Denali Park is a bucket list destination for many hiking and nature enthusiasts due to its marvelous landscapes filled with immense glaciers, fairytale forests, and of course, the mountain of the same name, which is the tallest in North America. However, even in such an impressive area with endless options for some of the best hiking one can find, a little variety is needed to keep your Alaskan getaway feeling fresh and exciting. Here is a list to help keep the hiking fatigue at bay.
10 Visit The Husky Homestead
Four-time Iditarod winner Jeff King opens up his home that doubles as a husky training ground for tours. Visitors get to experience a bit of rural Alaskan life while seeing the dogs as they go through training to become champions, and this includes everyone's favorite perk of endless photo ops with husky puppies. As of 2022, the tour season runs from June 1 to September 10. Reservations are required, so make sure to plan ahead for this one.
9 Fly Instead Of Walk
It is possible to rest one's feet but still take in some of the most amazing views of Denali Park. There is a wide variety of flight tours available in planes or helicopters that will give a bird's eye view of the true vastness of the park. Tours take different routes and have their own unique touches. For example, one tour is the only company permitted to land directly on glaciers in Denali Park, and another makes a stop at Bus 142, made famous by the story of Christopher McCandless.
8 Dinner At Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theatre
A highly acclaimed activity for time indoors is to spend a night at Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theatre. This family-friendly option provides further immersion into the Alaskan aesthetic. Visitors are served in a log cabin with all-you-can-eat meals of Alaskan salmon and drop biscuits before a light and humorous show set in Gold Rush era Alaska. Reservations are required in advance.
7 Relax In Denali Park Village
Denali Park Village provides first-class lodging to visitors to the park and provides a fantastic base of operations for excursions, but it is also worth spending some time in when a break from hiking is needed. The lodges have beautiful views of the park with cozy fireplaces, and there are shops, restaurants, and museums a quick walk away from your room. Denali Park Village is perfect for having a more low-key day, but it still feels like an Alaskan adventure.
6 Warm Up At Chena Hot Springs Resort
For those seeking a heightened level of relaxation, a dip into hot springs in Alaska is a pleasurable option. Chena Hot Springs resort has day pass options for the springs along with indoor pools and hot tubs for travelers who are just passing through, but of course, a few days' stays is the norm. They offer more than just hot water and can set you up with activities, including snowmobile excursions, sunset tours, and visits to the Aurora Ice Museum.
5 Off-Road Safari
Once again, a great way for travelers to get a break from hoofing it through Denali Park is to let someone else do the driving. Off-road safari tours in a 4x4 truck are an exhilarating choice for this. Denali Backcountry Safari provides one of the top safari tours that carry people deep into the Alaskan wilderness to an audience of caribou, foxes, and bears and even includes a stop for quick snacks at a scenic overlook.
4 Sightseeing By Train
Another great option for travelers wanting to rest their boots for a day is to take in the sights of Denali with a nice and slow train ride. Of course, these trains are leaving Denali and, therefore, best planned for a trip to see Anchorage. This excursion by train provides an opportunity to get some of the obligatory breathtaking Instagram shots of Alaska without having to stand up during the nearly 8-hour journey.
3 See The Aurora Borealis
Likely on the travel list of many making the journey to Alaska, the Aurora Borealis is yet another mystical wonder of nature in the area. To see one of nature's most fascinating light shows from Denali Park, visitors should make their plans between August and April. Finding the best spots in the area to see the lights can be tricky, but guided tours for this are plentiful.
2 Whitewater Rafting
Rafting is a go-to option for thrill seekers visiting Denali Park. Immersing yourself in the wilderness does not get any more powerful than careening your way through the Talkeetna River or the Nenana Gorge with your team. The inexperienced should not be discouraged by the intense photos, as routes vary on a range from novice to advanced.
1 Go Ziplining
Another activity for the adrenaline-seekers is found on the zipline! Denali Park has so many ways to experience the Alaskan countryside, and it turns out that gliding above it with the trees rolling by just under your feet is another fantastic one. This is the perfect way to have some outdoor fun but still be back at the lodge in time for lunch.