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  #1  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 01:12 PM
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shofer shofer is offline
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Default Denali Wilderness Tour

We are going early-May 16 and have booked our excursion thru Princess but I have not seen any info on this tour. Is this something that is available in the park and you book on your own? I am aware that the condition of the park (snow) may limit how far we can go.

Any info is welcome.

Thanks,
Sue
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 01:31 PM
mapleleaves mapleleaves is online now
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The dates of operation for the tours/shuttles are listed in the Denali Park site and on the reservation site.
You're very early in the season so your best option is the Teklanika Wilderness Tour to Mile 53. The Denali History Tour is also offered but it only goes to Mile 19.
http://www.reservedenali.com/play/to...ilderness.aspx

Here's the Denali web site so you can find info on the tours, shuttles and free courtesy buses: http://www.nps.gov/dena/siteindex.htm

If you have another day in the park consider taking the free courtesy bus to Savage River at Mile 15. http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisi...ttle-buses.htm
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 01:54 PM
epixx epixx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleleaves View Post
The dates of operation for the tours/shuttles are listed in the Denali Park site and on the reservation site.
You're very early in the season so your best option is the Teklanika Wilderness Tour to Mile 53. The Denali History Tour is also offered but it only goes to Mile 19.
http://www.reservedenali.com/play/to...ilderness.aspx
The Tundra Wilderness Tour goes to Mile 53. Unfortunately for the OP, the website states that the Teklanika Wilderness Tour only goes as far as Mile 30. Much of the best wildlife viewing is well past this mark.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 02:07 PM
frugaltravel frugaltravel is offline
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Originally Posted by epixx View Post
The Tundra Wilderness Tour goes to Mile 53. Unfortunately for the OP, the website states that the Teklanika Wilderness Tour only goes as far as Mile 30. Much of the best wildlife viewing is well past this mark.
Exactly. Going to Denali before May 20th is a very bad idea for most people. You can't get very far into the park and to pay top dollar for a tour that only goes to mile 29 is sad.
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  #5  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleleaves View Post
The dates of operation for the tours/shuttles are listed in the Denali Park site and on the reservation site.
You're very early in the season so your best option is the Teklanika Wilderness Tour to Mile 53. The Denali History Tour is also offered but it only goes to Mile 19.
http://www.reservedenali.com/play/to...ilderness.aspx

Here's the Denali web site so you can find info on the tours, shuttles and free courtesy buses: http://www.nps.gov/dena/siteindex.htm

If you have another day in the park consider taking the free courtesy bus to Savage River at Mile 15. http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisi...ttle-buses.htm
Thanks for the links. The Princess tour was sold out and yes, we are taking the Teklanika Wilderness Tour d/t our being there for the "shoulder season". I was able to book this on the site.

Not knowing the location of all these places, I called the Denali reservation # and she told me that the pickup location for the tour was McKinley Chalets which are across the street from Princess Wilderness Lodge. (I confirmed with Google Maps.) Good to know for a 5 AM pickup.

Since we booked this trip in August, we thought we had lots of time to book excursions. Was I surprised when I looked at them in November and most of the available tours were already sold out!

The only other thing we have booked that day is the Denali theater and that isn't until 8 PM. So we figure we can take a nap after we get back from looking for wildlife.

Sue
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  #6  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 05:49 PM
karen of PA karen of PA is offline
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Sue,
We are also going on a Princess cruisetour in May. Like you, I was concerned that it looked like all of the excursions on the land tour were already booked on the website. It seemed unusual that everything would be booked so early. When I checked yesterday, I noticed that the excursions are now available. Maybe they were previously listed as unavailable until the new year.

Happy planning!

Karen
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  #7  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 06:47 PM
DragonOfTheSeas DragonOfTheSeas is online now
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I feel for you. We had a 6:20am pick up for our tour. While we were from the east coast and we had not fully adjusted to AK time zone--it was still very early. For ome thing it was cold. 27 when we started and it snowed before we left the park. [we went on Sept 7--the other shoulder season] We loved seeing the tundra in its fall colors. I am sure the snow on the mountains will be beautiful.

However, I have read that wildlife is scarce before the end of May.
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  #8  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by karen of PA View Post
Sue,
We are also going on a Princess cruisetour in May. Like you, I was concerned that it looked like all of the excursions on the land tour were already booked on the website. It seemed unusual that everything would be booked so early. When I checked yesterday, I noticed that the excursions are now available. Maybe they were previously listed as unavailable until the new year.

Happy planning!

