Alaska Jeep / ATV Tours
Taking a jeep or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) through the backcountry offers some great perks. Not only can you cover ground quicker than you do hiking (which, in Alaska, often requires a lot of tedious bushwhacking), but it’s a lot of fun—although you’ll likely get a bumpy, and at times raucous ride. Here’s the difference between the two:
- Jeep Tours: You’re traveling mostly on dirt roads. Most of the time, you’re the passenger, with a skilled guide at the wheel and calling out points of interest. In some tours, though, you take turns behind the wheel of your jeep, following the guide in another jeep, using a two-way radio. And in others you even go it alone, using a GPS system as your guide. Tours that let you drive require a valid drivers’ license and minimum age of 25.
- ATV Tours: With these trips, you’re definitely off-road: dirt, gravel bars, even going across streams, maybe even right up to a glacier. You’ll likely have the option of driving yourself, after a quick primer on how to operate the four-wheel, all-terrain vehicles. Kids under driving age will always be passengers, though. You’ll often get narration through a headset or a two-way radio. Tours include safety gear and some outerwear, such as helmets and raingear.
Cost: What is the Price Range?
About $100 - $300 for tours ranging from a few hours to 6 hours. Kids and passengers get discounted rates.
What You Need
Though plenty of tours provide rain gear, come dressed to get dirty (and maybe wet), including closed-toe shoes.
Where to Go
The most popular Jeep and ATV tours take place near the following areas:
Jeep & ATV Tours
Ketchikan View All
Explore over 10 miles of old logging roads through the Tongass National Forest with Adventure Kart Expedition.
This exhilarating tour puts you in a rugged Tomcar for a back country ATV adventure over 10 miles of old logging roads through the Tongass National Forest. The off-road excitement is matched by amazing views as you navigate twist and turns, motor easily up hills, and splash through epic potholes. It’s sheer fun for the whole family. Get Dirty!
Drive your own jeep along private logging roads that wind up into the mountains, on your way to an alpine lake. Paddle across the shimmering lake to a shoreline camp for a delicious snack over an open fire. Enjoy some storytelling, then go on a short nature walk through a beautiful old-growth forest.
Denali View All
Tour both inside and outside the park across rolling tundra with mountainous backdrops. Denali ATV Adventures and Black Diamond ATV offer ATV tours near Stampede Road, made famous in the film Into the Wild. Or, discover the rugged Denali Highway with Denali Highway Jeep Excursions.
An exclusive lakeside oasis with hideaway cabins accessible by car and only 7 miles south of Denali National Park entrance. In addition to luxurious accommodations, you can enjoy the art gallery, artisan bakery, and spacious lawn with a campfire circle and a lovely view of the Alaska Range.
Explore all 92 miles of the Denali Park Road and have the entire trip narrated by an experienced driver. Not only will you see legendary landmarks such as Polychrome Pass, Wonder Lake and Reflection Pond, you will have opportunities to see the abundance of wildlife in the park. Enjoy a hot lunch, explore the grounds, pan for gold, or take a short walk along the creek, or relax in a rocker at the lodge and soak up the scenery.
Take in the scenic views from the domed windows in the private McKinley Explorer railcars by Gray Line Alaska. Independent travelers can book a seat, but most opt for a multi-day package including hotel and transfers. Enjoy excellent service from your car manager, who will point out sights and scenery along the way. Dine in the restaurant located just beneath you, and don’t miss a thing as you continue to gaze out of large picture windows. ...more
Re-opening in 2022. Please visit our website for other activities available during your stay. The Cabin Nite Dinner Theater, performed out of the Denali Park Village, offers a true-to-life Gold Rush tale of Alaskan adventures in the early 1900s. Enjoy songs, dance, humor, and a large family-style meal topped off with berry cobbler.
Most people who visit the six-million-acre Denali National Park only see roughly the first dozen — or maybe 50 — miles of the legendary park Road. But this tour takes you all the way to the depths of Kantishna — the heart of the Park where you have the chance to experience postcard-perfect views of Mt. McKinley. This tour makes for a full day — from about 6 in the morning until 7 or 8 in the evening — but it’s an adventure of a lifetime.
