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Denali Park or Denali Highway or both??

Virginia
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7 posts
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Denali Park or Denali Highway or both??

My husband and I (in our 40's)are planning a trip to Alaska in the middle of June. We will have come off a cruise, spent 2 days in Seward, train to Anchorage to sleep. We will be renting a car from the airport the following day. Wondering if someone could give me any advice on this agenda so far...any help would be appreciated! Thanks in advance--

Day 1 Leaving early morning and driving to Denali, stopping in Talkeenta and Wasilla for quick stops to visit continuing on to Healy to sleep.

Here is my question--on day 2 Should we do the 8 hr bus tour into the park even if we plan to do the Denali Highway to Paxson than down to Palmer back to Anchorage?? Which is better to do? Are the views worth 8 hr bus ride? (We are not big crowd people, like exploring on our own.)

Day 2-Denali early bus to Eielson Center than back to do a little hiking near entrance or do Husky Homestead 8:30am, drive the 15 miles in check out VC, do some hiking, Savage River area. Sleep in Healy

Day 3- (If did bus tour)Do Husky Homestead 8:30am tour... than do Denali Highway- sleep in Glennallen?? Is that reasonable for time? OR leave early do Denali Hwy, Paxson, sleep in Palmer.

Day 4- Palmer---not sure on what to do here...Knik Glacier jetboat tour or Ice trekking...than drive to Indepence Mine State Park than on to Anchorage to sleep.

Day 5-Fly out late

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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1. Re: Denali Park or Denali Highway or both??

If you don't take the shuttle bus into the park it is not worth going to Denali. Also if you want to avoid the crowds don't do your hiking near the entrance but get off the shuttle bus on the way back from Eielson.

Check the rental car company to see if they allow driving on the Denali Hwy. Most if not all major car rental companies do not permit that.

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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15,520 posts
28 reviews
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2. Re: Denali Park or Denali Highway or both??

The dogsled demo in the park is very well done and is free. But I have heard great things about the Husky Homestead tour too.

Virginia
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3. Re: Denali Park or Denali Highway or both??

Thanks so much for your response fti! I will keep Denali park than...any suggestion on a hike on the way back? So should I cancel the Denali Hwy? I have heard its beautiful and a must do? How do people visit this if not locals?

Bristol, Connecticut
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for Alaska
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4. Re: Denali Park or Denali Highway or both??

Most RV companies and a few car rental companies allow their vehicles to be driven on the Denali Highway, others just break their rental agreements and drive it.

On Day 4 you may want to look for a place to overnight in the Wasilla or Palmer area, it may be less expensive than Anchorage and will save you cutting the day short to drive to Anchorage just to spend the evening.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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5. Re: Denali Park or Denali Highway or both??

Denali hwy is a nice drive, BUT most rentals are prohibited from driving on that - you would need to confirm that with your car rental company before you can make plans to drive it. :)

6. Re: Denali Park or Denali Highway or both??

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