Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have my own transportation. Can I still go?

Yes! If you’re staying at the Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge, we offer free transport from the lodge for our Denali Wilderness Hike and Byers Lake Nature Walk. If you’re staying in Talkeetna, we can pick you up at your local lodging for the Talkeetna Lakes Hike. We can also provide transportation as part of our Custom Tours.

If you’re staying in Talkeetna, we can pick you up at your local lodging for the Talkeetna Lakes Hike and the Talkeetna Heli Hike. We do not provide transportation from Talkeetna for the regularly scheduled Denali State Park trips, unless it is arranged as a custom trip.

What should I wear?

Sturdy footwear is recommended for nature walks and is required on longer hikes. Weather conditions are highly variable near the Alaska Range, so it’s best to be prepared for anything. Dress in layers so you can be comfortable as conditions change. If you have them, bring rain jackets and pants. If not, we have some for you. We also provide waterproof overboots, trekking poles, hats, gloves, and daypacks at no extra cost.

What else should I bring?

You will definitely want your camera, and also binoculars if you have them. Bottled water is necessary on hikes but not on nature walks.

What about mosquitoes and other pests?

In Alaska, mosquitoes can be numerous at times. We provide mosquito repellent. We supply headnets when needed. Luckily, none of Alaska’s mosquitoes carry any diseases, and we also have no Lyme disease, ticks, fleas, or chiggers, and no poison oak, ivy, or sumac.

What about bears?

Yes, the places we hike are home to both black and grizzly bears, and we like it that way! Wildlife, weather, and wilderness are all part of Alaska’s allure, but can pose risk for the unprepared. All of our guides carry bear protection and are trained in bear encounters, first aid, CPR, and emergency procedures, and all carry emergency communications. Your personal safety is our primary concern.

Will I see wildlife?

Seeing wildlife is a matter of luck, timing, and awareness. Our guides are excellent wildlife spotters and this is prime habitat, so the chance of seeing at least some wildlife is pretty good. Be sure to bring your camera and binoculars!

How many other people will be on the trip?

Our maximum group size is 12 people with a guide. This makes for a more personal experience and a closer connection to the natural world.

How difficult are the hikes?

Our hikes range from an easy stroll to a strenuous hike (see table below for the trip that’s right for you). Anyone who can walk slowly for extended periods can do the Byers Lake Nature Walk. You should be regularly active to do the Talkeetna Lakes Hike. The Denali Wilderness Hike is not steep, but involves a long, steady elevation gain (when conditions allow) and is only suitable for those who are fairly fit.

TripDifficultyDistanceTerrainElevation Gain
Byers Lake Nature WalkEasy2 MilesFlat Trail0
Talkeetna Lakes HikeModerate3 MilesHilly Trail200 ft.
Denali Wilderness HikeStrenuous5-6 MilesLong Trail Ascent1000 ft.
Backpacking TripsStrenuous4 -8 Miles per DayHilly Trail and Off-Trail1000-1500 ft. per day

Are your hikes suitable for children?

Our tours are great for families. They are a fun, safe, and affordable way to get out and see Alaska, and the fresh air and exercise do everyone a lot of good. Parents should be prepared to carry any child who cannot walk the full distance. Children under 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

How’s the weather up there?

The South Denali area is much drier than Alaska’s Panhandle, but afternoon showers are common in the summer. Even if it’s raining, we still go out, and are always glad we did. No matter what the weather, we have the gear to keep you dry and comfortable, there’s always a lot to see, and we always have a great time.

What is your payment and cancellation policy?

A full-fare deposit is required for all bookings. Our regularly scheduled trips are fully refundable for cancellations made at least 7 days prior to the tour date with no refund for cancellations made less than a week prior to the tour date. Custom trips are fully refundable for cancellations made with in 14 days prior to tour date with no refund for cancellations made within two weeks of tour date. Backpacking trips require a $500 deposit with the balance to be paid in full 60 days prior to the trip with no refund for cancellations within 60 days of the trip.

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