Denali is America’s quintessential National Park. With over 6 million wild acres, the tallest peak in North America, and countless rivers and glaciers, Denali National Park lives up to this title as America’s crown jewel. While most visitors experience the park via its main northern corridor, the Denali Park Road, the south side of the park sees little annual visitation and remains completely road-less and virtually unexplored.
Accessing the park by bush plane from Anchorage, Alaska, your first treat will be a phenomenal floatplane flight up the Ruth glacier near Denali. You’ll then spend 3-days and 3-nights camping and hiking Denali’s wild side from the comfort of a wilderness basecamp situated on the edge of the mighty Ruth Glacier, and only 17 miles from the summit of North America’s highest peak. Our wilderness camp, near the shore of a small glacial lake, puts you right in the epicenter of the Alaska Range and in a place where you will feel humbled by the scale and majesty of Denali National Park.
With a light daypack, you’ll spend your days hiking miles of vast tundra and exploring the seemingly endless glaciers; returning to camp each evening for a delicious feast under the midnight sun. See Denali in a way that few ever have, and experience Denali Unexplored!
Denali’s most authentic 3-night experience! Combine genuine remote Alaska solitude and an amazing round trip scenic floatplane flight into Denali National Park with the greatest basecamp hiking trip in Alaska, and immerse yourself in the real Denali National Park!
This morning, our group will meet at 9am in Anchorage. After a short orientation and gear check, we will then make the drive to Chugach State Park where you’ll take a beautiful hike and enjoy a trail side lunch with your guide. By early afternoon, we’ll then make our way to Lake Hood Seaplane Base, the busiest float-plane airport on earth, where, we’ll board a floatplane bound for the Denali National Park and our home for the next 3 nights. This 1-hour scenic flight will take us over alpine tundra, braided rivers, and cascading waterfalls. Weather permitting, 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 early evening hike before dinner.
The options are staggering! With almost unlimited daylight, we’ll spend these days in the tundra hills near camp, destined for magnificent views of the Backside Glacier, Ruth Glacier, and if weather permits, “The Great One,” 20,320 foot Denali. On our hikes, you’ll learn in practice the skills necessary to hike off-trail in the Alaska wilderness – including reading a topographic map, choosing the best route, using trekking poles, and traveling efficiently. Your treks will give you the chance to learn firsthand the glacial features of Denali’s frozen rivers of ice, the valley that bears the scars of thousands of years of glacial activity, and the more recent visual indications of climate change on the Alaska landscape. After two full days of exploration, we’ll tally our wildlife and mountain peak sightings as we enjoy a filling meals in the wilderness.
Another breakfast and hot drink will fuel us for our last few hours in the wilderness. After breaking camp, and moving our kit to the lakeshore, we’ll await our ride back to civilization. As the float plane descends on the Lake, we’ll depart knowing that this amazing place has made a lasting impact on our souls. We’ll return to Anchorage by afternoon. Occasionally, weather conditions prevent our groups from flying out of Denali on this final day. Therefore, we strongly suggest spending this night in Anchorage and booking your return flights for the next day or later.
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 the Park on day one, you will receive a $300 refund or a $500 future trip credit for the missed flight into Denali. Please download the detailed itinerary on this page for specifics on the contingency itinerary.
- All group gear: Expedition quality tents, group tarp, all cooking equipment & eating utensils
- Basecamp privy with toilet supplies including portable loo, TP, trowel, and hand sanitizer
- Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
- Water treatment options
- Large, backpack-style drybag for transporting and storing personal gear while on trip
- Trekking poles
- Roundtrip scenic bush flights from Anchorage to Denali National Park
- Professional guide service at a maximum 4:1 guest to guide ratio
- All meals from lunch 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.
I’m struggling to think of a better trip I’ve taken!
If you can’t tell from the rest of my comments, this was an outstanding trip, and we hope to come back to AK and AAA in the next few years. Thanks for everything!
This was an awesome trip! I wish we had signed up for a longer trip!
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Have questions about this trip? We’ve got answers.
Denali’s 6 million-acre national park is located approximately 120 air miles North of Anchorage.
Access to Denali National Park is by small aircraft, car or train.
Absolutely, our trips are all inclusive from Anchorage and include roundtrip floatplane transportation into and out of Denali NP.
We will meet at our Anchorage facility at 8am on the morning of day one for an orientation and gear check.
After the orientation, we will head out to Chugach State Park for a hike & lunch. We’ll then transfer by van to Lake Hood and our air taxi for the flight to Denali. We will be flying with Rust’s Flying Service for our flight from Anchorage into the wilderness of Denali.
Absolutely. Denali has been called ‘The Crown Jewel’ of the park system and is home to grizzly and black bears, Dall’s sheep, caribou, moose, wolves, and tremendous seasonal populations of migratory birds.
For additional information, please reach out to us.