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.

McKinley/Denali -best things to do in 1 1/2 days?

Texas
Level Contributor
2 posts
49 reviews
Save Topic
McKinley/Denali -best things to do in 1 1/2 days?

We are on the Princess cruisetour EB5 1st week in Sept. We have 1 1/2 days at the McKinley lodge and same at Denali lodge. I have read it is best to skip the Denail tours and take the shuttle buses into the park. Are they easy to get to from the lodge? Seems I can't make reservations yet but that is what we plan to do one day. Recommendations for the other 1/2 day in Denali and the 1 1/2 days in Mc Kinley?

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
15,519 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: McKinley/Denali -best things to do in 1 1/2 days?

Welcome to the forum.

It would help if you gave us the itinerary - arrive at Denali by (which mode of transport) on day 1, depart Denali by (which mode of transport) on day 2.

I assume 1-1/2 days means you just have 1 night but it is not easy to tell for sure.

John

Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
6,894 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: McKinley/Denali -best things to do in 1 1/2 days?

Thanks for posting the cruisetour number. Makes it easy to find:

cruising2alaska.com/tour_itineraries/pcl_10a…

No way to know when you get to Denali on Day 4, because it is motorcoach. Could be early afternoon or late afternoon. I'd suggest seeing the visitor center displays & film (hop a hotel bus to the visitor center, your guide will explain how to do that), and the 4 pm Ranger sled dog demo if you can get there in time (free bus leaves the visitor center area at 3:20, assuming the 4 pm demo is still running (you can ask at the visitor center). For evening, I'd suggest the dinner theatre--hokey but fun if you're the type to get involved, or whitewater rafting. Or take the free Denali Savage River Courtesy shuttle 14 miles into the park. Great chance at that time of year to see moose along that drive. You can get off at the turnaround point to hike if you have time. A full trip is 2 hrs. Here is more info and a schedule: nps.gov/dena/…courtesy-shuttle-buses.htm

I'm glad you're taking the shuttle on day 5. The Natural History tour is worthless. Phone the Denali Princess to find out when their buses start running to the park entrance (specifically, Wilderness Access Center) in September, then book a shuttle for about half an hour after that. Probably 7:30 or 8 a.m. For sure you can book Eielson (8 hrs, reservations at www.reservedenali.com ), and if you want to get off and hike, that will give you some time. You could also book Wonder Lake (11 hrs), but I believe you'd have to walk back to the hotel because the hotel bus might not be running that late. Or if you get chummy with others on the shuttle, they might be willing to give you a ride. It would take only a couple of minutes by car. BTW, Princess should give you a refund for the NHT.

Texas
Level Contributor
2 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: McKinley/Denali -best things to do in 1 1/2 days?

8/31 arrive in Talkeetna 11:05 am - we have that afternoon at leisure, staying at the McKinley Princess Lodge that night.

9/1/10 All day at Talkeetna, staying at the lodge that night also. (My husband is looking at the 65 mile AYV excursion that day. A good idea or not??)

9/2 10 am leave for Denali, arrive 12:30 pm. We have that afternoon at Leisure, staying at the Denali Princess Lodge that night also.

9/3 Danali all day, staying at lodge at night

9/4 Leave Denali 7:29 am for Whittier then the cruise.

I hope this explains better - sorry for the confusion.

If we take the shuttle all around Denali on 9/3 (I presume that is a good idea??) then we are looking at things to do the afternoon before in Denali and the day and 1/2 in the Talkeetna area. Thank you so much for your help. We travel quite a bit but this is our first trip to Alaska so we decided to book with Princess this time. We're up for pretty much anything but I can't take very aggressive hikes.Thanks again!

4. Re: McKinley/Denali -best things to do in 1 1/2 days?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may post again if desired.

Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.

To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts

Removed on: 26 July 2010, 17:01
fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
15,519 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: McKinley/Denali -best things to do in 1 1/2 days?

Thanks for the itinerary. As MM said, the shuttle is an excellent idea in Denali.

Re: McKinley Princess, note that the lodge is about 45-60 minutes each way from the town of Talkeetna. So plan your time wisely. For example, I would stay in Talkeetna when arriving by train on 8/31 then catch a later shuttle bus to the lodge.

There are a couple of tours in Talkeetna run by Mahays that you might want to look at for your full day in Talkeetna if you are not interested in the ATV excursion (I am not familiar with that unfortunately).

Lots of time on 9/2 to see the things at the Denali NP entrance including the sleddog demo even at 2pm possibly. The Savage River Loop hike is nice, not to mention flat. Free shuttle bus to there. And the exhibits and film at the visitor center are excellent.

6. Re: McKinley/Denali -best things to do in 1 1/2 days?

-:- 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: 23 January 2011, 06:19