Denali backcountry tour guest in blue jacket stands beside pond in autumnal tundra with snow-covered peaks beyond on a clear day.
Large brown grizzly bear sow forages in the colorful autumn tundra, seen on a Denali backcountry tour.
Small pond with reflection of cloudy sky surrounded by bright green grass & purple wildflowers, seen on a Denali backcountry tour.
Mount Denali with various snow-covered peaks & blue lower elevations sits beside large green grass meadow with road beside it.
Small red fox with white chest sits in red, gold, brown & green tundra, seen on a Denali backcountry tour.
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North America Alaska Land Tour

Denali Backcountry Explorer

Spend 8-9 days delving into Alaska’s wildlands on this Denali Backcountry Explorer. Unbeatable wildlife viewing and landscape photography are highlights of each daily hike led by naturalist guides. Each evening, rest easy in style and comfort in a remote backcountry lodge 90 miles inside Denali National Park.

Access your backcountry lodge via helicopter or fixed-wing airplane, for scenic flights that may also include a fly-by of Denali and the Alaska Range. Access the heart of Alaska’s wilderness via either the Denali Backcountry Lodge with its cozy riverside collection of cedar cabins, or Kantishna Roadhouse with its sprawling collection of cabins that date back to the early 1900s. Hike through alpine and tundra environments along rivers, lakes and ridge-top trails with panoramic views of the Alaska Range. Try dog sledding, gold panning, mountain biking or simply enjoy the informative evening presentations during your 3-4 days in remote Denali.

After 3-4 days exploring Denali National Park, return to Anchorage by Alaska railroad or on a scenic flight. By train, some of the most lush and fertile Alaska lands can be seen from luxury dome cars, meals are available for purchase and a delightful conductor points out areas of interest along the way. By plane, fly over North America’s tallest mountain, Mt. Denali standing at 20,322 feet, and see Alaska with an eagle eye view.

AdventureSmith’s Denali Backcountry Explorer is an independent exploration of Anchorage and Denali that includes all transfers, hotels and activities. This trip can be crafted to use custom hotels and lodges to suit any travel style. This Denali backcountry lodge-based trip is perfect for small groups, couples or family travel. Contact our Alaska experts to add the Denali Backcountry Explorer to your schedule.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about visiting Denali National Park and AdventureSmith’s Alaska land tours, or all Alaska trips by land and sea.



Itinerary

8-Day Denali Backcountry Explorer Itinerary

Spend 8 days delving into Alaska’s wildlands on this Denali Backcountry Explorer land tour inside Denali National Park. This trip begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska and includes round-trip flights from the Denali Park entrance to your backcountry lodge, plus a return to Anchorage via the Alaska Railroad.

Read More
Day 1
Arrive Anchorage, Alaska

Arrive to the Anchorage airport, where you’ll be met and transferred to your downtown Anchorage hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore this cosmopolitan Alaskan city on your own.

Accommodations

Hilton Downtown Anchorage (or similar)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 2
North to Denali

Today the adventure begins on a narrated, scenic drive along the Parks Highway from Anchorage to Denali National Park & Preserve. Arrive at your hotel in the Denali entrance area by noon. The afternoon is yours to visit the Denali National Park & Preserve Visitor Center, hike the interpretive trails throughout the area, or simply relax.

Accommodations

Denali Cabins (or similar)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 3
Scenic Flight Into Denali National Park

Instead of seeing the park from a bus window, you’ll begin your experience of Denali by viewing glaciers, mountains and tundra lowlands from the air on a scenic charter flight. Weather permitting, your flight in will also include a fly-by of Denali and the Alaska Range.

*In the event that you are not able to fly to the lodge due to weather this day, this package includes an additional overnight at Denali Cabins.

Accommodations

Denali Backcountry Lodge or Kantishna Roadhouse

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 4
Denali National Park

Spend today exploring the heart of Alaska’s premier wilderness. A naturalist guide from your backcountry lodge leads explorations through alpine and tundra environments along rivers, lakes or ridge-top trails with panoramic views of the Alaska Range. The beautiful scenery of Denali National Park is also habitat for grizzly bear, black bear, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, arctic fox, moose and more.

Accommodations

Denali Backcountry Lodge or Kantishna Roadhouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Denali National Park

Spend a second full day exploring the wonders of Denali from your backcountry lodge. Additional activities offered from the lodge include sled dog demonstrations, mountain biking, gold panning and evening presentations. The unparalleled exclusivity offered by the road closure will make this backcountry experience more unique than ever.

Accommodations

Denali Backcountry Lodge or Kantishna Roadhouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Scenic Flight Out of Denali National Park

This morning brings a final chance to view wildlife and wonder on the spectacular return flight to the park entrance. Upon arrival, take the included transfer to your hotel for one final night in the Denali entrance area.

Accommodations

Denali Cabins (or similar)

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Day 7
Alaska Railroad to Anchorage

This afternoon, board the historic railroad for the return trip to Anchorage, crossing over Alaska’s highest bridge at Hurricane Gulch. Skirt past the Matanuska Valley, the most fertile farming area in Alaska, which produces bushel-basket-sized cabbages along with other huge vegetables due to long hours of sunlight. The conductor announces points of interest along the way, with prime views from your luxury dome car and meals are available for purchase on board. Arrive at the Anchorage Rail Depot around 8:00pm and be transferred to your Anchorage hotel.

Accommodations

The Lakefront Anchorage (or similar)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 8
Depart Anchorage or Begin Trip Extension

This morning, take an included return transfer to the Anchorage airport or begin your Alaska small ship cruise or trip extension.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

n/a

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Airport hotel transfer, coach transportation to Denali, round-trip flights from the Denali Park entrance to the lodge, Alaska Railroad transportation from Denali, accommodations, local guides, entrance fees and meals as specified in itinerary.

Exclusions

Airfare; airport taxes; additional hotel nights in Anchorage; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages; insurance of any kind; room taxes (2023: 8-Day $329 per person).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 50% of deposit
90 to 75 days – 100% of deposit
74 to 46 days – 50% of total trip cost
45 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The 8-Day Denali Backcountry Explorer adventure begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska (ANC). Plan to arrive anytime on Day 1 and depart anytime on Day 8. Transfers will be provided upon arrival on Day 1 and departure on Day 8.

Internal Flights

Due to a major landslide in the Pretty Rocks section on the Denali Park Road in August of 2021, the road was closed at Mile 43, and will remain closed for the 2023 summer season. Consequently, there is no longer road access to Kantishna, where our lodges are located.

For 2023, Denali Backcountry Lodge will provide round-trip helicopter transportation to the lodge from the Park entrance area. Luggage limit will be 40 pounds per person, and storage for additional luggage is available at the Park entrance.

For 2023 Kantishna Roadhouse will provide round-trip fixed-wing aircraft transportation to the lodge from the Park entrance area. Luggage limit will be 25 pounds per person, and storage for additional luggage will be available at the Park entrance.

Flight times are about 35 minutes.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the guides can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include daily hikes (choose from easy, moderate or challenging), bicycle rides, fishing, gold panning, sled dog demonstrations, wildlife observation and flight seeing (additional charge).

Room Configuration

Cabins and prices are listed for single, double, triple and quadruple use. Wheelchair accessible rooms are available. Upgrades may be available, contact us for details.

Families & Children

Families and groups with younger travelers are welcome on this trip. Call our experts to plan your Denali family vacation.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

9-Day Denali Backcountry Explorer Itinerary

Spend 9 days delving into Alaska’s wildlands on this Denali Backcountry Explorer land tour inside Denali National Park. This trip begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska and includes round-trip flights from the Denali Park entrance to your backcountry lodge, plus a return to Anchorage via the Alaska Railroad.

Read More
Day 1
Arrive Anchorage, Alaska

Arrive to the Anchorage airport, where you’ll be met and transferred to your downtown Anchorage hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore this cosmopolitan Alaskan city on your own.

Accommodations

Hilton Downtown Anchorage (or similar)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 2
North to Denali

Today the adventure begins on a narrated, scenic drive along the Parks Highway from Anchorage to Denali National Park & Preserve. Arrive at your hotel in the Denali entrance area by noon. The afternoon is yours to visit the Denali National Park & Preserve Visitor Center, hike the interpretive trails throughout the area, or simply relax.

Accommodations

Denali Cabins (or similar)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 3
Scenic Flight Into Denali National Park

Instead of seeing the park from a bus window, you’ll begin your experience of Denali by viewing glaciers, mountains and tundra lowlands from the air on a scenic charter flight. Weather permitting, your flight in will also include a fly-by of Denali and the Alaska Range.

*In the event that you are not able to fly to the lodge due to weather this day, this package includes an additional overnight at Denali Cabins.

Accommodations

Denali Backcountry Lodge or Kantishna Roadhouse

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 4
Denali National Park

Spend today exploring the heart of Alaska’s premier wilderness. A naturalist guide from your backcountry lodge leads explorations through alpine and tundra environments along rivers, lakes or ridge-top trails with panoramic views of the Alaska Range. The beautiful scenery of Denali National Park is also habitat for grizzly bear, black bear, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, arctic fox, moose and more.

Accommodations

Denali Backcountry Lodge or Kantishna Roadhouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Denali National Park

Spend a second full day exploring the wonders of Denali from your backcountry lodge. Additional activities offered from the lodge include sled dog demonstrations, mountain biking, gold panning and evening presentations. The unparalleled exclusivity offered by the road closure will make this backcountry experience more unique than ever.

Accommodations

Denali Backcountry Lodge or Kantishna Roadhouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Denali National Park

Spend a final immersive day in this magnificent wilderness. Explore the area with your naturalist guide or on your own, both lodges offer customized adventures based on skill level and interests. The unparalleled exclusivity offered by the road closure will make this backcountry experience more unique than ever.

Accommodations

Denali Backcountry Lodge or Kantishna Roadhouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Scenic Flight Out of Denali National Park

This morning brings a final chance to view wildlife and wonder on the spectacular return flight to the park entrance. Upon arrival, take the included transfer to your hotel for one final night in the Denali entrance area.

Accommodations

Denali Cabins (or similar)

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Day 8
Alaska Railroad to Anchorage

This afternoon, board the historic railroad for the return trip to Anchorage, crossing over Alaska’s highest bridge at Hurricane Gulch. Skirt past the Matanuska Valley, the most fertile farming area in Alaska, which produces bushel-basket-sized cabbages along with other huge vegetables due to long hours of sunlight. The conductor announces points of interest along the way, with prime views from your luxury dome car and meals are available for purchase on board. Arrive at the Anchorage Rail Depot around 8:00pm and be transferred to your Anchorage hotel.

Accommodations

The Lakefront Anchorage (or similar)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 9
Depart Anchorage or Begin Trip Extension

This morning, take an included return transfer to the Anchorage airport or begin your Alaska small ship cruise or trip extension.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

n/a

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Airport hotel transfer, coach transportation to Denali, round-trip flights from the Denali Park entrance to the lodge, Alaska Railroad transportation from Denali, accommodations, local guides, entrance fees and meals as specified in itinerary.

Exclusions

Airfare; airport taxes; additional hotel nights in Anchorage; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages; insurance of any kind; room taxes (2023: $379 per person).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 50% of deposit
90 to 75 days – 100% of deposit
74 to 46 days – 50% of total trip cost
45 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The 9-Day Denali Backcountry Explorer adventure begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska (ANC). Plan to arrive anytime on Day 1 and depart anytime on Day 9. Transfers will be provided upon arrival on Day 1 and departure on Day 9.

Internal Flights

Due to a major landslide in the Pretty Rocks section on the Denali Park Road in August of 2021, the road was closed at Mile 43, and will remain closed for the 2023 summer season. Consequently, there is no longer road access to Kantishna, where our lodges are located.

For 2023, Denali Backcountry Lodge will provide round-trip helicopter transportation to the lodge from the Park entrance area. Luggage limit will be 40 pounds per person, and storage for additional luggage is available at the Park entrance.

For 2023 Kantishna Roadhouse will provide round-trip fixed-wing aircraft transportation to the lodge from the Park entrance area. Luggage limit will be 25 pounds per person, and storage for additional luggage will be available at the Park entrance.

Flight times are about 35 minutes.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the guides can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include daily hikes (choose from easy, moderate or challenging), bicycle rides, fishing, gold panning, sled dog demonstrations, wildlife observation and flight seeing (additional charge).

Room Configuration

Cabins and prices are listed for single, double, triple and quadruple use. Wheelchair accessible rooms are available. Upgrades may be available, contact us for details.

Families & Children

Families and groups with younger travelers are welcome on this trip. Call our experts to plan your Denali family vacation.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

Itineraries span varying days of the week, depending on trip length and lodge:

  • Kantishna Roadhouse: 8-Day Thu-Thu, 9-Day Sun-Mon
  • Denali Backcountry Lodge: 8-Day Fri-Fri, 9-Day  Mon-Tue
2023 Rates
Denali Backcountry Lodge • 8 days
From $6630USD
Per Person
Read More
Read More
2023 Rates
Kantishna Roadhouse • 8 days
From $6630USD
Per Person
Read More
Read More
2023 Rates
Denali Backcountry Lodge • 9 days
From $8165USD
Per Person
Read More
Read More
2023 Rates
Kantishna Roadhouse • 9 days
From $8165USD
Per Person
Read More
Read More
Accommodations

Learn About the Lodges & Hotels on Your Itinerary

Lodge
Denali Backcountry Lodge

The remote Denali Backcountry Lodge located at the end of the 95-mile Denali Park Road in Kantishna, was named one of 2017’s top ten adventure lodges in Alaska by National Geographic. Daily optional activities include hiking, fly fishing, gold panning, biking, photography, flightseeing tours and more.

Lodge
Kantishna Roadhouse

The Kantishna Roadhouse lies deep in the heart of Alaska’s pristine wilderness of Denali National Park and dates back to the early 1900s. 32 full-service cabins dot the landscape set on Moose Creek.

Hotel
The Lakefront Anchorage

This lodge-style hotel is known for its hospitality and upscale yet comfortable amenities. Set on the shore of Lake Spenard, The Lakefront Anchorage offers modern décor accented with classical hints of Alaska. Daily flightseeing and fishing pickups from the hotel dock offer specialized opportunities for Alaska-based adventures.

Hotel
Hilton Downtown Anchorage

Located in the heart of downtown Anchorage, this hotel is walking distance to popular attractions and a 10-minute drive to the International airport.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Chris Harter • June 3rd, 2008
Expert Review: Inside Passage Catalyst Plus Denali

An AdventureSmith crew member reports on his 7-day Inside Passage cruise aboard the Catalyst and trip to Denali National Park.

Testimonials

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"This Trip Exceeded Our Expectations!"

This trip exceeded our expectations! Everything was so organized and went so smoothly. I would highly recommend Adventure Smith for any trips. All the details were clearly explained and each step of the way went very smoothly.

Overall
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Meals
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"Absolutely Marvelous"

My trip to Denali was absolutely marvelous. I am so glad I took this particular trip because everyone was taken care of and I didn't have to worry about anything. The resort was 1st class, the service and food excellent.

Overall
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Accommodations
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Meals
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"The Wildlife Spotting Made it Worth the Trip"

We had a TERRIFIC National Park guides. The number 1 experience was the Glacier Bay National Park, and number 2 was Denali National Park. Both segments of the trip were well organized and superb and very relaxing. Imagine being away from cell phones and Internet for days at a time... and not minding at all!!

Overall
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Accommodations
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Meals
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Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

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Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Land Tour

Add to Wishlist
8 Day Cruise
Northern Passages & Glacier Bay

This 8-day cruise between Juneau and Sitka, Alaska, includes a visit to Glacier Bay National Park and emphasizes exploration in nature with hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and skiff tours suited to varying activity levels.

Special Offer
From $5500USD
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Add to Wishlist
8 Day Cruise
Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness

On this 8-day adventure with National Geographic guides, watch for whales and calving glaciers and take kayaks and Zodiacs into protected fjords. Join the 100-guest National Geographic Quest or Venture.

Special Offer
From $7560USD
May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Add to Wishlist
8 Day Cruise
Last Frontier Adventure

The 8-day Last Frontier Adventure cruise combines Glacier Bay National Park with active hikes and kayaking among rainforest and glaciers, with cultural insights along the way aboard 54-guest Admiralty Dream or 76-guest Chichagof Dream.

Special Offer
From $3895USD
May Jun Jul Aug Sep
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7 Day Land Tour
Alaska Coast to Denali Journey

This 7-day Alaska coast to Denali Journey visits two Alaska national parks: Denali and Kenai Fjords. Travel from Anchorage to Seward, Kenai, Talkeetna and Denali, then return via historic Alaska railroad, with opportunities to sea kayak, hike and optional flightsee!

From $5345USD
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7 Day Cruise
Sea Wolf Glacier Bay Adventure

The 7-day Sea Wolf Glacier Bay Adventure aboard the historic 12-passenger Sea Wolf is the only small ship cruise entirely inside Glacier Bay National Park. Paddle among glaciers, hike in old growth rainforest, explore tidal inlets and cruise among whales in Glacier Bay.

From $5800USD
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8 - 9 Day Land Tour
Camp Denali Adventure

This premier Denali National Park base camp, in view of Denali, is located near Wonder Lake at the end of the 92-mile Denali Park Road and offers expert guided explorations and unique hikes.

From $5950USD
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Denali Backcountry Explorer

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