Alaska’s Talkeetna is a small settlement between Anchorage and Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The best way to explore the region is on a flight in a small plane.
Denali National Park and Preserve is an inhospitable, challenging place for much of the year. Often the best way to get the perfect view of the beautiful, snow-capped mountains here is by plane from Talkeetna, otherwise known as a flightseeing tour. Gliding close to the summit of Denali, over languid glaciers and rugged valleys is one of the most memorable aspects of these remarkable air tours. Given the climate in this part of the United States, all three of the Talkeetna flight tours listed below run from April to October only.
Denali One-hour Flight Experience from Talkeetna
The Alaska Range contains some of the highest peaks in North America. It curves round the western and northern sides of the Susitna Valley, which flows past Talkeetna and out into the Gulf of Alaska near Anchorage. This flying tour takes it all in. You’ll board the light aircraft then take to the skies, looking out for moose and bears on the valley floor. Soon the huge mountains will come to dominate your view, as you fly within a few miles of Denali over glacial valleys and deep gorges. Multiple daily departures during flying season. From $250 per person.
Talkeetna 75-Minute Denali Flight
Another excellent flight from Talkeetna is operated by the same company but adds an additional 15 minutes of flying time to the itinerary. That allows for a wider exploration of the Alaska Range. You’ll view the 44-mile-long (71-km) Kahiltna Glacier, then fly past the south face of Denali. Your pilot will be able to point out other major peaks in the area, including Moose’s Tooth and Mount Foraker. Your return route passes through the Sheldon Amphitheater, considered by many to be one of the world’s great natural wonders. From $321 per person.
Grand Denali Flight with Optional Glacier Landing
There’s an even more comprehensive flightseeing tour of the Alaska Range lasting two hours. You’ll pass to the north side of Denali to get a glimpse of the seemingly endless tundra that stretches north into the most inhospitable realms of the United States. One thing that makes the glaciers in this part of the world special is that some of them can actually serve as a landing strip. Please note that a glacier landing adds another 30 minutes to the flight time, and this option costs $470 per person. From $373 per person.