The Denali Bluffs is the closest to park entrance. The lobby greets you with a warm fireplace and large windows that look out onto the patio. If it’s a nice day, sit outside and enjoy a meal at the Mountaineer Grill & Bar. The 112 original Hillside Rooms and the new 64 room addition, the RiverView Premium Rooms, are nestled in to the shoulder of Sugarloaf Mountain, above the Denali National Park entrance. The hotel is designed to make ...more
36 miles west of Denali (Mt. McKinley), Mt. Russell is one of the major peaks of the Alaska Range — and one of the most dramatic. To give a sense for its size and steepness, it rises over a vertical mile above the Chedotlothna Glacier to the northwest in less than two miles. It rises two miles above the Yentna Glacier to the south in only 8 miles. Overshadowed by its massive neighbors, only six ascents of the peak had been recorded by 2001.… ...more
Step inside and the first thing you’ll notice is the historic photos and animal pelts covering the walls, giving the place a real Alaskan feel. But this is no museum — you come here for great pizza and beer, and this place delivers. First off, they take pizza seriously: the dough is aged for 24 hours, then goes into a traditional oven for wood-stone hand-baking.
This is your chance to experience the spectacular scenery along the Denali Highway, a road recently ranked #2 worldwide as a ‘Drive of a Lifetime’ by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. You’ll be given the opportunity to take the wheel, or if you prefer, just sit back and enjoy stunning views of the peaks and glaciers of the central Alaska Range. There is a guide in the Jeep up front, but you can stop wherever, whenever, and as often as you ...more
Step aboard Princess Rail, whose cars have two levels with 360-degree dome views, a dining area, and large open-air platforms at the rear. You may choose to ride as an independent traveler, or with a larger package that will include lodging at the Princess properties along the way.
Denali’s glaciers are high in the mountains of The Alaska Range. Here are the most impressive, and the flight tours to see them!
The family-run Denali Grizzly Bear Resort offers a variety of accommodations, great amenities, and amazing views of mountains and the Nenana River. And its location, six miles south of the Denali National Park Visitors Center but outside the main tourist area, means you’ll have easy park access without feeling crowded. Choose from their hotel rooms, private cabins, or campground.
The farm-to-table menu features fresh seafood, including weathervane scallops and Alaskan oysters. And Chef Thomas Chapman knows what to do with them. Classically French trained, he has served as chef for Team Europe at the 2012 Ryder Cup and been a teaching chef for Sur La Table. His ethos is quality over quantity, only purchasing the finest quality seafood from small fishing operations.
At Camp Denali, you’ll immerse yourself in a remote backcountry, but with a cozy bed to settle into each night. Take in the quiet of the surrounding wilderness and enjoy the simple, sustainable amenities for around 38 guests. Here, the balance of “light touch on the land” and providing a comfortable stay is perfected. Refined rustic guest cabins, each of which claims a unique view of Denali, sleep from two to six people.
Traverse Alaska creates custom tours in the Denali National Park area that allow travelers to enjoy the magic of Alaska at their own pace. Winter itineraries include iconic Alaskan cold-weather activities in Southcentral and Interior Alaska. After all, Alaska in winter is a very special time of year — quieter, full of snow-frosted trees, and frozen snow-covered ground creates an outdoor playground in every direction.
This popular trail attracts lots of folks, so don’t expect to be the only hiker. It’s still worth the trip. The trail begins at Mile 0.9 on the park road near the railroad tracks. You’ll walk on a developed trail down to the lake. After you reach the Overlook, the trail drops steeply. Along the way, especially at the overlook bench, you’ll have a panoramic view of the Nenana River, the development called “Glitter Gulch” right outside the park, ...more
It’s 92 miles and about 5 hours from the park entrance to Kantishna, the end of the Park Road. Private vehicles aren’t permitted after Mile 15, so you’ll need to take either the hop-on, hop-off park shuttle bus or one of the tour buses. This road is only open in the summer months between May and early September. Dates vary depending on annual snowfall.
