We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

shuttle time in AM - how early?

Which Denali National Park and Preserve hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Minnesota
5 posts
1 review
Save Topic
shuttle time in AM - how early?

Hi. I have a family of four - two adults, two teens, who are going to Alaska the 1st week of July. We were originally on the Tundra Wilderness Tour but then heard from others that you can't get off the tour and hike, so we changed to a shuttle. We signed up for an 8:30 AM shuttle and plan to go to Fish Creek, hike a couple hours or so, and then head back early eve. We are saving lots of money with the change, but it cost us $4 per person to change ($16 total). Now, some friends of ours are saying that we should take an early, early shuttle. My family is saying "no way!" but are willing to take a 7:30 AM shuttle (at the earliest). If we change again, we'll spend another $16 which is not that big a deal in the long run - we still save tons - but is it worth it? Any input would help. Thanks!!

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
37,511 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: shuttle time in AM - how early?

Hi there! I wouldn't change . . . many people think they will see more animals on the early morning shuttles - I think because they are use to seeing wild animals active first thing in the morning. However, with almost 24 hours of daylight, animals are active at all different kinds of time. I think staying in the park until evening would give you more opportunities to enjoy the park and have that chance to see more animals. Have a great trip! :)

Adirondack, New York
Level Contributor
3,934 posts
90 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: shuttle time in AM - how early?

I agree with Coalminer, don't change your reservations. Last August the most animals we saw on the way back late afternoon.

Minnesota
5 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: shuttle time in AM - how early?

Thanks for the input from both CoalMiner and Places re. leaving our shuttle at 8:30 vs. changing to 7:30 AM! This does make us feel better and I think we are much more settled on the idea of leaving the reservation. We just don't want to have such a hard charging vacation, but we also don't want to miss things. Normally, we go, go, go, and our vacations are almost working vacations. We're trying to relax more - took a cruise, etc., but don't want to miss something cause we were clueless. :-) What's your take on seeing Denali itself? Besides the animals - which I'm not worried about now, our friends were saying (and pushing pretty hard) that we are much more likely to see the mountain (if it's out), before noon and probably won't see it if we don't take the 6:00 AM shuttle.

Adirondack, New York
Level Contributor
3,934 posts
90 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: shuttle time in AM - how early?

Come on. Tell them to give you a break. Are you driving to Denali or taking the train? If you are driving and planning to stop in Talkeetna, just before you get to the town there is a big pull off on the left side of the road. Stop there and you may see not only Mount McKinley but also Hunter and Foraker next to it. We had seen Mount McKinley from there and it was between 11am and noon last August. We see Mount McKinley every year from Anchorage. Once you get to Denali take a drive on the road to the park. You are allowed to drive your own vehicles for the first 14 miles. Between miles 8 and 9 you come to a spot where you have a great views of the mountain. During your ride on the shuttle through the park you'll have many places to see Mount McKinley if weather cooperates. It won't make big difference if you are taking 6 aor 8:30 shuttle. I suggest your stop listening to people who are putting too much pressure on you. Everyone is different and we experience traveling differently so give yourself a break. It looks like you did lots of research to this point so just go to Alaska and enjoy it. You may or may not see the mountain but that shouldn't stop you from experiences Alaska the best possible way. Which means your own way and not your friends' way

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
37,511 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: shuttle time in AM - how early?

Hello Tuscany! Places is so right - just relax and enjoy your trip. As far as Denali goes, it's a mystery . . . really! Because of it's height, it essentially creates it's own weather, so you just really never know. I even use to live in the Park, and there were days it would be cloudy, and suddenly the mountain would appear! Just consider yourself blessed if you see it! See you here in about a month. :)

NY
Level Contributor
1,365 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: shuttle time in AM - how early?

We saved an hour off the shuttle bus ride (half hour in each direction) on our trip last August. All the stops were about 10 minutes long, but there was one that was 30 minutes (because it had a giftshop). I believe it was called Toklat river stop. Check when you get to the park, as it might be different this year. Anyway, we got to that stop and there was the previous bus leaving after its 30 min. stop just 2 minutes after we got there. We just told our driver that we would like to switch and he quickly showed us to the right bus. If they have space you can switch. Same on the way back.

We also hiked at Fish Creek. It was beautiful. Make sure you have waterproof boots on and raingear with you. We ended up jumping over little streams and through a wet marshy area during light rain. It's a great area to hike because plants are very low.

If you have another day go hike at Savage River area (drive yourself or free shuttle). Another great hike.

Minnesota
5 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: shuttle time in AM - how early?

Thanks everyone for all the input AND the support :-). You're right about everyone having their own travel style. Can't wait to go, and thanks again.

8. Re: shuttle time in AM - how early?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 02 September 2009, 13:17
Get answers to your questions about Denali National Park...