Most people only ever get to see a few miles’ worth of Denali National Park. But if you want a fuller experience, the renowned Denali Tundra Wilderness Tour will take you up to 60 miles deep into the park, increasing your odds of seeing wildlife and the Great One—Mt. McKinley—up close.
On this fully narrated 7- to 9-hour tour, you’ll benefit from your driver and guide’s years of experience, but you’ll also get upclose views with the drop-down screen on your bus. The tour includes a box snack lunch and frequent rest stops.
Sheep, Moose and Caribou
The deeper you travel into the park, the more varied the terrain and wildlife possibilities. During the early part of the trip, watch for moose: there are some huge bulls that hang out in the taiga forest between headquarters and Savage Campground. Look for caribou anywhere above treeline.
The tip of Mount McKinley first comes into view at Mile 9. You'll ride over high mountain passes and usually see Dall sheep on the mountainsides. If you're lucky, you'll spot bears too. It’s not uncommon to see wolves from Teklanika on.
Seeking Out McKinley
A high point—literally and figuratively—is the drive over Polychrome Pass, which offers a grand view of the Plains of Murie, stretching to the Alaska Range on the horizon. The colors of the mountains seem to change depending on light and time of day. Just on the other side of Polychrome Pass is the Toklat River and Toklat Bridge. If clouds cover Mount McKinley, the tour turns around here. On a clear day, the tour continues to Stony Hill Overlook to provide truly awe-inspiring views of North America’s highest peak. (Hint: morning tours have the best chance of moving on.)
Sit back and enjoy the ride. No minimum age. Tours before June 1 don’t go beyond Toklat, mile 53, due to Park Road conditions.