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Backpacking Denali National Park – 7 Day

$4,595 /person

Trip Details

$4,595 /person - 7-days

This 7-day, 20+ mile backpacking adventure includes 5-full days of backpacking along massive glaciers, past wild creeks, and through virgin wilderness in this most amazing and virtually unexplored area of Denali National Park. Not only does this experience include float plane access via a flight-seeing tour of the mighty Ruth Glacier, it also provides backpackers the opportunity to experience Denali National Park in a way that few ever have.

Our 7-day backpacking trip in Denali National Park is a shorter, but no less spectacular, version of our amazing 10-day adventure through the biggest mountains in North America and the crown jewel of the National Park system! With float plane access from Anchorage, amazing tundra hiking, and unparalleled views of America’s highest summit (after all, you’ll be only 17 miles from the 20,310′ peak), this trip is both suitable for a novice Alaska backpacker yet challenging enough for the seasoned wilderness traveler.


Day 1
Dinner & Accommodations included

Your trip begins today in Anchorage, Alaska. You’ll be staying at the Aloft Anchorage Hotel. You can arrive anytime and transfer to the hotel on their complimentary shuttle. Depending on your arrival time, the remainder of the day is yours to relax after your flight or to explore some of the city’s notable sites including the Anchorage Museum of History & Art or the city Park Strip. This afternoon, you’ll meet your guide at 5pm for an orientation and gear check, followed by a group dinner featuring gourmet pizza and local craft brews. The orientation will include a discussion of the route, an introduction to our unique style of Alaska wilderness travel, a familiarization of the principles of Leave No Trace, and a conversation about traveling safely in bear country.

Day 2
All Meals Included

This morning after a healthy breakfast at our B&B, we’ll make our way over to Lake Hood Seaplane Base, the busiest float-plane airport on earth, where we’ll board a float-plane bound for the Denali National Park and our home for the next 5 nights. This 1 hour scenic flight will take us over alpine tundra, braided rivers, and cascading waterfalls. We’ll enjoy spectacular views of Denali, the highest peak in North America as we travel up the mighty Ruth Glacier, to the entrance of the Great Gorge – the deepest trench on earth!  Our skilled bush pilot will then take us down to a small lake nestled in a cleft between the Ruth and Tokositna Glaciers, where we will unload our gear on a small beach and then wave the airplane goodbye. We’ll set up camp near the lake, bask in the new-found solitude, and then take a short afternoon hike.

Days 3-6
All Meals Included

We’ll spend the next 4 days headed doing a 20+ mile circuit. Our route will take us through gun sight passes, over open tundra benches, down spectacular creeks, and along big Alaska Range glaciers. We’ll camp near small lakes, drink from alpine streams, and walk through country that has seen few human footsteps. We’ll bask in the majesty of the Alaska Range and scan mountain sides for black & grizzly bears as we hike through north America’s crown jewel, completely immersed in the wild. When the weather permits, views of north America’s highest mountain range will dominate our panorama and we’ll savor the incomprehensible vastness of Alaska. By the afternoon of day 6, we’ll arrive back at our final camp near the lake, and we’ll spend our last evening truly enjoying our final moments of solitude in Denali.

Day 7
Breakfast and Lunch Included

After a celebratory tundra breakfast and coffee, our bush pilot will arrive at the lake by early afternoon to extract us from the wilderness. Our flight path will take us down the massive Ruth Glacier, over the Tokosha Mountains, along the mighty Susitna River, and back to Anchorage by early afternoon. If you’re returning home from Anchorage this evening, please schedule home-bound flights for after 8pm.

Contingency Itinerary

Please note that occasionally weather conditions prevent us from flying into our basecamp location in Denali National Park.  Given the schedule limitations encountered when our air service provider faces weather delays, there are few options available to fly after our scheduled time.  If weather looks to be improving AND the air service can accommodate a later flight, we will wait in Anchorage as long as possible. However, If we aren’t able to fly into Denali National Park on day one,  the itinerary will revert and the venue will change to Lake Clark National Park. Please download the detailed itinerary on this page for more information.

What's Included

  • All group gear: Expedition quality tents, group tarp, all cooking equipment & eating utensils
  • Toilet supplies including TP, trowel, and hand sanitizer
  • Water treatment options
  • Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
  • Trekking poles
  • Lodging on night 1 at the Lakefront Hotel in Anchorage
  • All floatplane flights necessary for the itinerary
  • Professional guide service at a maximum 4:1 client to guide ratio
  • All meals from dinner on day one through lunch on the final day of the itinerary
  • Storage for your extra travel items while in the field

Alaska Factor: The Real Deal

While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will during the camping portion of this trip. The expeditionary factors at play quite often compel our guides to deviate from the written itinerary. Guide considerations could include weather conditions, group preference, individual ability, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what many have called “The Alaska Factor.” Flight times into and out of the wilderness may also vary based on any number of similar factors. Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

Available Dates

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Trip Stats

$4,595 /person
35+ miles
Level 2
Begins In:
Ends In:
Anchorage International (ANC)
Dall Sheep, Caribou, Wolves, Birds
Great For:
Explorers, Families, Couples, Individuals

Get Ready

What to Pack:

Helpful gear suggestions and recommendations for this trip.

Gear List

Information about how to get here, reservation policies, trip insurance and more.



Trip Reviews

One of the reasons I chose AAA was the fact that I didn’t need to worry about logistics.Everything that was promised was delivered 100 percent.  I hope that in a couple of years I’ll come back and do the Lake Clark trip, and yes I’ll be traveling with AAA.

It was terrific. LOVED IT. Love Alaska. And the pre-trip responsiveness of Dan & Aaron was very helpful. I have recommended Alaska Alpine Adventures to others.

Our trip was amazing! I would do this trip again and I would definitely tour with your company again.

Absolutely LOVED my first experience with you all! Cannot wait to book another trip.

Looking for more reviews? View all trip testimonials.

Trip Photos

Trip FAQs

Have questions about this trip? We’ve got answers.

Where is Denali National Park?

Denali’s 6 million-acre national park is located approximately 120 air miles North of Anchorage.

How do you get to Denali National Park?

Access to Denali National Park is by small aircraft, car or train.

Is transportation to Denali included in the price of the trip?

Absolutely, our trips are all inclusive from Anchorage.

Where will you meet us?

Your guide(s) will meet you at the Aloft Hotel at 5pm on Day 1 for an orientation dinner of local pizza and craft brews. They will then do a full gear check, so make sure you bring your backpack and complete kit.

Who will I be flying with and what time will we be departing on day one?

The group will meet at air taxi based out of Lake Hood for the flight to Denali. We will be flying with Rust’s Air Service from Anchorage to the Denali wilderness.

Where is Lake Hood?

Lake Hood is located just south of downtown Anchorage. “Bush” flying is an adventure in and of itself and variable weather conditions may cause delays. We will try to keep you informed of any changes or delays as they occur. Remember to please be ready at least 45 minutes before your expected departure.

Is Denali National Park a good place for viewing wildlife?

Absolutely. Denali has been called ‘The Crown Jewel’ of the park system and is home to grizzly and black bears, Dall sheep, caribou, moose, wolves, and tremendous seasonal populations of migratory birds.

I'm traveling solo. Is there a single supplement charge?

Yes, there is an additional fee of $275 if you request OR end up in your own room at the hotel on night one.

For additional information, please reach out to us.

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