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Guided hikes?

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Fresno, California
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Guided hikes?

Hello,

We are looking for guided hikes in Denali.. this is something I found:

nps.gov/dena/…walks-and-hikes.htm

how good is it? have anyone tried any of those hikes? what other options do we have? we(two adults) just don't want to hike alone in the wilderness and would feel safer if there's some human company around..

Thanks!

USA
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1. Re: Guided hikes?

The best option for guided hikes in Denali are the Discovery Hikes that take you off the beaten path with a group. You can sign up for them a couple days ahead of time at the WAC.

I have gone on the Disco hike and it is paced towards the slowest hiker with emphasis upon wildflowers or geology or wildlife signs. There are easy, intermediate & challenging levels from which to choose and some are located at the east end of the park & some up toward the west end.

There is a Disco bus that takes hikers to the location which will even pick you up at your campsite if pre-arranged.

fti
MN
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2. Re: Guided hikes?

I agree with Denalicat. Note that you buy a bus ticket for this (about the same price as the shuttle bus to Eielson). The list of Disco hikes comes out every Friday for the following week. The hikes usually start on June 8th or shortly thereafter.

Here is some info on the Disco hikes to get you started:

nps.gov/dena/…20Form.pdf

nps.gov/dena/…20FINAL.pdf

If you feel the Disco hike is more than you wanted, you can do some of the other ones in the link you posted. Also, if you are on an early shuttle bus, check at Eielson when you arrive. Last year they had a ranger-led hike up the mountain across the road from the visitor center. Denalicat will remember the name of the mountain or trail. Honestly, though that trail is SO well trodden that I just couldn't bring myself to hike up there when there are literally hundreds of other possibilities that are less traveled. One day three of us ended up hiking just to the east of there. Similar elevation gain, similar terrain but much more peaceful.

John

Alaska
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3. Re: Guided hikes?

>>what other options do we have?<<

Some research I can point you to for the Anchorage-Kenai area: The Alaska Mountaineering Club in Anchorage often (in past years) has led day hikes in the local mountains that are quite well done by knowledgeable volunteers. Then if you check the Anchorage Press for Outdoor Activities there are also hikes others organize locally.

I will have to leave the research for you, but it is an excellent opportunity to get out with experienced locals.

71

Fresno, California
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4. Re: Guided hikes?

Thanks all.. Is there a map which shows the shuttle bus routes? I couldn't find it anywhere.. How worth is taking shuttle buses on two consecutive days? Will that be too tiring? Which route would you suggest for one/two day?

fti
MN
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5. Re: Guided hikes?

Check out www.nps.gov/dena. There is a map of the park on that site. Only one road 91 miles in and the same road back :-). The only difference between the shuttles is the point on the road that they turn around.

>>How worth is taking shuttle buses on two consecutive days? Will that be too tiring? Which route would you suggest for one/two day?

I personally never find the shuttle buses "tiring." Either I am on the lookout for wildlife, enjoying the incredible scenery and/or using the shuttle as my transportation to the start of a day hike. I have spent several days in a row on shuttle buses. I usually camp inside the park at Wonder Lake Campground for 2-4 nights at a time. So it is to the campground the first day, round trips from there usually 30-40 miles each way the full days inside the park and then one-way the 85 miles back to the entrance the last day.

Some people have more than enough with just one bus ride. If you are not a hiker, or if you are more used to a zoo-like atmosphere, or if you are not fascinated by the scenery, then more than one bus ride into the park might not be exciting.

John

Fresno, California
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6. Re: Guided hikes?

so if I get it right - say I take a shuttle bus to Kantishna, then it covers the same route as Wonder lake/Eielson ones?

fti
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7. Re: Guided hikes?

Correct. But generally I would not recommend a shuttle bus to Kantishna. It adds an extra hour or more to the day. Kantishna doesn't really have much to offer since there are some private lodges there and really not much more. The only reasons I would think of to go toward (but not to) Kantishna might be to get off the bus at one of three places, all of which are past Wonder Lake:

1. Reflection Pond to get a nice photo of Mt. McKinley with the reflection

…google.com/johnn.photos/…5357673039916564914

(and you could actually just take the Wonder Lake shuttle and get off the bus & walk here - ask the bus driver).

2. Near a pond not too far from the ranger station to possibly get a photo of beavers (nothing is guaranteed and the last time I did this, I struck out).

3. A nice place with both Wonder Lake and Mt. McKinley in view for a photo op.

But other than that, I personally think you could spend that extra hour plus on a nice little walk or hike instead.

John

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8. Re: Guided hikes?

The trail across from Eielson visitor center is up Mt. Thoro. It's a popular hike up for a beautiful view, so no need for a guide since the trail is well-trod & there are usually a number of folks going up & down.

John, you went up Thoro bench which is one of my favorite hikes when the mountain is out. Ask the driver to drop you at Fish Creek & veer up Thoro bench from there. Then walk with the mountain in front of you all the way across the bench & then drop down to Eielson.

The road to Kantishna is usually wash-board, so Wonder & Reflection is far enough.

Edited: 01 May 2010, 04:27
9. Re: Guided hikes?

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