Alaska Collection

The Denali Backcountry Experience

Your full-day adventure begins when you board the express bus at the Denali Cabins on Mile 229, George Parks Highway. From here, we’ll continue pick-ups around the Denali Canyon before embarking on your unforgettable full-day Denali Backcountry Adventure.

The single-stretch gravel road curves its way through the rugged landscapes of verdant tundra, magnificent mountain peaks and braided glacial rivers. Be on the lookout for resident wildlife roaming the scenes with help from your experienced driver guide who will provide interesting narration of the fascinating history and points of interest along the journey.

Take a short scenic stop at Mile 30, a picturesque landscape of the meandering Teklanika River before continuing on towards Mile 46, the Polychrome Overlook, an incredible vantage of colorful vegetation, streams, glaciers and mountains. Stretch your legs at Mile 53 Toklat River and again at the interesting Eielson Visitor Center with dramatic views of Denali as your backdrop.

After a complete morning of sightseeing, you will arrive at the idyllic frontier land of Kantishna, a historic mining district in the heart of Denali National Park. Here you will enjoy a hearty buffet lunch at the exclusive Denali Backcountry Lodge before trying your hand at gold panning in Moose Creek or join an experienced naturalist on a guided hike to Fannie Quigley's pioneer cabin. If you're looking to relax, book a chair massage at the Lodge's serene on site spa - The Nest Spa & Wellness.

From the shores of Wonder Lake you can witness the breathtaking Denali, North America's tallest mountain, reflecting on the surface of the tranquil waters. It’s the perfect photo opportunity before hitting the road back to the Denali Cabins to conclude your exploration.

INCLUDES: Pick-up from most Denali hotels, 92 miles of guided sightseeing, snacks and refreshments, lunch at Miner’s Day Lodge and signature Alaskan activities in Kantishna.

2018 Schedule

The Denali Backcountry Adventure runs daily from June 5 – September 13, 2018


6 AM Board at Denali Cabins, Mile 229, George Parks Highway
6:10 – 6:30 AM Pick-up from area hotels in Denali Canyon & begin your Denali Backcountry Adventure
12:30 PM* Lunch and activities included at Denali Backcountry Lodge
2:30 PM Depart for return trip, continue searching for wildlife
7:30 PM* Return to Park entrance and Denali Canyon area

* Times are approximate

PLEASE NOTE: We schedule passenger pick-ups based on request only. We are able to ONLY pick up passengers from the following lodges in the Denali Park Entrance area: 

  • Denali Cabins
  • Denali Grizzly Bear
  • Denali Park Village
  • McKinley Chalet
  • Grande Denali Lodge
  • Denali Bluffs Hotel
  • Princess Lodge 

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

back to top