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“Wish I had read the reviews before the trip”

Denali Natural History Tour
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Level Contributor
407 reviews
149 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
“Wish I had read the reviews before the trip”
Reviewed 8 July 2014

I agree with those who were disappointed. The drive was 17 miles into the park. We learned about the history of the park, stopped at a remake of a log cabin with a Park Ranger in character from 1941, kind of silly, and at the end met a Native American who told us about her tribe and was the best part of the tour. We saw a mother and baby moose in amongst the trees, 2 caribou from a far distance and dall sheep, dots on a faraway mountain. I would recommend going on the longer Tundra Tour. Everyone we spoke with said it was well worth the 8 hours and that they saw lots of wildlife. The shorter tour was included in our trip so don't know the difference in cost.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
7 Thank AnnC576
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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64 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
125 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Least favorite of our NP tours”
Reviewed 5 July 2014

This tour was automatically added to our Cruise/Tour itinerary. The only potential benefit of this tour is it's short length. However, four hours included travel time and too many stops. Our tour was to leave our lodge at 8:30 am and by 9:30 all we had done was drive to the Wilderness Access Center, get off the bus, watch a movie and get back on the bus! The driver of the second bus, realizing our disappointment, was trying to be helpful in getting us an alternative tour, which was already booked. The next stop was at an old cabin, down a path in one of the few wooded areas in the park. My husband proceeded to do laps around the trail to keep from being eaten by mosquitoes! While the presenter there was interesting, we then had to wait for everyone to get through the trail or the bathrooms before we could begin again. The driver kept stopping the bus over dry creek beds, making me think there was some safety requirement! Construction on the road also slowed us down. We did see two caribou way off and stopped so we could try and get pictures. The last stop was a nice vista and a talk about the anniversary climb of Denali. But this stop was only 17 miles into the park, when there is a road going about 100 miles in! After we were loaded back on the bus and about to pull out on the main road again, we saw two caribou coming down the road. The driver would not let people exit the bus again to take photos! Luckily, I was on the "right" side of the bus, so I got a couple of OK photos. Funnily, the driver kept talking about enjoying the open spaces and the quiet, yet this tour and constant commentary didn't offer us that opportunity.
We have taken tours at Yellowstone and Glacier NPs. Those tours were on smaller buses and just easier to manage than a full school bus of people. We had more flexibility in what we saw and ultimately, those other tours were much more enjoyable. (This was the consensus of our 4 member family.) I think I would've preferred the Tundra Wilderness tour, which takes you much further into the park. If you only have one day at Denali, why spend it watching a movie?! If there had been enough time, it seemed like a round trip on the green shuttle buses that take you to various stops in the park would also give you a better opportunity to see the landscape and potentially wildlife.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank googlymoogly014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
133 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Great shorter park tour”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I was worried that our 3-hour tour (as opposed to some that were 8-9 hours) wouldn't give us enough of Denali National Park! While I'm sure the longer tours had their own advantages, we were lucky to see quite a bit of wildlife on our tour. Our bus driver was extremely knowledgable about the animals, plants, native Americans, and the park in general. We saw caribou, eagles, moose, and Dall sheep but did miss out on the bear sighting. Though it was a beautiful day, stubborn Denali remained behind clouds. But the scenery is stunning and breathtaking and there is something new to see around every bend! While this tour is mostly on the bus, we made several stops to walk along paths. There were some mobility-impaired folks on our trip who had a hard time during these walks and I worried about a wildlife encounter for them. But all was well and everyone ended up back in one piece! Beautiful day.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank kgoley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
54 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Good overview of front of the park”
Reviewed 23 June 2014

On this tour we did see Caribou but that's about it. Our tour guide was good and gave us lots of good information about plants and animals. People who upgraded to the 8 hour tour did get to see a bear and a moose. We did not. The views were amazing and they stop to show you a cabin and explain how to survive in the wilderness. We heard stories from a native lady who was lovely and sang a song for us!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank travelwithsam2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massapequa, New York
Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Beautiful views.......”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Took a day trip up into the park as part of a Princess cruise tour. Beautiful views and interesting commentary. Saw a few animals that appeared as specks on the mountainsides, but as luck would have it, as we were almost back at the visitor center, 2 moose were feeding right on the side of the road. Very cool.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Vincent N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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