Winter in Alaska is a magical time, with fewer visitors and a serene, snow-covered landscape. If you’re here from mid-September to mid-May, you can take it in from the comfort of the Aurora Winter Train, which runs between Anchorage and Fairbanks. It’s an easy and memorable way to travel north and experience the aurora borealis, or even do a weekend getaway to Talkeetna.
One of the reasons Princess has risen to be the largest cruise and tour company in Alaska is the huge investment they’ve made in their lodges. The spacious new main building of the Denali Princess Lodge is a prime example with a 50-foot mural of Mount McKinley, grand staircases, and a 65-foot fireplace. The resort offers casual and fine dining, an expansive deck overlooking the Nenana River and Denali National Park, and a long list of amenities. ...more
Just outside Denali National Park, the Nenana River offers a unique rafting experience: The river is big and icy cold, with glacially fed waters. But this rafting outfitter based near the Park Entrance offers a soul-warming experience on the river, which makes an excellent counterpart to a bus tour through the national park. Choose a quick 3 hour trip on mild water or splash through some rapids. Or opt for a longer excursion ranging from 5.5 - ...more
Drive your own 4‑wheel all-terrain vehicle (ATV) on this exciting off-road journey through the backcountry adjacent to Denali National Park. Black Diamond puts you in control: stop whenever you want, take pictures of the spectacular scenery, and laugh as you experience Alaska as it was meant to be: rough and wild. Explore old coal-mining trails and spill out onto the Dry Creek River Bed, then head high up on Black Diamond Peak to take in the ...more
Kantishna is a historic goldmining district in the backcountry of Denali National Park. Among the most remote areas of the park, you can stay in a cozy cabin and spend your days playing, exploring and relaxing in the wilderness. Kantishna Roadhouse is the only lodge in the area with a full-service saloon.
The only same-day service between Seward and Denali National Park! Enjoy the ride aboard a deluxe motorcoach with comfortable seats, picture windows, in-seat power outlets, and an onboard restroom. Offering regular scheduled summer service connecting Seward, Whittier, Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali, plus special cruise connections on ship days.
This tour is an adventuresome alternative to a bus ride into the park. Denali ATV Adventures offers several tours that let you explore the areas surrounding Denali National Park. On your journey, you’ll splash through rivers, drive over tree root-rutted trails, and four-wheel up to some of the area’s most spectacular vistas. Drive your own ATV, or be the passenger and enjoy the ride.
Set on a hill, this 166-room hotel offers a bright, contemporary version on the classic rustic lodge style with native Alaska art in the lobbies. The lodge features a vaulted ceiling, comfortable lounges facing a stone fireplace, gift shop, tour desk, guest laundry, courtesy shuttle service and the Alpenglow Restaurant. The rooms feature colorful Alaskan décor and, at about 300 square feet, are some of the largest in the area. For even more ...more
The Black Diamond ATV Treasure Hunt backcountry adventure, just outside Denali, offers both a skilled guide and a splash of think-for-yourself adventure. Your ride can be fast and exciting or slow and leisurely — it’s up to you. Unlike some other ATV trips, you don’t have to do the driving; a pro is at the wheel of the Polaris ATV. You’ll explore old coal-mining trails and the Dry Creek River Bed, where Athabascan Indian artifacts have been found ...more
This show at the McKinley Chalet Resort tells the story of the first ascent of Mt. McKinley. Laugh, eat, and be merry while the actors and actresses do double-duty as your servers for an all-you-can-eat meal of salmon and ribs.
This is the only flightseeing company with an airstrip in Kantishna, inside Denali National Park. Because you depart so much closer to the mountain than other tours, in a one-hour flight, you’ll get 40 minutes circling the mountain. You may also combine a one-way park road bus tour with a Denali flightseeing tour for an incredible overview of the park.
Overlook the Nenana River in rustic elegance at the McKinley Chalet Resort, a recently remodeled upscale hotel just one mile from the Denali Park entrance. Heavy on cedar, the lodge has several buildings tucked into forest, all connected by boardwalks, and this Swiss chalet feel makes it more intimate than its 478 rooms suggest. Choose from deluxe rooms or upscale, cedar-lodge mini-sites. The “upper” rooms at the McKinley Chalet have great views ...more
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.
