Kantishna Wilderness Trails
Hop on board the bus for the Kantishna Wilderness Trails Tour, and experience 92 miles of breathtaking Alaskan beauty and adventure.
Mt. McKinley, otherwise known as Denali (an Athabascan Indian name meaning "The High One"), is at the heart of Denali National Park. As you journey along the thin thread of roadway that is the Park Road, you will be transported deep through the wilderness back country to the historic Kantishna mining district.
The Savage River checkpoint at Mile 14 on the road is as far as private vehicles can go without a permit. However, your adventure will continue over four mountain passes, through landscapes of taiga, tundra, braided glacial rivers, and the massive mountain peaks of the Alaska Range. Frequent stops are made along the way for guests to enjoy the panoramas, snap photos of wildlife or just take a break at one of the convenient rest/interpretive stops. Our experienced guides are expert wildlife spotters and will stop the bus whenever an animal comes into range. Keep your eyes peeled and your cameras ready as you travel the pristine wilderness to your back country destination. Although wildlife sightings can never be guaranteed, the further you go into the park, the more chances you will have. Comfort stops are made during the drive.
Journey into the historic Kantishna area, which most Denali visitors never see. Spend a couple of hours at the exclusive Kantishna Roadhouse, located just past Wonder Lake, the jewel of Denali, on the banks of Moose Creek. There you will discover a piece of Alaska's Gold Rush history, and the warm hospitality of the Roadhouse staff as you enjoy lunch with a choice of soups (there is a vegetarian option), a signature sandwich or wrap, side, fresh baked goods and drinks. You can savor one of our Alaskan brews with a visit to "Little Johnnie's" Saloon (alcohol not included in price).
After lunch, you are free to relax or participate in activities. The Kantishna district was the sight of a gold rush in the early 1900s. You'll tour the original Assayers Cabin where staked claims were recorded. And then you'll have a chance to slip on a pair of rubber boots, grab a pan and head for Moose Creek with a guide to try your hand at panning for a little gold like the prospectors of old. Any gold you find is yours to keep and we are happy to create a complimentary "Gold Card" for you at the front desk.
One of our most unique activities is our dog team presentation on historic and current-day use of sled dogs in Alaska. Afterwards, you will be taken to meet our team of Alaskan sled dogs as they are harnessed up and taken for a run. The presentation is educational as well as entertaining.
If you prefer, you can stretch your legs on the nature hike around the property, or just relax on the deck of the lodge and immerse yourself in the scenery
You will then make the scenic drive back to the front of the park arriving at your hotel between 7:00 - 8:00pm
Please Note: If you are staying in the Talkeetna area, (McKinley Princess Lodge, Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge etc.) you are approximately 100 miles from the Denali Park main gate area where this tour departs from. You would be responsible for your own transportation to the Denali area.
Reviewer: Ron M
Spent all day on the bus, but it was not as bad as it sounds. Lots of wildlife, the motor coach operator was super informative and a joy to have.
Our guide was great. The trip is very long but the only way to decrease is a few less stops or combining everyone from the same hotel on the same bus and perhaps eliminating one stop. The food was good. The dog musher talk was excellent!! It was fun and worth doing once in a life time!