There's no better way to explore Alaska than on foot. With the professional naturalists of Alaska Nature Guides, you'll take quiet hikes in the South Denali area, known for its lush beauty and spectacular views. They offer hikes on all skill levels, from easy strolls along pristine lakes to exhilarating hikes up to the tundra. Here are your options:
- Denali Wilderness Hike. A moderately strenuous, 4½-hour hike above the tree line (weather permitting), giving you panoramic views of the Alaska Range, glaciers, and Mt. McKinley. You get a fresh picnic lunch while scanning the mountainside and valleys for foraging bears.
- Byers Lake Nature Walk. This easy, 2-mile stroll lasts 2½ hours and traces a deep crystal clear mountain lake, where salmon spawn, bears feed, and trumpeter swans nest. You’ll get gorgeous views of Byers Lake and surrounding mountains, and maybe even Mt. McKinley, and explore a log cabin that once belonged to a pioneering couple.
- Talkeetna Lakes Hike. This is a moderate-level hike, lasting up to 3 hours and extending 3 miles through an old-growth forest alive with songbirds, wildflowers, berries, and mushrooms. Watch for loons and kingfishers on the lakes, moose and bears in the woods, and Mt. McKinley on the horizon. Hike includes a healthy homemade snack.
You can also book guided overnight trips, as well as custom day trips such as photography, sightseeing, or birding. No matter which hike you choose, you’ll enjoy a hands-on (or hiking-boots-on) excursion—much more vivid than seeing it from a bus window. Experience the smells of wild roses in the boreal forest and the sounds of eagles and songbirds, all away from the crowds.
About Alaska Nature Guides
These hikes are the vision of Howard and Noelle Carbone, former Denali National Park rangers and lifelong adventurers. They made their permanent home in Talkeetna and started Alaska Nature Guides to share the natural wonders and beauty of Alaska in a way that gives visitors a full and memorable experience. Their recipe for success is simple: find and train the very best guides, explore the most pristine and beautiful places in small groups, and travel by foot—not in a machine.
Denali State Park was their top choice for nature walks—a lesser-known park always listed as one of the top hiking destinations in Alaska. It features great views of Mt. McKinley, spectacular scenery, and great wildlife. Plus, it's much quieter than the national park, and much less crowded—and you don’t have to ride a bus all day to see the mountain.
In fact, it’s often just your group here when you take a hike with Howard, Noelle, or one of their friendly, knowledgeable guides. They also pride themselves on using Leave No Trace practices outdoors, and all guides are trained in first aid and bear encounters. They have a perfect safety record and can teach you how to enjoy Alaska’s wilderness in safety and comfort. They have been recognized as leaders in responsible tourism, and were awarded Gold Level certification with the Adventure Green Alaska sustainable tourism program, the only Denali-area company to achieve this honor.
What to Bring
- Sturdy footwear
- Dress in layers
- Rain Jacket/Pants (If you don’t have it, you can borrow theirs)
Talkeetna, AK 99676
Talkeetna Lakes Hike: Free shuttle service from your accommodations in downtown Talkeetna or from the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Byers Lake Nature Walk: 8:15 am and 5:00 pm at our Byers Lake office in Denali State Park, with free pickups 15 minutes earlier at the McKinley Princess Lodge
Denali Wilderness Hike: 7:35 am and 5:05 pm at the Alaska Nature Guides River House in Denali State Park with free pick ups 5 minutes earlier at the McKinley Princess Lodge
Other: There is also the option for custom hikes. Please contact Alaska Nature Guides for more information.
Talkeetna Heli-Hike: Hike takes place in the Talkeetna Mountains a 15-20 minute helicopter ride from the Talkeetna State Airport. Meet at the Talkeetna Air Taxi office. Free free pickup within the downtown Talkeetna area and at Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. Custom times based on your schedule and availability
Prices & Dates
|Season||May 20 - Sep 16|
|Duration||2.5 - 4.5 hrs|
|Rates||Denali Wilderness Hike // June 1 - Sep 16 | $119 adult, $ 89 child | 4.5 hrs | Departs 7:35 am and 5:05 pm|
|Byers Lake Nature Walk // May 20 - Sep 16 | $69 adult , $44 child | 2.5 hrs | Departs 8:15 am and 5 pm|
|Talkeetna Lakes Hike // May 25 - Sept. 8 | $64 adult | 2.5 - 3 hrs | Departs 6:00 pm|
|Rate Notes||A full-fare deposit is required for all bookings. It is fully refundable for cancellations made at least 7 days prior to the tour date. Cancellations made less than a week prior to the tour date are not refundable.|
|Accepts Visa, MasterCard, and cash|
|Child rate applies to children 12 and under|