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Denali National Park - Mount McKinley

Hiking in Denali National Park

Example 6 Day Tour
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On a 6-day hiking tour in Denali National Park, spend a week surrounded by some of North America's most unspoiled natural wonders. Explore the Matanuska Glacier, the Talkeetna Mountains, and the Alaskan wilderness. Denali National Park's natural beauty and wildlife make it a hiking paradise with a knowledgeable guide. Enjoy your hotel stay in Anchorage and Denali with amazing views and plenty of opportunity for fresh air while running through lush flora or crossing rivers on log bridges. Hiking through the trails of Denali National Park is an experience like no other.
Enjoy a hike to try to see DenaliDenali National ParkA bear explores the tundra surrounding DenaliFireweed blooms before majestic DenaliTravelers exploring a glacier on an Alaska tourLook out for moose, the largest members of the deer familyGlacier streams wind across the Alaskan landscapeDenali National Park - Mount McKinley
  • Hike the rugged beauty of Denali National Park, home to the tallest peak in North America.
  • Walk atop the ice of the largest car-accessible glacier in Alaska, the Matanuska.
  • Learn from a local glacier expert and with all technical gear provided.
  • Trek into the Alaskan wilderness along the Curry Ridge Trail.
Activity Level: Moderate

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Anchorage | Matanuska Valley

  • 1 Lunch
Welcome to Alaska! Meet your leader at 10 am in Anchorage for a welcome meeting before embarking on a scenic drive along the Glenn Highway towards the town of Palmer. This trip is packed, with gorgeous mountain vistas and plenty of time for photo ops. Reach the famed Matanuska Glacier, the largest road-access glacier in Alaska – on its jaw-dropping 27 miles long and 4 miles wide and has some of the most accessible walking areas of any glacier in the state. Don your ice cleats and helmet (included) and begin exploring the glacier on foot with the help of an Alaskan guide and glacier expert.

Marvel at the ice that forms thousand of years ago, high in the Chugach Mountains, hike for about 2 hours, covering 3 miles. Amazingly, every day is unique at Matanuska due to the dynamic nature of the glacier. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local eatery with stunning views of the glacier and surrounding scenery before heading to Palmer for the night.

Please wear sturdy shoes, layered non-cotton clothing, and a light hat and gloves. Sunglasses are a must as well. This trip starts on Day 1 at 10 am in Anchorage and travels to the Matanuska Glacier immediately after the welcome meeting. If you are at risk of being late, please consider arriving a day earlier and staying in Anchorage before your tour begins.

Included Activities:
    • Matanuska - Glacier guided walking tour

    Day 2: Talkeetna Mountain | Hutcher Pass

    After your breakfast, explore the wild beauty of Hatcher Pass for a hike among the alpine tundra of the Talkeetna Mountains. While Hatcher Pass used to be one of Alaska’s best-kept secrets, it’s become popular in recent years. Luckily, your expert leader will guide you on which trails to take to avoid the crowds. After your hike, sit back, relax and take in the scenery outside your window as you drive onwards to Denali National Park. Enjoy sweeping landscape views of mountains, rivers, and forests and spot some Alaskan wildlife.

    Included Activities:
        • Talkeetna Mountains guided hike
        Today’s hike is approximately 5 miles (8 km), with moderate elevation gain.

        Day 3: Denali National Park | Curry Ridge

        It’s another scenic day in the Great Land, with a moderate-level hike and stunning views through the front country of Denali National Park. Curry Ridge is a 6.5-mile out-and-back scenic hike into the rolling tundra of the Alaskan wilderness. On a clear day, you can expect spectacular views of the surrounding mountain range and the towering Denali Mountain (formerly known as Mt McKinley), the highest peak in North America.

        Included Activities:
              • Curry Ridge out-and-back scenic hike
              Today’s out-and-back hike is 6.5 miles (10.5 km), gaining 2417 ft (737 m) in elevation.

              Day 4: Denali National Park | Eielson

              After breakfast, embark on the Eielson transit bus to reach the Eielson Visitor Center. The ride is approximately 4 hours with plenty of stops and opportunities to stretch your legs and explore along the way. There are many hiking opportunities available from the visitor center and, free to head off on your unguided adventure taking the trail of your choice. Ask your guide for recommendations or get inspiration from one of the rangers. After your hike, catch the bus back to your accommodation and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way.

              Today, hike without a guide with all necessary information is available from the Eielson Visitor Center. The hiking trails that will be chosen are constantly monitored by park rangers. Roundtrip to Eielson Visitor Center takes about 8 hours.

              Included Activities:
                      • Eielson Bus ticket & Visitor Center
                      • Self-guided walk out of Eielson Visitor Center

                      Day 5: Anchorage, Alaska

                      Head back to Anchorage with a stop at the iconic Denali Viewpoint (depending on conditions) for one last look at the highest point in North America. Stop for a walk into the Alaskan woods to take in the picturesque Thunderbird Falls at the end of the trail. Load back into the tour van and make your final stretch to Anchorage. Your leader will drop you off at your hotel for your last night and gather the group for a goodbye dinner. 

                      For good food and great views, 49th State Brewing Co. is an excellent option, or you could go for pizza at Alaska’s most famous restaurant, the chilled-out Moose’s Tooth Pub, and Pizzeria. If you’d like to get in more walking time, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a perfect sunset activity and is easily accessible from downtown.

                      Included Activities:
                                • Thunderbird Falls visit

                                Day 6: Anchorage, Alaska | Return Home

                                • 1 Breakfast
                                The tour ends after breakfast and you’re free to depart at your leisure or stay and explore more of Anchorage on your own.


                                Denali National Park - Hotels

                                Anchorage - Hotels

                                Talkeetna - Hotels

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                                • 5 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch
                                • 5 Nights Accommodations
                                • 4 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
                                • Accommodations as listed
                                • Ground transportation as listed
                                • Excursions and activities as listed
                                • Meals as listed
                                • Gratuities
                                • Travel Insurance
                                • Personal Expenses
                                • Flight costs (please request a quote)
                                • Additional excursions during free time
                                • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)


                                When to Go

                                Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
                                Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
                                Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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