flightseeing Misty Fjords or Mt. McKinley

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#1
150 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
We have a cruisetour booked on Princess for next May. We would love to do a flightseeing tour but we don't really want to spend the money to do two of them. For those of you who have taken both trips, which one would you suggest?

We have never been to Alaska. We will be spending seven days on land. Three of those days will be in Denali. We are going to upgrade the NHT to the TWT in Denali.

Thanks for your help.

Karen
#2
Ohio
162 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Hi Karen, it's all about what you want to see as the views are very different. I personally preferred the Mt McKinley flightseeing I did over the Misty Fjords trip and would do it again. I enjoyed the Misty Fjords trip, but I don't think I would do it again. Just my personal feelings.
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#3
Illinois
1,082 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
When we were at the Princess Mt. McKinley Lodge, we had a flightseeing tour of Mt. McKinley with Talkeetna Air Taxi that got canceled 2 days in a row because of the weather. I was so disappointed.
We ended up doing the float plane of the Misty Fjords with Island Wings in Kethican, because our flightseeing got canceled earlier in our trip.
We loved the Misty Fjords float plane tour.

That being said, if the weather is co-operative for the flightseeing of Mt. McKinley, that is the one I would do. If the weather is good for it, I would not pass up the chance to do that.
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Laura

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#4
cincinnati, ohio
28 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by karen of PA
We have a cruisetour booked on Princess for next May. We would love to do a flightseeing tour but we don't really want to spend the money to do two of them. For those of you who have taken both trips, which one would you suggest?

We have never been to Alaska. We will be spending seven days on land. Three of those days will be in Denali. We are going to upgrade the NHT to the TWT in Denali.

Thanks for your help.

Karen
We're also booked on Princess next May and plan to do both- weather permitting. This is our first AK cruise and it's hard to decide what to do. We're also debating on the White Pass Railway vs the 4 x 4 excursion in Skagway. Then in Juneau we'd like to do whale watching and the raft trip excursion but can't decide if we should do Menhenhall Glacier instead. Don't know if we can fit it all in.
#5
Syracuse, New York
49,153 Posts
Joined May 2000
I have done both flights at least 10 times each. One isn't "better" than the other. They are different. With Misty Fjord, if you aren't a frequent flyer, a floatplane may be a bonus. With McKinley there are several tours to be sure you know the differences about. Again, a Ski plane, if you haven't been on one, could be of interest. The summit flights are spectaculars. I've also had great "flightseeing" of McKinley flying Anchorage/Fairbanks.

With Princess, it pays to schedule a McKinley flight carefully, so you aren't going back and forth to the lodge repeatively.

I suggest both and do both myself. Each has to decide for themselves.
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budgetqueenalaska@yahoo.com
#6
Syracuse, New York
49,153 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by karen of PA
We have a cruisetour booked on Princess for next May. We would love to do a flightseeing tour but we don't really want to spend the money to do two of them. For those of you who have taken both trips, which one would you suggest?

We have never been to Alaska. We will be spending seven days on land. Three of those days will be in Denali. We are going to upgrade the NHT to the TWT in Denali.

Thanks for your help.

Karen
If you are at Denali into June, and with 3?? days at Denali (I would assume not full days with a cruisetour) I wuold suggest the Eielson shuttle to mile 66 and the visitor center. You do realize, the triple costs of the TWT vs the SAME distance Toklat shuttle into the park? Doing that twice for less money than a single entry via the TWT would be far superior in what you would see.
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budgetqueenalaska@yahoo.com
#7
Bloomington, IL
2,856 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We did both when were in Alaska and both were very good. The McKinley one we did while we were at Princess's Denali Lodge. I liked the McKinley one better for one reason, we got to land on a glacier. There are 2 types of flightseeing tours for McKinley, one you just fly, the other you land on a glacier. Landing on the glacier is something that you just cannot duplicate, particularly in the lower 48. We were able to get out and walk around on the glacier, take pictures, etc. Very nice. Expensive, but well worth it. We flew to Misty Fjords with Island Wings which is an independent operator. Also very good. We landed in a lake and we got to get out for a bit. From what I was told and saw, other operators through the ship might land on a lake, but you do not get to get out on land. Would recommend them as well.

Overall, I do not think you can go wrong with either of them. If you want to see each, there is a section on my videos from Alaska (links below) Part 2 has the glacier landing and part 6 has the Misty Fjords flight.

Tim
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#8
150 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Budget Queen, I think I have alot more research to do before I decide. You are correct that we are in Denali for two nights but not three full days. The Eielson shuttle won't be an option because we are there the last week of May. However, I will read about the Toklat shuttle as an alternative to the TWT. Is it true that we would have to find our own transportation from the lodge if we choose the Toklat shuttle?

I'm leaning towards the flightseeing tour of Mt McKinley. Although I would love to do both that one and the Misty Fjords trip, I just don't think we could afford to do both.

Thanks so much to everyone for your advice.

Karen
#9
Syracuse, New York
49,153 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by karen of PA
Budget Queen, I think I have alot more research to do before I decide. You are correct that we are in Denali for two nights but not three full days. The Eielson shuttle won't be an option because we are there the last week of May. However, I will read about the Toklat shuttle as an alternative to the TWT. Is it true that we would have to find our own transportation from the lodge if we choose the Toklat shuttle?

I'm leaning towards the flightseeing tour of Mt McKinley. Although I would love to do both that one and the Misty Fjords trip, I just don't think we could afford to do both.

Thanks so much to everyone for your advice.

Karen
Princess Lodge runs a shuttle bus to the Wilderness Access Center, where you pick up the Park shuttle bus to Toklat. You will have a lot of change back from canceling a Natural History tour and booking the Toklat shuttle.

Do you know about the purchased coupon books? They have always, in the past, had discount offers for both flights. Island Wings has NEVER participated, they fully book with out them. But the company that does, certainly does do a good job flying Misty.
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budgetqueenalaska@yahoo.com
#10
150 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by Budget Queen
Princess Lodge runs a shuttle bus to the Wilderness Access Center, where you pick up the Park shuttle bus to Toklat. You will have a lot of change back from canceling a Natural History tour and booking the Toklat shuttle.

Do you know about the purchased coupon books? They have always, in the past, had discount offers for both flights. Island Wings has NEVER participated, they fully book with out them. But the company that does, certainly does do a good job flying Misty.
I know about the coupon books but don't I need to wait until after Thanksgiving to purchase one because the new ones would be for the 2013 season?

Thanks for the info on the shuttle. That definitely sounds like a better alternative. Can I wait until we get to Denali to book the shuttle or do you recommend that I do it ahead of time?
#11
Syracuse, New York
49,153 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by karen of PA
I know about the coupon books but don't I need to wait until after Thanksgiving to purchase one because the new ones would be for the 2013 season?

Thanks for the info on the shuttle. That definitely sounds like a better alternative. Can I wait until we get to Denali to book the shuttle or do you recommend that I do it ahead of time?
The Toklat shuttle is the only one running when you are there, and they do sell out. Unless you are willing to walk up and wait it out for open seats, book ahead.

Yes you do have to wait for the 2013 coupon books. Those particular coupons I mention, have been in the books for years. Maybe will continue. I am surprised, however the offers they still have and I always use. I keep waiting for them to be discountinues. One Kenai Fjords company did discontinue the 2 for 1's a few years ago. I await for more.
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Happy Alaska travels

budgetqueenalaska@yahoo.com