These mountains lie in the central Alaska Range, roughly 120 miles east of Denali (Mt. McKinley). To the east of the Parks Highway and north of the Denali Highway (the gravel highway that connects Cantwell to Paxson), they are relatively inaccessible and seldom climbed. In this video, we follow pilot Jim of Denali Air into the range and a mountain kindgom equally spectacular to Denali and the mountains to the west – just not as well known. ...more
To get a real sense of old-time Alaska, climb into Black Diamond’s family-friendly Covered Wagon Adventure for a trip through time. While guides fill you in on the area’s history and natural treasures, you’ll be pulled by two draft horses through the Alaskan tundra, with the mountains of nearby Denali National Park hovering overhead. Hear the history of this coal-mining area as you pass through the wilderness.
Soaring high at 20,310 feet is Denali (formerly named Mt. McKinley after an Ohio Senator who never visited Alaska). The mountain was renamed Denali in 2015. Equally impressive are its nearby cousins: Mt. Foraker (17,400), and Mt. Hunter (14,573). These three dominate the skyline for hundreds of miles. You can get up close and personal with the “Roof of North America” on a flightseeing tour. Up here, you are surrounded by ridges and peaks,… ...more
This train travels through the forested areas north of Anchorage into the boreal forest, and eventually into the tundra regions further north. On a clear day the train will slow down to allow you to see beautiful vistas of Denali. You may also spot wildlife along the way. Day Trip from Anchorage: Talkeetna Day Trip from Fairbanks: Denali Multi-Day Trip from Anchorage: Talkeetna, Denali National Park, and / or Fairbanks Multi-Day Trip ...more
How and where to find Alaska’s glaciers — some of the state’s most beautiful natural attractions
The best way to get an overview of Denali National Park is aboard one of the park buses, which feature a trained naturalist who both drives and provides narration. Available tours include the Natural History Tour (4−5 hrs), Tundra Wilderness Tour (7−8 hrs), The Eielson Excursion (8−9 hrs) or The Kantishna Experience (11−12 hrs)
People visit Denali National Park for two main reasons: to see Denali (Mt. McKinley) and to view wildlife. While neither experience is guaranteed, your odds of seeing wildlife are good if you know where to look. Here are the top spots to see bears, wolves, birds, and more.
The open-concept public house offers classic food with a shot of Alaska flair. The public house’s specialty is slow-smoked brisket, but the locally sourced menu also offers bacon-wrapped bison meatloaf, caribou burgers and fresh, local sheefish. Wash down your dinner with one of 12 local brews on tap and cocktails such as the American Trilogy (including Alaska made spirits) and a Smoked Salmon Bloody Mary.
Either drive your own car or take the free shuttle 15 miles out the park road to the Savage River check station. This is a popular hiking trail, and you won’t be alone, but at least you’re away from the entrance area and entering the true wilderness of Denali National Park. This is a tundra walk on a developed trail that follows the river. Good hike for kids, with possibility of seeing Dall sheep, marmots, and caribou. You can do a loop walk, ...more
Riding the train in Alaska is a relaxing and fun way to take in amazing sights around every bend, and many travelers choose a dome car for the best viewing experience. When you’re headed north of Anchorage, hop on a Wilderness Express private dome car for deluxe viewing at great value.