Karen
Hi Karen, I double-checked the excursions for Talkeetna and the ones we wanted are still sold out. I'm just glad we could book the Wilderness tour thru the Denali website.

Sue
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  #9  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by DragonOfTheSeas View Post
I feel for you. We had a 6:20am pick up for our tour. While we were from the east coast and we had not fully adjusted to AK time zone--it was still very early. For ome thing it was cold. 27 when we started and it snowed before we left the park. [we went on Sept 7--the other shoulder season] We loved seeing the tundra in its fall colors. I am sure the snow on the mountains will be beautiful.

However, I have read that wildlife is scarce before the end of May.
We are arriving in Anchorage a day early and hope to be over our jet lag by this trip. I have been in AK in May before but not the interior. We did see moose, eagles and whales in 2003. Had stupendous sunny weather and hope to repeat it this time.

Sue
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:08 PM
mapleleaves mapleleaves is online now
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shofer, Sorry for the misinformation. As I typed Mile 53 I thought "wait a minute, isn't Toklat at 53? ", but I didn't stop to verify. Good thing I attached the links for you to doublecheck!
As for wildlife sightings, it's not necessarily a bad time to go. The landscape is starting to green up so all the wildlife will be busy, making up for all the 'missed meals' during winter. And new babies to watch for.

I'd check again with Princess for the Tek Tour. If you book thru them wouldn't you be able to take their shuttle directly from the Princess property to Denali? That would be easier, especially at 5am.
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  #11  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:15 PM
DragonOfTheSeas DragonOfTheSeas is online now
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Originally Posted by shofer View Post
We are arriving in Anchorage a day early and hope to be over our jet lag by this trip. I have been in AK in May before but not the interior. We did see moose, eagles and whales in 2003. Had stupendous sunny weather and hope to repeat it this time.

Sue
Glad to hear you had good animal sightings.
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  #12  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:00 AM
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Default Wildlife sightings in May

While it's cold and the tours are shorter, it could work in your favor. Because of the snow, a lot of the wildlife is lower and closer to the road. This last May we ran into a herd of sheep (not literally) right next to the road and I ended up with some amazing photos. Also caribou on the road. And a mama grizzly with two babies that could only have been a couple of weeks out of the den.

That being said, be aware that the animals are on their own schedule. You pays your money and you takes your chances. But I've been into the Park many times and have never been completely skunked. There's always something to look at.
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  #13  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mapleleaves View Post
shofer, Sorry for the misinformation. As I typed Mile 53 I thought "wait a minute, isn't Toklat at 53? ", but I didn't stop to verify. Good thing I attached the links for you to doublecheck!
As for wildlife sightings, it's not necessarily a bad time to go. The landscape is starting to green up so all the wildlife will be busy, making up for all the 'missed meals' during winter. And new babies to watch for.

I'd check again with Princess for the Tek Tour. If you book thru them wouldn't you be able to take their shuttle directly from the Princess property to Denali? That would be easier, especially at 5am.
According to the address of both the pickup location and the Princess Wilderness lodge it is across the street, which was confirmed by the Denali reservations clerk. The Princess Tek Tour was sold out.

Sue
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 11:43 AM
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[quote=mapleleaves;36520964.I'd check again with Princess for the Tek Tour. If you book thru them wouldn't you be able to take their shuttle directly from the Princess property to Denali? That would be easier, especially at 5am.[/QUOTE]

Obviously you have been here before. I double-checked with Google Maps and found we are not across the street. I think I am going to have to do some rearranging. Luckily, we have time to do this.

Sue
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  #15  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bbzoomer View Post
While it's cold and the tours are shorter, it could work in your favor. Because of the snow, a lot of the wildlife is lower and closer to the road. This last May we ran into a herd of sheep (not literally) right next to the road and I ended up with some amazing photos. Also caribou on the road. And a mama grizzly with two babies that could only have been a couple of weeks out of the den.
Did you see the sheep before May 20? Almost always they are further in the park than where the Tek Tundra Tour would turn around.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mapleleaves View Post
shofer, I'd check again with Princess for the Tek Tour. If you book thru them wouldn't you be able to take their shuttle directly from the Princess property to Denali? That would be easier, especially at 5am.
Have you done this tour before? Is it far from Princess Denali to McKinley Chalets? I have looked at Google Maps and one shows the 2 resorts at the same address and another shows the Chalets down the road. I don't know which is correct.

I was told by Denali reservations that they are across the street from one another. I hope it's correct.

Sue
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