The Denali Natural History Tour may not travel as far as some other tours do into Denali National Park—but in some ways, it goes deeper, giving you a vivid look at the history and culture of this pristine wilderness. If you don’t need a full-day tour, but want an enriching experience, this is a great choice.
The 4- to 5-hour tour, led by a driver/naturalist, takes you to Mile 19 of the Park Road (private cars can’t go past Mile 14). It begins at the Wilderness Access Center, where you’ll see the award-winning film “Across Time and Tundra,” which tells of the creation of Mt. McKinley National Park in 1924. Next, you’ll climb Government Hill—look off to your left and you'll see an expansive view that includes part of the Yanert Valley.
After Mile 3, you begin to enter the wilderness. This is taiga forest—and although no wildlife viewings are ever guaranteed— this is prime moose habitat, and moose may be seen anywhere on this stretch of road. Watch for a flash of sun glinting off antlers, or moose nibbling fresh willow leaves along the road.
You might also see foxes on this section of road, trotting along. Watch for caribou above treeline. The Great one—Mt. McKinley—often comes into view at about Mile 9, if weather is cooperating.
At Mile 12, you’ll visit Savage Cabin, the original cook’s cabin in the Park’s first tourist camp, and still a ranger patrol cabin used by the Park Service. At Mile 17, you’ll see a presentation by an Athabascan Alaskan Native interpreter, sharing the story of Alaskan Natives in Denali, and how they survived thousands of years in this harsh wilderness.
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2015 Dates & Prices
|Season||May 14 to Sep 21|
|Duration||4 to 5 hrs|
Pick up locations: Denali Bluffs Hotel, Denali Princess Lodge, Grande Denali, McKinley Chalet, The Lodge at Denali Park Vilalge, Wilderness Access Center