Looking at the Denali site http://www.nps.gov/dena/home/roadtour/index.html
it seems there are 2 kinds of busses, tour and shuttle. Do I need reservations for the shuttle bus? I think this is the bus recommended by Karen (Budget Queen), am I right?
Question 2: How long does it take to drive from Anchorage to that bus, or Palmer to that bus???? Is there parking for my car while I ride the bus? If I reserve the shuttle bus, I guess I reserve one trip one way and reserve the trip back separately, right?
BTW, this is my last day left to arrange, so thanks for the help.
We booked our shuttle bus tour for August back in Feb. And my sister decided to join us about a month ago and she got the last seat on our bus. So I wouldn't wait to book. We're doing the tour bus that goes all the way to Kantishna, 13 hrs. We figured we might as well see the whole thing since we had the entire day set aside for Denali. It was $33 pp. and that's round trip.
If I remember correctly, the drive is about 3 hours. That "might" allow 1 or 2 stops to take photos. The views along the Glenn Highway are tremendous! Remember, Denali is a National Park, so there's plenty of parking. It is ALSO a busy national park and the only way you can really see anything is to take the bus. You need to make your reservations and quickly as possible. Karen can tell you for sure. This is a BIG park. If you plan on driving round-trip to the park, take the bus, and return the same day, You'll be driving back real late.
We just came back from Alaska. Our Denali experience was disappointing. We had a short tour [about 2hrs.] as part of our cruise tour package. We saw very little wildlife. After that I talk to many people who saw a lot of wildlife, but they all took the longer tours. If you are going to go take at least the 8 hour tour. You will have a much better chance of seeing animals. The short tour is basicly a waste of time, unless you are very lucky.
Overall, Alaska is an exciting place to see. Have a great trip.
Karen (here) or Budget Queen (on other boards) made that clear to me. I have finally finished booking everything. We got a B & B right by the park entrance and we are taking the shuttle into Eielson Visitor Center. I forget what mile that is, I think 60 some...but 4 hours in and 4 hours back. We are thrilled and excited! I sure know a lot more about Alaska now that I've spent 6 weeks on these forums and gone through this reservation process. I bet I'll know a lot more when I get home too!
> Hi Cheryl!
> If I remember correctly, the drive is about 3 hours. That
> "might" allow 1 or 2 stops to take photos. The views along
> the Glenn Highway are tremendous! Remember, Denali is a
> National Park, so there's plenty of parking. It is ALSO a
> busy national park and the only way you can really see
> anything is to take the bus. You need to make your
> reservations and quickly as possible. Karen can tell you for
> sure. This is a BIG park. If you plan on driving round-trip
> to the park, take the bus, and return the same day, You'll
> be driving back real late.
This is exactly my point with avoiding the cruise tours- none go very far into the park and you are greatly shortchanging by not opting for a longer tour. I would never consider a cruisetour for the fixed schedule- long travel times, trapped with the same group your entire trip, and worse yet - NO FREEDOM! the tours only gloss over the tourist areas and you see very little of "real Alaska" It is also much more expensive all the way around. I can see twice as much for 1/3 the price going on my own. Very easy to do- consider it!!!!!!
Have a GREAT time Cheryl- you won't be sorry!!!!!! Eielson is mile 66, when you get there check out what the rangers have scheduled. The programs are interesting, varied and most of all FREE!!!! Eat your lunch here and soak it all in. Remember you must bring all your own food and drinks, my cooler sure has a lot of miles on it.
I am still laughing at our Denali experience. Our tour booked us on the 7-8hour tour bus. It was a school bus, very bumpy. They did supply a box lunch. It consisted of vacumed sealed deer salami, cheese, roll, trail mix and a juice box. The bus travels on the edge of the road in some areas which makes it very heart stopping. At the turn around point the bus driver hands out package of hot cocoa and a cup, you go to the back of the bus where he has a bag of hot water heating on the muffler. We did not partake in this gourmet treat because our cruise guide told us the water was not safe in Denali. Anyway this tour added to a wonderful experience in Alaska. Have FUN