【Traveling Tips】 The Beautiful Nature at Denali National Park in Alaska
There is a travel attraction that I recommend when traveling to Alaska.
It is called “Denali National Park.”
First of all, Denali National Park is a very beautiful park.
It is a place where you can enjoy the colorful Alaskan nature that you cannot experience anywhere else, but it is also a tourist attraction for large crowds, so if you like authentic wild nature and are not a fan of tourist attractions, this is not the place for you.
It is a good place to visit at least once in your life.
Here is the official website:
If you are a first time visitor, you may ask for information at the information center, but even if you go to the front desk, you may not understand well.
The reason why I felt that way is because I felt like I could go to the park without buying a ticket since I’m already in Denali’s information center, so I wondered if I needed to buy a ticket.
Here is the information center’s picture.
You can buy an admission ticket ($15) here.
This admission ticket must also be purchased by those who wish to view the park in their own vehicles.
You may want to first check the official page to see what system is in place for viewing the place.
To tour the park, you need to purchase an admission ticket.
Tickets can also be purchased from the official website, but if you have an annual pass or other pass, just show that pass at the bus station’s desk when you ride a bus and you will not need to purchase a ticket.
A photo of the pass is shown below.
My Pass is American beautiful Annual Pass.($80)
The annual pass is valid for one year from the date of purchase and can be used at any national park.
I often visit Joshua Tree, Death Valley, and other national parks in California, so I purchase an annual pass every year.
The price is $80.
You can purchase it at the bus station in Denali National Park, or you can buy it online.
If you have this pass, you do not have to pay twice for admission to other national parks in other states (Zion, White Sands, etc.).
So if you have this, you can of course use Denali National Park as well, so you don’t have to pay for the ticket for admission at the entrance ($15).
If you have a Senior Pass or other pass that is not the one in my photo, you can check the website to see if it is applicable for you, as you do not have to pay twice.
If you do not have an annual pass, you can pay the admission fee through the official website, or you can pay at the bus station in Denali.
A photo of the bus station is shown here.
Denali National Park is mainly accessible by car.
There are three ways to get around the park.
- Use your own car to get around the park.
- Use the park’s buses to get around the park.
- Tour buses are available for those who wish to tour the park.
The first is to use your own car to go around the park.
When I first came to the park, I did not understand how to tour the park, so I was confused when I went to the information desk and asked them about it.
1、If you are going around the park in your own car
Unfortunately, it is not possible to go to the last summit point.
The top of the park is only accessible by tour buses and Denali National Park’s private buses.
However, this method would be geared toward those who wish to enjoy hiking and photography at their own pace.
I used the park’s buses to visit the park, and as I was told at the information desk, the tour buses and the park’s buses run on the same road, so they told me that the road gets quite a bit of traffic.
I saw people going from the buses to their own cars, and I imagine many of them were photographers with big cameras.
2, Use the park’s buses.
This is the most orthodox style.
You can purchase a ticket for $30.
You purchase the ticket at the bus station, and when the time comes, you board the bus and go with the bus to the final destination.
For those without an annual pass: Entrance fee ($15) + bus fare ($30) = $45 + tax.
The bus stops after about an hour of running with one restroom break, but to be honest, the bus ride is quite long and tiring.
This is a picture of the departure time table. (it is look like for returned bus time)
The buses that come at the time of going and returning are fixed,
so it is a good idea to take a picture of the timetable yourself at the beginning of the trip.
If you miss the bus, in the worst case scenario, you may end up being left behind at the top. Be careful!
There are bears out there, so I don’t think it’s a smart idea to miss the last bus (around 7pm) and be left behind at night in Denali National Park.
※ For my experiences, Once I did to miss a shuttle bus at Zion National Park, and I walked so much, I don’t remember that how miles I worked in darkness forests.
There are a couple of campground stops for campers, but you should definitely take a bathroom break if there is one, as the bus rarely stops before the last stop.
I was in hell because I felt like I was going to leak something from something.
