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Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

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Phoenix
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Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

My husband and I are taking our first trip to Alaska from July 2-13 and would like to see Denali for 2 days. We are in our 50's, enjoy easy hikes, and really want to see wildlife. We're not sure if we should rent a car to visit Denali from Anchorage, take a shuttle or tour bus, or the rail. Any suggestions on the most economical way to do this, would be greatly appreciated!

Walnut Creek...
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1. Re: Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

I would use the shuttle buses in Danila, that is a lot less then tour buses.

Renting a car is a personal thing, I would but others would not.

Manitoba, Canada
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2. Re: Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

Having your own car will give you a lot more flexibility, and enable you to fit in more things, plus stops along the way. Since you've left it so late to book the car (most of us book ours 11 months in advance), expect to pay about $100 per day including taxes. Book what you can now, but make sure the reservation can be canceled, and then keep an eye on prices to see if you can come across a better deal. If you're vigilant, good chance of finding something. Keep checking right up until the day before you leave--if there are too many unrented cars on one of the lots, you might luck into a really good rate. A good site for comparisons is www.carrentals.com .

You definitely want a shuttle bus, so you can get off almost anywhere to hike, then flag down a later shuttle to resume your trip. With tour buses, you stay with the bus that "brung" you. Book at least Eielson (8 hrs), and maybe Wonder Lake, though the mosquitoes can be awful there in July.... Reservations must be made in advance at www.reservedenali.com . FYI, if you phone, you can get 3 days of shuttles for the price of two.

Phoenix
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3. Re: Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

Thank you both for your suggestions - we will definitely go with renting a car. Unfortunately we didn't know we'd be able to go to Alaska until just recently so we'll have to pay the higher fees.

Besides spending time in Denali, we'd also like to go to Seward or Homer and are looking for best places to stay that will allow us to see wildlife and do some birdwatching. Any ideas are again much appreciated!

Walnut Creek...
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4. Re: Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

Seward, economical and wildlife.

I would think a hike at exit Glacier.

Stop at the ranger station and get the scoop on what trails best fit you needs.

if you want to spend a little there are several boat trips from steward to the fjords.

I think others may give you better answers.

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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5. Re: Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

When on July 2 do you arrive and when on July 13 do you depart? When you say Denali for 2 days, do you mean 2 nights? What do you classify as "easy hikes"? More in length (how many minutes or hours) and not in miles since hiking in Denali is different per mile than almost anywhere else.

Manitoba, Canada
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6. Re: Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

I'd suggest you spend time at both Seward and Homer. Don't forget to stop at Potter Marsh just south of Anchorage.

How serious is your birding? Read this trip report for some ideas: camacdonald.com/birding/…kenai.html . You might consider spending a full day at Marlow's if they still offer the drift boat trip.

USA
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7. Re: Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

If you do go to Homer, go to Beluga Slough for birding. Potter's Marsh was another good suggestion for birding.

And of course Denali has many species of birds. We've watched golden plovers protect their ground nests, long-tailed jaegers in hover mode & swooping to attack us, gyrfalcons on nests, trumpeter swans, wandering tatlers, ptarmigans with chicks, and a lot of golden & even a few bald eagles just to name a few. Can you tell I love Denali!?

New York
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8. Re: Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

Economical in Denali park are the shuttle buses. There is also a deal of buy two, get the third entry free. A great deal. :)

For wildlife you need a Kenai Fjords boat tour out of Seward, for varied wildlife, and at least 6 hours on the water. Don't consider any of the "bay" tours.

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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9. Re: Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

>>Economical in Denali park are the shuttle buses. There is also a deal of buy two, get the third entry free. A great deal. :)

LOL. If you had read the prior responses you would have seen that was already mentioned :-)

10. Re: Need advice on most economical way to see Denali

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