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Denali National Park | Alaska

Day Hiking in Denali National Park

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Season

Mid-May through mid-September

57hours Icon nearest-city

Nearest city

Anchorage, AK, is four hours away by car

57hours Icon duration

Duration

1 day

57hours Icon skill-level

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

One road, 6 million acres, and America’s tallest mountain

That’s right. There’s one road that services the park’s six million acres and that road is only 91 miles long. To put it into perspective: the park’s larger than the state of New Hampshire. So no matter how you decide to tour the park’s taiga, tundra, and glaciers, you can count on all of it being big. Epically big. While the park has plenty of trails ranging from super-short (Meadow View Trail, 0.3 mile) to much, much longer (Triple Lakes Trail, 9.5 miles), what appeals to most visitors are the off-trail options. The only way to tour the park in a car is via the lone Denali Park Road, which has various drop-off and stopping points throughout its route. Many hikers will hop off at one of the stops, venture out for a hike of their choosing, and then return to the road where they can catch a shuttle back to the various parts of breathtaking Denali!

Most Popular Itineraries

Byers Lake Private Nature Walk

From $345 · 3 hours

Step into a natural Alaskan paradise and take a stroll along the Byers Lake shoreline. Enjoy magnificent views of Byers Lake and surrounding mountains, learn about the area’s animal and plant life, and take home a healing salve made from native plants. If you like history, you will enjoy exploring a log cabin that once belonged to a pioneering couple. Hear from your knowledgeable guide about how the adventuresome family survived long winters in such a cold, yet beautiful setting! This tour is priced for up to five people, with the option to extend your group to 12 people for an additional cost.

Heli-Hiking

$500 per person · 3.5 hours

Bypass the park’s Denali Pass Road and fly right from Talkeetna’s boreal forest into the mountains above. Once there, hike through alpine tundra and enjoy views of Denali and the Alaska Range. This is an exceptional way to discover Denali’s backcountry.

Denali Wilderness Private Hike

From $595 · 4.5 hours

This is a perfect tour for travelers looking to tackle Denali’s glacier topology in depth. This is a guided, narrated tour that will teach you about the extensive flora and fauna throughout the park while discovering the Nenana River, sub-alpine tundra and the gorgeous vegetation of the taiga. This tour is priced for a group of up to five people, but groups of up to 12 can be accommodated on this private tour. Join your friends or family members, and enjoy exploring the marvelous nature of Denali!

Things you need to know

Covid measures in Denali, Alaska

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Denali, Alaska, please refer to Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • A professional, knowledgeable, medically-trained, wilderness guide
  • Use of trekking poles
  • Helicopter transportation to and from the trail for heli-hiking

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to Alaska
  • Transportation to and from the trailhead — can be provided by the guide
  • Accommodation
  • Meals and snacks

How fit do I need to be?

The best thing about hiking in Denali is that there are incredible options for all skill levels. For beginner hikes, if you can walk for four to six hours with little elevation gain, you are good to go! Intermediate hikes will see a little more change in elevation and hikes will start to increase in length, hiking anywhere between four to eight miles. Advanced hikes are full day treks with steep descents and challenging switchbacks. Keep in mind, the weather can suddenly change and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)
  • Binoculars — optional

What can I expect from hiking with a guide?

Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Denali National Park’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will customize your day to the desires of your group. Because there is so much to see and do in Denali National Park — and it gets crowded quickly — this is one location where it really pays to have a guide by your side to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Why should I book with 57hours?

With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.

What about group sizes and pricing?

Hiking tours listed above are private. Pricing is per person, and costs decrease as your group grows, making it the perfect opportunity to hike with family or friends! The maximum group size on these private day-hiking tours is twelve guests and one guide.

Heli-hiking tour is not private and pricing is per person. It takes a minimum of two people for the tour to operate.

If you’re traveling with a larger party, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What is the minimum age requirement?

  • Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this hiking adventure.
  • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. Children under 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What about bad weather?

Alaska is prone to sudden temperature and weather changes, so you need to be prepared with the right gear. The same white cloud shielding you from sunbeams can easily turn into a thunderstorm within minutes. Rest assured, your guide — all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMTs — will know the correct course of action if the weather throws a curveball. In most cases, unfavorable weather won’t stop you from experiencing a guided hiking tour within the park, but if plans need to shift, your guide will amend your itinerary to find a trail more suitable to the day’s weather.

Do I need an insurance policy?

We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

Cancellation policy

With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.

For this adventure, 57hours offers a Flexible Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to fourteen (14) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations seven (7) to thirteen (13) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a credit with that Guide for another identical or substantially similar Booking, or a full refund, minus a One Hundred-Fifty Dollar ($150) reservation fee. For cancellations one to six calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a full refund, minus a One Hundred-Fifty Dollar ($150) reservation fee. For cancellations anytime less than 25 hours in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.

For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Denali National Park, most people fly into Anchorage International Airport (ANC). From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to Denali Park that is 4 hours away or drive to Talkeetna, 2 hours north of Anchorage.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet. You can make arrangements with your guide who can provide you with transportation directly from your accommodation. From there, you’ll head straight to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the hiking ability of the group.

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