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Denali - free time


acctgtogo

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We will be visiting Denali on a HAL cruisetour. We will be there two nights. Looking at excursion choices, we have three opportunities to take excursions (in addition to the TWT which is scheduled for the morning of our full day at Denali) - the evening that we get there, the afternoon/evening after the TWT on the second day and the morning of the day we leave. Should we plan on doing excursions all three days, or is there something to do close to the hotel that does not require booking an excursion?

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Wife and I are also on a HAL Cruisetour with 2 nights at Denali. #18, June 1.

 

We have scheduled a flightseeing tour the afternoon we arrive. And the Husky Homesead kennels the afternoon after the TWT.

 

Nothing for the morning we leave on the train .

 

Dont feel you have to fill every moment with an excursion. Leave time to relax and enjoy where you are. The clean air and mountains. I for one, dont want to exhausted when I get back home.

 

When are you going and what ship?

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There's a free shuttle bus that goes out to Mile 14 in the park (Savage River) with a nice, flat 2 mile trail along the river to walk along when you get there. It's a favorite spot for locals in the mornings and evenings for wildlife. And it's free.

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We're with HAL in Denali in late May '09. We'll be there two days. Second day (in the morning) we're doing a flightseeing tour and glacier landing. First day we'll take the bus into the park for the eight hour tour, then later that day we're scheduled for a white-water rafting trip in Denali.

That's all we have scheduled, but it'll be enough. Don't want to wear ourselves out within the first few days of our 14 day trip......

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We are on Cruisetour #4 leaving June 21.

 

Thanks for the tip about the shuttle and the optional short hike. That sounds like a great thing to do - something more laid back - and free makes it even better. I don't want to fill up each minute with running here and there to catch the next excursion - but I don't want to sit around and do nothing, either.

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There's a free shuttle bus that goes out to Mile 14 in the park (Savage River) with a nice, flat 2 mile trail along the river to walk along when you get there. It's a favorite spot for locals in the mornings and evenings for wildlife. And it's free.

Wolfie, is there any horseback riding around there? Nothing where you need to be real experienced, just trail riding.

 

Also, is there a regular schedule for the free buses? Are these the same ones that take you to the dogs?

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There are a couple of places that offer horseback riding. Denali Saddle Safaris have been around for years and years and the people that run it are nice, but I tend to stick to dogs and skis for transporation, so can't tell you anything from first hand experience. There are a couple more companies that should come up on a google search

 

The Savage River shuttles run every half hour or so, with the last shuttle around 10pm. You don't need a reservation, you just hop on. A lot of people that work in the park will throw a bike on the shuttle and bike back from Savage. It's not the same as the dog sled demo shuttles. They leave around 45 minutes before the show. However, the shuttle will drop you off at HQ where the demos are if you ask them to. There's also an evening ranger program at the Savage River campground.

 

If you're into more strenuous hiking, there's a Discovery hike led by a ranger in the park every day. The hikes vary by location, and there is a special shuttle that will take you there. The hikes are free, but there is a charge for the bus.

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Husky Homestead tours is great! On our trip they had two litters of pups that they were passing around to hold- it's good socializing for the pups.

I lOOOVE puppies:D

 

It is a separate bus trip out there and back - the bus stays there until the end of the tour. We loved it!!

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Arrival afternoon, go to the visitor's center and look at the exhibits. Then stop by the Wilderness Access Center so you will know where the buses leave from. If you have vouchers to exchange or tickets to buy do it then...it will be a lot more crowded in the morning.

 

Either afternoon, the NPS has tours of the dog kennels at 4pm. It might not be enough for true dog lovers who want to hold puppies, but you can pet some of the sled dogs and a ranger will harness up a team and give a brief demo on dry, bare ground.

 

Whitewater rafting in the late evening of arrival. Remember it never gets dark up there in summer so there's a risk of burnout.

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Depending on interests in wildlife, you can again access Denali Park, each trip in/out is DIFFERENT. This is especially good, with the cheap shuttle buses. As noted, Savage River is an excellent idea, and free. The visitor center also has a ranger program schedule. There is a three times, daily dog sled demo and a look at the Denali Park kennels.

 

activites listed http://www.nps.gov/dena

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