3、Take a tour bus.
The price is over $100.
I honestly don’t know what’s so good about it since it takes the same route as the $30 with park bus, but I guess the tour guide is attached to the bus and will explain everything to you.
You can get around Denali National Park by these three means.
My honest impression is that traveling to the top is pretty long.
If you don’t like sitting a quiet bit for a long time on the bus, you may not enjoy it.
The bus ride takes about two hours to the top of the mountain, so it is really long.
The windows on the bus are broken some, and everyone tries their best to close them because it is cold in the bus,
but the vibration of the bus makes them open again and again, and the cold wind comes in quite a bit.
At the time of my visit, it was sunny, so I wore a regular nylon jacket, but it rained suddenly in the mountains.
I changed into another T-shirt later, but on the bus ride back, my jacket was soaking wet and I was too cold to put it on.
Even in summer, rain protection with a raincoat and umbrella is necessary to make the most of your trip.
Well, now that I think about it, getting wet was probably one of the best parts of the trip.
However, I would recommend that you take a look at the scenery.
It is also a very nice park where you can see colorful mountains that you cannot see in any other mountains.
I think the park could be more enjoyable if the service for viewing the park was slightly different.
On the park bus, you can get off the bus at the end of the park and take a walk.
*There were some tourists who stopped and got off the bus even in the middle of the park trip, but you can wait for the opportunity to walk outside and view the park even at the final stop.
The people who got off the bus on the way to the end of the tour were getting off the bus with the promise that they would only walk along the road but not hike outside of it (on the mountain road without a path).
To be honest,
from what I have heard so far, my visit to Denali may not sound like a good one.
I was dying from the cold, so it was pretty tough to make it to the halfway point, but I turned it in at a great restaurant we visited afterwards!
Anyway, to dispel the cold, we had my customary beer time.
The restaurant was just like an angel in a snowy mountain.
It was great, and I highly recommend that you have dinner here when you visit Denali National Park!
The restaurant is called
It is a brewery, so beer is the main attraction, but they also have a wide variety of food, so you can choose from burgers, salads, and many other options.
Here is a picture of the front.
I was shivering from the cold, but I went inside and ordered a beer and my favorite clam chowder.
I later ordered a steak salad, which was delicious.
This choice was really good.
The alcohol and warm soup soothed my body and soul.
While we were enjoying dinner, the bar was having its annual bingo tournament that day!
I had a chat with the person next to me, who turned out to be one of the waitstaff, so I decided to join the bingo game.
As a result,
the bingo prizes themselves are a secret, but the bar is a fun place to hang out.
I think it was a Monday, but you might as well consider yourself lucky at the bingo tournament.
A little after dinner, the sky was getting darker and we were able to see the Northern Lights.
By that time, the location had moved a little north from the restaurant (toward Fairbanks).
How a lucky night!
The lights were quite dim and green and appeared in the night sky.
Although it was cold in Denali National Park, we had a warm meal at the restaurant and were welcomed by the Northern Lights, so all in all, the Denali sightseeing tour was a great experience.
That is all about my experience at Denali National Park.
The city of Fairbanks itself is not that big and there is not a lot to do in Alaska, but there are many fascinating places to visit in Alaska, so why not visit Denali National Park on your next trip?
- Denali National Park is a beautiful park with colorful scenery that you will not find in any other park.
- The tours and park buses do not allow you to move around as you wish, so if you do not like that, I think it would be better to travel around the park in your own car.
- However, we do recommend the park’s buses as they take you to the top of the park and are an inexpensive plan. (since you cannot drive your own car to the top).
- The bus ride can be hell at times if you don’t use the restroom ahead of time, as you will be on the bus for about an hour with no rest breaks.
- After the tour, you can enjoy a delicious meal and drinks at the 49th state brewing. (By the way, it is about a 15-minute drive from Denali National Park.)
We hope you enjoy sightseeing in Denali National Park when you travel to Alaska.
I hope this article has been of some help to you on your trip.
Thank you for reading.