Forget the trailhead on your next hike. Instead, take a short but very scenic helicopter ride to a special wilderness area just outside Denali National Park and start your trek from there. Your guide will lead your small group on a soft-adventure hike above the tree line, with sweeping views. You’ll learn about identifying animal tracks and the local flora and fauna, and of course have the opportunity to spot wildlife like bears, moose, and Dall ...more
Imagine teeing off under the midnight sun, surrounded by the Alaskan wild. The relaxing environment, fresh mountain air, and spectacular panoramic scenery make playing Black Diamond’s nine-hole golf course a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This course was built in 1995, right on top of the Alaskan tundra. The rugged grass is challenging, but designed for easy driving (via power cart) or walking. Hazards include moose-hoof prints, tundra marsh, ...more
How unique is the 49th State? For starters, it’s the only brewpub restaurant here that serves Alaskan yak, in the form of a yak burger. Or tuck into the buffalo meatloaf, a specialty. Don’t miss the housemade Bavarian pretzel. And Fridays bring a special treat — a pig roast, with a pig from a local farm, roasted in ale and smoked over alder wood
Go on the typical zipline and you get a lovely ride under a canopy of trees. But with this unique zipline tour — the only one in the Denali National Park area— you ride above the tree line, so that you can take in sweeping, 360-degree views of miles around, including the tundra and the Alaska Range.
Re-opening in 2022. Please visit our website for other activities available during your stay. Experience the thrill of rushing rapids or a mild whitewater float through one of America’s great wilderness areas with rafting from Denali Park Village. Operating on two stretches of the Nenana River for nearly 30 years, this company’s guides not only know the area, but also are versed in its natural history. Their guide safety training program is among ...more
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
Get the insider’s perspective on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from veteran musher and Alaskan celebrity Jeff King, who has claimed first place four times. He will regale you with tales from the trail and introduce you to his dogs during a tour of his sled-dog training center, the Husky Homestead. Here, for more than two decades, Jeff has offered visitors a look at what goes into creating a championship team and carving a life in the Alaska ...more
For a lot of travelers, exploring deep into Denali National Park, far from the crowds, sounds like the ideal way to experience the famous park. But not everyone wants to rough it out there — which is why this lodge is the perfect balance, a comfortable perch in seriously remote wilderness.
Traverse Alaska can craft fully-guided custom adventures, or set you up on a trip into the Alaska wilderness arming you with some know-how — and providing you with the independence to freely explore. Traverse Alaska’s owner, Joe and his local team can help facilitate stays in lodges, cabins, tents or yurts, and provide the necessary gear and instructions..
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.
ATV rentals for 2, 4, 8, or even a full 24 hours to explore many of the fun trails just outside of Denali National Park on your own. Unguided doesn’t mean unaided: Denali Toy Rentals will outfit you with a helmet, goggles, and trail map, as well as lots of insider tips and suggestions on where to go, customized to your interests.
Anchorage View All
Explore former mining areas and serious wilderness outside the city. North of Anchorage, Alaska Backcountry Adventures takes you on a backcountry safari up the Knik River Valley towards the glacier. With Riding Alaska ATV Tours, you'll explore the magnificent Eklutna Lakeside Trail. Or, wind through the wooded trails of the Chugach Mountain Range with Alaska ATV Adventures, just south of Anchorage. In the alpine meadows of this wilderness area, there are frequent sightings of bears, mountain goats, and Dall sheep.
Head out into the Alaskan wilderness on this exciting ATV adventure, driving through woods and splashing through rivers on your way to a gorgeous glacial moraine surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks. Transportation from Anchorage included.
There’s great Alaskan backcountry ATV riding just a few miles south of Anchorage. Engage in the sights, sounds, and smells of the northernmost temperate rainforest while experiencing the thrill of the throttle through the winding wooded trails of the Chugach Mountain Range. In the alpine meadows of this wilderness area, there are frequent sightings of both brown and black bears, mountain goats, and Dall sheep.
With Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours, you can experience glaciers inaccessible by road. Never fear if you’ve never driven an before; this company teaches you to maneuver your ATV through the Alaskan wilderness with your guide at the lead. Your destination is the magnificent Knik Glacier, where you’ll enjoy lunch and gorgeous scenery.
Glacier View View All
2.5 half hours north of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway, and right next to the mighty Matanuska Glacier. Join Glacier View ATV Tours to discover the area.
The location of this ATV adventure is the midpoint between Anchorage and Glennallen. Plenty of travelers drive through this area without pausing for more than a picture of the roadside glacier, but Glacier View ATV’s three-hour tour — the only ATV excursion in this part of Alaska — makes this tour well worth a longer stop.