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.

Australians driving to Denali National park

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
38 posts
Save Topic
Australians driving to Denali National park

We need help to work out the best way of planning our holiday. A group of 4 people adged between 52 and 62. We finish a cruise in Seward May 17 2014. Is it safe with weather conditions for us to hire a car and drive to Denali and Talkeetna or would our best option be to do a cruise ship tour after our cruise.We do like our independence but dont wish to put that before our safety. We could postpone this trip until early June but I dont think 2 weeks will make a lot of difference with the weather. Any advice would be great.

Mentioned in this post
Seward
Seward
Alaska
Denali
Denali
2,188 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Wasilla, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
6,258 posts
160 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Australians driving to Denali National park

I would definitely postpone the trip to early June. But not because of the weather. The weather will be fine either way for driving. My reason for postpone is that the full road into Denali doesn't open until June 1st. If you get there in mid-May, I think it's just the first 15 miles that are open.

Mentioned in this post
Denali
Denali
2,188 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
3,803 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Australians driving to Denali National park

I would postpone by 2 weeks; not because of the weather but for better access into Denali. In May the buses only travel 30 miles of the park road whereas on June 1 you can reach Eielson Visitor Center at Mile 66.

Look at the Park web site for details.

Mentioned in this post
Denali
Denali
2,188 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Eielson Visitor Center
Eielson Visitor Center
316 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
43,222 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Australians driving to Denali National park

Yes, I agree totally with AKStafford - come a bit later if you can to really enjoy Denali - and we are happy to help you plan that! :)

Mentioned in this post
Denali
Denali
2,188 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Wasilla, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
6,258 posts
160 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Australians driving to Denali National park

Here's some more details on visiting Denali:

www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/hours.htm

Mentioned in this post
Denali
Denali
2,188 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
USA
Level Contributor
9,465 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Australians driving to Denali National park

Here are the shuttle bus destination dates into Denali National Park for this summer:

Toklat River- MIle 53 - starts May 20

Eielson Visitor Center- Mile 66 - starts June 1

Wonder Lake -Mile 85 - starts June 8

Most of us recommend going at least as far as Eielson, but preferably Wonder Lake.

If you must keep your May trip, be sure to get to Denali no earlier than May 20.

Mentioned in this post
Eielson Visitor Center
Eielson Visitor Center
316 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Wonder Lake
Wonder Lake
252 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Denali
Denali
2,188 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage
Level Contributor
12,492 posts
215 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Australians driving to Denali National park

I agree with the rest for the same reasons.

e.g.:

- in Seward there will likely be a parking lot full of snow at Exit Glacier and the trails to/above the glacier may not be accessible.

- Byron Glacier (near Portage) will still likely be inaccessible (without snowshoes) as will the nearby Winner Creek trail.

As for the driving (hiring of a car).... You'll be fine renting a car (regardless of your dates) and I think you and your party will enjoy the freedom more. It's very easy to drive up here and very difficult to get lost (not that many roads).

Good luck,

Scott

Mentioned in this post
Seward
Seward
Alaska
Exit Glacier
Exit Glacier
671 Reviews
Kenai Fjords National Park, AK
New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
Level Contributor
4,130 posts
301 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Australians driving to Denali National park

There's a reason why the cruises are MUCH cheaper in May.... You can still travel independently using rail & coach if you're not confident driving. See www.alaskarailroad.com

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
38 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Australians driving to Denali National park

Thank you, we are looking at changing our trip to early June. Your information is very helpful. When sorted will ask about new itinerary for ideas. Many Thanks

9. Re: Australians driving to Denali National park

-:- 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: 06 January 2015, 06:18