How to See Glaciers in Denali National Park
Denali's glaciers are high in the mountains of The Alaska Range. Here are the most impressive, and the flight tours to see them!
Glaciers in Denali National Park
Denali National Park Glacier Tours
Go flightseeing over Denali National Park in a very unique way: via helicopter. Lift off on a 50-minute flight —landing the helicopter on a glacier, putting on special boots, and going for a walk on the frozen landscape to get an up-close look at it. Or, visit Bus 142, made famous by adventurer Christopher McCandless. Flightseeing in a helicopter is much different from in a plane — learn all the benefits of this great way of checking out the ...more
A lot of people swear to it: the best way to see Alaska is from an airplane, and there may indeed be no better way to get close to the face of Denali. This one-of-a-kind flightseeing operator makes it easy to see up close to the Great One without spending a great deal of time.
Denali Air flights see the majestic mountain a whopping 90% of the time, thanks to the company’s experienced pilots and its location just outside the park. And, everyone is guaranteed a window seat. Listen to your pilot narrate while you enjoy the views.
While you may never join the ranks of climbers who have summited Denali, an up-close view of North America’s tallest peak can still be yours. K2 Aviation offers once-in-a-lifetime flightseeing tours among and above the Alaska Range. Add a glacier landing to get a sense of how immense these peaks really are.
Locally known as “The Glacier Landing Company,” TAT has been flying climbers and sightseers to the Alaska Range and Denali since 1947. Talkeetna Air Taxi features a custom-designed fleet of planes, a dedicated customer service team, and a variety of tours for every budget.
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Alaska’s scenic highlights on a flightseeing tour with Rust’s Flying Service, where every passenger gets a window seat. Tour options include a short 30-minute Anchorage Flightseeing Safari, a flight to Denali, Denali plus a glacier landing, and more. Tours begin at Anchorage’s Lake Hood, the world’s busiest seaplane airport.
Trail Ridge Air offers an on-demand perspective of Alaska’s wilderness, with personable and knowledgeable pilots. Watch for wildlife, check out massive glaciers, alpine lakes, Denali, or even Lake Clark National Park. Trail Ridge accommodates for the busiest of schedules, with flights ranging from one hour to a full day.
Denali National Park Glaciers
Flying down the medial moraine of the Ruth Glacier is mesmerizing. This 25 – 50 foot high ridge of rock debris looks like an excavation pit that extends for miles down the center of the glacier. Keep on the lookout for deep blue pools of ice melt. Look for lateral moraines on the sides of the glacier and the terminal moraine at the toe of the glacier… You’ll know the terminus of the Ruth when you see it: the contortions of earth and ice resemble… ...more
What you’re able to see of the Muldrow Glacier from the park road is actually just the tip of a 32 mile long river of frozen ice. The Muldrow Glacier is the park’s longest and it is a great example of the power these behemoth ice masses have on the landscape. Much of the lower reaches of the ice are covered in dirt and rocks that have been scoured off of the neighboring mountains on the slow journey from Denali’s (Mt. McKinley’s) flank.… ...more
Cross the Tokositna River which marks the southeast corner of Denali National Park. Look for tents or rafts next to the river. While difficult to access — even by bush plane — this area is a prime place for camping, exploring, and to begin a raft trip down the Tokositna River to Talkeetna. Out the left window, you can look south to the Peters & Dutch Hills, an active gold-mining area since the early 1900s. A winter wagon road from Talkeetna… ...more
You enter the Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier — the world’s deepest. The ice is 3700 feet deep, some of it more than a thousand years old. The surrounding walls soar 4000 – 5000 feet above. Were the ice to melt tomorrow, you would witness a spectacle twice as awesome as the Grand Canyon — a gorge a mile wide and nearly two miles high. Watch for climbing camps…These may be the world’s most impressive granite monoliths. You’ll stare in disbelief at… ...more
You enter the Sheldon Amphitheatre, named after a bush pilot who built a viewing hut here on the glacier before it became a national park. You can stay here for $100 a night. It has a wood stove and bunks 6. If you opt for a glacier landing, this is where you’ll likely land. You’ll step out of the plane and onto an ice sheet nearly a mile thick. The scale of the Amphitheatre is hard to fathom. You’ll feel like you can reach and out touch the… ...more
The Kahiltna Glacier is the longest in the Alaska Range — a 45-mile long river of ice! You’ll cross it 35 miles up it, at an elevation of 5500 feet above sea level. See any dark specs on the surface of the glacier? Those are the climbers and tents of Denali (Mt. McKinley) basecamp! Most climbing expeditions begin here. A base camp manager coordinates communications between climbers and air taxis. During the busy climbing season, there can be… ...more