summer is the second Thursday after the Labor Day holiday.

Bus trips operate all day, though most departures are before noon. 

Accessibility Information
  • Several shuttle buses each day are equipped with wheelchair lifts. Please be sure to notify the bus company of this need when making reservations.
  • Rest areas where buses stop offer wheelchair-accessible bathrooms.
  • Most of the park road and rest areas are well-compacted gravel surfaces. Only the first 15 miles of the park road are paved.

Last updated: January 18, 2017