Located far from any airport or large city, Denali is a wilderness park. Reaching the park can take several hours (or even most of a day), so we recommend that you plan a minimum itinerary of 2 nights in the area, which gives you one full day and part of two others.
The suggested activities (below, separated by day) are the highlights of a visit. Day 1 and Day 3 could be easily swapped with each other, but we suggest Day 2 should be dedicated to a sight-seeing trip by bus along the sole park road.
Which Bus Do I Choose?
Day 2 of this itinerary suggests a bus trip of some kind. There are many options; the table below will help you decide whether a shuttle bus or tour bus is best for you.
|Bus type||I want to hike or camp||I want to
learn about the park
|I want to maximize my chances to see wildlife||Round Trip Duration|
|Natural History Tour||No||Yes||No; wildlife viewing may occur, but chances are slimmer than with other trips||4.5 hours|
|Tundra Wilderness Tour||No||Yes||Yes||8 hours|
|Kantishna Experience Tour||No||Yes||Yes||12 hours|
|Shuttle Bus||Yes; passengers may disembark to day hike||No; drivers are not required to narrate||Yes; the longer the shuttle trip, the better your odds of seeing wildlife||Several choices, ranging from 6 to 12 hours|
|Camper Bus||Yes; only passengers camping or backpacking in the park can use this bus||No||Varies depending on how long you spend on the bus before disembarking to camp.||Variable|
Additional trip-planning resources: