Skip to Content

7 Best Bus Tours In Denali National Park

A bus tour is one of the most popular ways to see the park, and there are several companies that offer different types of tours. Whether you’re interested in learning about the history and culture of the region, or want to see as much wildlife as possible, there’s a bus tour for you. Keep reading for more information on some of the most popular bus tours in Denali National Park. 

Where Is Denali National Park And What Is It Famous For?

Tour buses parked

Denali National Park is located in the state of Alaska in the United States. The park is famous for its six million acres of unspoiled wilderness, which includes the highest mountain peak in North America, Mount McKinley. 

Denali National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep, moose, and wolves. The park also contains glaciers, rivers, and lakes. Visitors to Denali National Park can enjoy hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, and river rafting.

See Related: Tbilisi: Hop-On Hop-Off Discovery Bus Tour

Factors To Consider While Choosing A Denali National Park Bus Tour

Moose standing in front of bus

If you are planning on visiting Denali National Park, then you’ll want to make sure that you choose the right bus tour. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:  

First and foremost, you’ll want to consider the time of year that you’re visiting. The park is only accessible by bus from mid-May to mid-September. If you’re visiting outside of those dates, then you won’t be able to take a bus tour. 

Next, you’ll want to think about how long you want the tour to last. tours range from 2 hours to 12 hours. Obviously, the longer tours will give you a more comprehensive experience, but they’re also more expensive. 

Finally, you’ll want to research the different companies that offer bus tours. Not all companies are created equal. Some have better safety records, while others are more affordable. When choosing a company, be sure to read online reviews and compare prices. 

By taking all of these factors into account, you’re sure to choose the perfect Denali National Park bus tour for your needs.

See Related: Kathmandu: Chandragiri Cable Car and Monkey Temple Tour

Top 7 Best Bus Tours In Denali National Park

Two moose bulls crossing road in Denali NP

Here are seven of the best bus tours in Denali National Park:

1. The Tundra Wilderness Tour: 

This is the most popular bus tour in the park, and for good reason. The tour takes you deeper into the park than any other, providing an up-close look at the wildlife and landscapes that make Denali so special.

2. The Kantishna Experience: 

This tour takes you off the beaten path, deep into the heart of Denali. Along the way, you’ll see delightful wildflowers, majestic mountains, and perhaps even some wildlife.

3. The Eielson Visitor Center Tour: 

This tour provides visitors with an intimate look at one of the most stunning vistas in Denali, from atop delicate eskers to braided river valleys.

4. The Glacier Discovery Tour: 

As its name suggests, this tour focuses on Denali’s glaciers. You’ll learn about their formation and see them up close, making for a truly educational experience.

5. The Wildlife Tour: 

Another popular option, this tour gives you the chance to see Denali’s animals in their natural habitat. Keep your eyes peeled for Dall sheep, caribou, moose, bears, and more.

6. The Horseshoe Lake Tour: 

This tour takes you to one of the most beautiful spots in Denali, Horseshoe Lake. Along the way, you’ll learn about the park’s geological history and see some of its unique landscapes.

7. The Mountain Vista Tour: 

This is the perfect tour for anyone who wants to experience Denali’s world-famous views. From your vantage point atop Polychrome Pass, you’ll behold mountains, glaciers, and valleys stretching as far as the eye can see.

See Related: Barbados: 5-Hour Island Tour with Lunch and Drinks

How Much Does A Bus Tour Ticket Cost In Denali National Park?

View of a tour bus in  in Denali National Park

A bus tour ticket in Denali National Park costs between $75 and $250, depending on the length of the tour and the company providing the tour. The average cost of a bus tour ticket is $125. The cost of a bus tour ticket includes the cost of the bus, the driver, and the guide. 

The cost of a bus tour ticket does not include the cost of food, lodging, or other activities. Most bus tours include a stop at the visitor center, where you can purchase a park map and further information about the park.

Assuming you would like to take a half-day bus tour, tickets will likely cost around $100 per person. A full-day bus tour will likely cost around $200 per person. If you plan on taking multiple-day tours, it is best to purchase a package deal from a reputable company. 

This could save you up to 20% off the cost of individual tickets. It is also important to note that many companies offer discounts for seniors, children, military personnel, and AAA members.

See Related: Sarajevo: War Tour with Tunnel of Hope and Trebevic Mountain

How Long Does A Bus Tour Typically Last In Denali National Park

Tour bus carrying Tourist
Santiparp Wattanaporn /

Most bus tours in Denali National Park last between six and eight hours. Some tour companies may offer longer or shorter tours, but the average length of time is six to eight hours. The length of the tour will depend on a number of factors, including the time of year, the weather, and the availability of wildlife. 

In general, bus tours operate from mid-May to mid-September. The earliest tours usually depart at around 8:00 am, while the latest tours typically leave at around 4:00 pm. Tours typically run every day during this time period, although some days may be canceled due to bad weather. 

Wildlife is often more active early in the morning and late in the evening, so many tour companies offer two different tour times: one that departs early in the morning and one that departs later in the afternoon. This allows visitors to see a variety of wildlife during their bus tours.

See Related: Best Yosemite National Park Bus Tours

Which Season Is Best For Taking A Bus Tour In Denali National Park?

Green transit bus in Denali National Park with tourists
Vineyard Perspective /

There is no bad time to take a bus tour of Denali National Park, as each season has its own unique offerings. However, the best time to visit depends on what you’re looking for. 

Summer is the busiest season when the park is bustling with tourists and the weather is warm and sunny. However, this also means that accommodation and bus tour tickets can be more expensive and difficult to come by. 

Fall is a beautiful time to visit, as the leaves are changing color and the crowds have thinned out. The days are shorter, though, so you’ll need to plan your itinerary accordingly. 

Winter is a great time for wildlife lovers, as you’re more likely to see animals like moose and caribou. However, keep in mind that the roads can be icy and road conditions can be unpredictable. 

Spring is an ideal time for birders, as many species migrate through the park at this time of year. The weather can be variable in spring, so be sure to pack for all eventualities. 

No matter when you visit, Denali National Park is sure to offer an unforgettable experience.