Alaska’s eastern interior promises high adventure in a part of the state that relatively few visitors explore. Tok Air Service is your local expert, offering advice and year-round charter flights into this jaw-dropping wonderland, including Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, and Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve. Land on a remote glacier, see dramatic mountains up close, and watch for grizzlies, sheep, moose and caribou.
Tok Air Service can accommodate your schedule and trip preferences, whether you want a half-day flightseeing trip to break up your drive on the Al-Can, or a week-long trek into rugged wilderness.
A new perspective
Driving the Alaska Highway offers up incredible views and great adventure. The long trek (especially if you’re driving the entire Alaska-Canada route) can be broken up nicely with a stop in Tok and a flightseeing/glacier landing trip with Tok Air Service. Hop from the driver’s seat into a Piper Super Cub for a quintessential Alaskan experience. Within minutes you’ll be seeing the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park or the Eastern Alaska Range from a completely different view than what you get while on the road. Uninhabited wilderness stretches for miles and miles, with dramatic mountain ranges defined by sheer vertical walls, icy expanses, and snow covered peaks.
Flightseeing with a glacier landing is one of the top-rated activities to do while in Alaska. It gives an amazing perspective on the immense size of the mountains compared to your small aircraft. You also experience a rare kind of quiet that inspires contemplation and connection with nature.
If flightseeing/glacier landing is high on your list, take advantage of Tok’s easy access to incredible glaciers and drier weather. Less rain means there are more flying days and fewer chances of getting weathered out. If you wait until Denali or another location, you could be disappointed by cancellations due to poor flying conditions.
Explore the parks
Alaska is the home of several state and national parks, refuges and preserves. The most accessible, including Denali, receive thousands of visitors a year. The parks and refuges of Alaska’s eastern interior are amazing in their own right, but aren’t as well known. This can be a bonus for those who like to see more wildlife and fewer people. From Tok, you can easily fly and explore these beautiful places:
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
At 13.2 million acres, this is America’s largest national park. Take an epic flight to explore massive mountains and glaciers with chances to see grizzlies, moose and Dall sheep that make their home in the park. The national’s largest glacial system is found in Wrangell-St. Elias, covering one-quarter of the park. What a perfect opportunity for a glacier landing!
Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge
A range of landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to rivers, forest and tundra, can be found in this nearly 700,000 acre refuge. Tetlin is well-known to birders, since the wetlands here attract more than 160 migratory bird species (some rarely seen in other parts of Alaska) and are host to 30 resident species. Other wildlife includes caribou, moose, bear, wolves and Dall sheep.
Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
From Tok, it’s a 45-minute scenic flight to the headwaters of the Charley, a 106-mile stretch of river that drops about 31 feet per mile until it empties into the Yukon River, one of the most remote and amazing wilderness waterway in Alaska. During the flight, you may see grizzlies, or large herds of caribou. Land at the Charley River and hang out or throw a line in for some fun grayling fishing.
Tok Air Service offers back-country charter service and guided and unguided options for a variety of adventurers who want to access and then explore the area for one or more days. These include skiers, split-boarders, rafters, hikers, hunters, mountain climbers – even film makers! Each type of adventure requires different equipment, planning and charter considerations. Tok Air Service will work with you on perfecting a once-in-a-lifetime trip, or – even better – starting a tradition of regular visits to this incredible area of Alaska. Tip: Even if you don’t see yourself as a high adventure visitor, you can catch a convenient flight to an affordable state or national park public use cabin, where you can enjoy the wilderness over multiple days. This is the fastest, easiest (and sometimes only) way to get yourself and your gear out there.
About Tok Air Service
Tok Air Service is owned and operated by third-generation pilot Zack Knaebel, who started flying when he was just 11 years old. Exploring the Alaska wilderness, especially scouting places where no plane has ever landed, is exciting for the Fairbanks-born pilot. Now a resident of Tok, Zack operates Tok Air Service with the goal of making the Alaska wilderness accessible and affordable to all visitors. As a pilot and a guide, Zack provides air taxi service, trip advice, and guidance for a variety of clients. Tok Air Service operates three types of small aircraft to accommodate small to large groups and different types of Bush flying needs.