While you may never join the ranks of climbers who have summited Denali, an up-close view of North America's tallest peak can still be yours. K2 Aviation offers once-in-a-lifetime flightseeing tours among and above the Alaska Range. Add a glacier landing to get a sense of how immense these peaks really are.
Locally known as "The Glacier Landing Company," TAT has been flying climbers and sightseers to the Alaska Range and Denali since 1947. Talkeetna Air Taxi features a custom-designed fleet of planes, a dedicated customer service team, and a variety of tours for every budget.
May through October
Fish more of the hot spots with Phantom Charters, a family company run by folks who live to fish and bring a lifetime of insider knowledge to your trip. Using special, shallow-running boats to get into hard-to-reach waters, they’ll take you to best river fishing around Talkeetna. Wander the bank and cast for Silvers, Chums, Pinks, and Sockeyes, or troll from behind the boat as well as shore fish for the Big Kings.
Go hiking in the Alaskan wilderness, but bookend your hike with a spectacular helicopter ride. Lift off from Talkeetna for a short, scenic flight into the boreal forest around town. Then get ready to start hiking with your experienced naturalist guide. You’ll get great views of Denali, the Alaska Range, and countless mountain peaks as you walk through the alpine tundra of the South Denali area—it’s a hiker’s paradise only accessible by chopper. Then get back on board the helicopter for your scenic flight home.
Get a unique view of the Alaskan wilderness on a four- or seven-day backpacking trip through the backcountry. You’ll be trekking on Kesugi Ridge in Denali State Park, with magnificent views of Mt. McKinley and of course plenty of wildlife to spot along the way. Your experienced naturalist guide will be with you the whole way, cooking up great meals at your campsites. You should be fit enough to carry a pack up moderate hills, though you’ll sometimes be dropping it off for side hikes to explore secret spots with your guide.
Explore Alaska on foot—take a scenic day hike into the South Denali area. Choose one of 3 great hikes; from an easy, 2-mile stroll to a moderately strenuous 5½-hour hike. You’ll get spectacular views and see plenty of wildlife as you trek with your experienced naturalist guide. Depending on the hike you may pass pristine lakes, see an old pioneer’s cabin, catch a glimpse of Mt. McKinley, and even have the chance to spot foraging bears. These hikes are a prime opportunity to get up close with Alaska’s natural beauty.
The Denali Star takes you north from Anchorage to places like Talkeetna, Denali National Park, and Fairbanks. This train travels through the forested areas north of Anchorage into the boreal forest, and eventually into the tundra regions further north. On a clear day the train will slow down to allow you to see beautiful vistas of Denali. You may spot wildlife along the way, such as bear, moose, eagles, and caribou.
Mid-May to Mid-September
The Hurricane Turn Train operates on Thursday through Sunday between Talkeetna and Hurricane Gulch from mid May to mid September. You can either take a scenic journey round trip, or you can ask to be let off at whichever mile marker you choose. This train is how many people who live in the backcountry gain access to their homes or cabins. It is also popular for fishermen who gain access to some great fishing spots by train. Get back on the train with the wave of a flag.
These tours in the Palmer area, about 40 miles from Anchorage, appeal to all five senses. You’ll take guided walks around the farms, touching plants, breathing in the air and sometimes even tasting something freshly picked. But there is also a lot of storytelling, learning about the unique challenges that Alaska farmers face. Some tours offer option to sample other local products like Alaska beer and birch syrup.
Float through the remote wilderness of Denali State Park with the company that has offered expertly guided rafting day trips for the past 16 years. You’ll get breathtaking views of glacial moraines, boulder fields, granite canyons, and sparkling hematite beaches. Wildlife abounds in this spectacular country, and it's quite common to see eagles, bears, fox, wolf, lynx, beavers, and moose, as well as many species of birds and fish. Choose a two-hour, four-hour, or full-day float trip.
Get hands-on and up close as you learn about local animals, trappers, and the Dena’ina Indians, with the wilderness as your classroom. Mahay's Jet Boat Adventures makes it possible with their jet boat adventures on the Susitna, Talkeetna and Chulitna Rivers. For some visitors, this exploration will be their deepest immersion into the Alaskan wilderness—something you just can't get from a flightseeing tour, a cruise, or a car.
May - September, February & March
Combine great views of the Alaska Range and Denali with the thrill of ziplining. Set in the forested ridges above the Talkeetna River Valley, this is the farthest-north canopy tour in North America. On these nine ziplines and three suspension bridges, you can get up close to the birch, cottonwood, and spruce trees of the boreal forest—it’s earth’s largest ecosystem and a critical nesting habitat for migrating songbirds.