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Most independent travelers explore Denali by taking one of the bus tours, each of which covers varying lengths of the Park Road. You can compare different Park Road tours to see which is best for you, but keep in mind that you don’t have to stick with a bus. Some tour companies offer you the chance to rent bicycles and go solo—and plenty of people use the hop-on, hop-off Park Shuttle as the way to hike sections of the Park on their own. You can also go rafting, flightseeing, take a rowdy ATV tour, or tour the kennel of an Iditarod Musher. Some people book a stay at one of the lodges deep inside Denali, where you can hike, bicycle, canoe and experience the Park in comfort—but still largely off the grid.
Denali is 5 ½ hours from Anchorage by car and 8 hours by the Alaska Railroad. From Fairbanks, it’s just 3 hours by car, and 4 hours by train. For more information, see our Anchorage to Denali, Seward to Denali, or Fairbanks to Denali advice pages.