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.