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Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure into the heart of Denali National Park.

Denali, the Crown Jewel of national parks, is a true wilderness. There’s very little development and very large scenery. Access into the heart of the park is restricted. The best way to see more and do more in Denali is on a full-day excursion that takes you to the end of the road.

Your driver-guide is a gifted storyteller with an eye for safety and a radar-like ability to spot wildlife. Time seems to fly by as your journey past stunning landmarks like Toklat, Polychrome Pass and the Eielson Visitors Center.

Lunch is served buffet-style in the classy but comfy Miner’s Day Lodge at Denali Backcountry Lodge in the little end-of-the road settlement that is Kantishna.

Here you’ll have free time for a botany walk, to visit a historical site or try panning for gold.

Then, the journey out of the park is just as full of magic. The light is different, the chances of spotting wildlife different, and by this point, you’ll feel different as well. You’ll have a deep appreciation for the preservation of this remarkable place—how the vast wilderness can be both calming and inspiring.

A day on the Denali Backcountry Adventure, after all, is unlike any other day.

EXPLORE KANTISHNA’S STORIES AND SECRETS

After a delicious lunch in our Miner’s Day lodge that’s loaded with healthy salads, soups and sandwiches, there’s time to stretch your legs and also stretch your mind. And while you’re at it, soak up the rich stories that make Kantishna such an alluring destination for adventurers.

botany walk

Explore the natural history on a botany walk that’ll look for some of Denali’s more than 1,500 plant species. Look for ferns, shrubs, lichen and mosses. There’s also an abundance of edible berries around here—definitely organic, of course!

History Tour

Visit the homestead of iconic frontierswoman Fannie Quigley, who brought courage and hospitality to this outpost more than 100 years ago.

Gold Panning

Try your luck by the water, gold panning in Moose Creek. It's what first brought pioneers to Kantishna following rumors of riches in 1903. Today you can pull on some boots, step in the creek and shimmer a pan.

Relax

If you feel like it, you can also take a cup of coffee and just relax next to Moose Creek. There’s nothing like breathing in clean, fresh air in one of the world’s most charming outposts, deep in the heart of Denali.

Your Best Chance to See Wildlife at Every Turn

Your Best Chance to See Wildlife at Every Turn

Keep your binoculars and cameras ready. While our driver-guides sometimes seems to have eyes on the back of their heads, it’s a group effort to spot wildlife in the sprawling wilderness of Denali.

Scan the landscape for anomalies—an off color, a strange shape or anything that’s moving. And then holler if you see something interesting. Our driver-guides know a whole lot about the animals of Denali.

There are 39 species of mammals and 169 species of birds in Denali. This includes the “Big Five”—grizzly bear, moose, Dall sheep, caribou and wolf. But don’t forget about the little guys—hares, pikas, voles and shrews.

Your best chances to see wildlife are on the bus that takes you furthest into the national park. It gives you time to see more of the wilderness and to come to understand it’s mysteries in a more intimate way. By the time you’re en route out of Kantishna, you’ll be a seasoned park traveler.

Photo Tips for Better Wildlife Photos

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of animals along the Denali Park Road. Sometimes they wander right up to our buses. Other times they won’t come close. All we know for certain is that you’ll get your best shots when you’re aware and prepared.

Take Lots of Photos

Because wildlife doesn’t always wait patiently.

Take a variety of photos

Try close ups to capture character, and context shots to show how and where your subjects live.

Don’t miss quiet moments

In the lives of birds and smaller animals.

Turn off your camera’s flash

Flashes can scare the animals. Try utilizing the natural light to capture the authentic shot.

Share your photos

Everyone loves an adventure. Whether on social media or over a cup of coffee, let friends and family discover your Alaska experience. 

For their protection and yours

When stopped for wildlife, stay VERY quiet. Always keep your arms, hands and heads inside the doors and windows. If your driver gives the all clear to step out, maintain a safe distance from wildlife.

Stories from Denali Backcountry Adventure

Videos Only

The #DenaliNationalPark Experience

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