Denali is an absolutely GORGEOUS place to visit. There is quite a bit to do there, considering Denali is pretty small. I highly, highly recommend taking the train from Anchorage to Denali, as the views from the train are absolutely UNBELIEVABLE. The train that most take (and I cannot recommend enough), is the Alaska Railroad. Their Gold Star class has 360 degree views, which is perfect for pictures and stunning views!
Denali (“a” pronounced as “a” in apple), is actually a glacier. Denali National Park is where you will stay. Denali is only open May through September, as it gets too cold to remain open during the winter months! (it was mid-30s to mid-40s while we were there in the middle of August!).
Note: There are definitely many things to do in Denali, so I recommend staying there for at least 2 full days. That should give you enough time to do everything you want to 🙂
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Day 1: Denali Zipline Tour, Horseshoe trail
Day 2: Taiga trail, biking, other hikes
denali zip tour
This 3-hour zipline tour is a must!! With a total of 6 bridges and 7 lines, PLUS a 15-minute ATV ride and obviously some GORGEOUS views, you’re in for 3 hours full of fun! Since we do zipline a lot, this was not a very challenging zipling, and definitely beginner-friendly (the highest point that you will reach is 45 feet).
The zip tour will usually pick you up from your hotel and take you to their meeting point:)
Note: you will be taking a very bumpy 4-wheeler ATV ride (around 15 minutes) to the zip point.
hikes: horseshoe trail
This is a gorgeous little hike that goes all the way around a lake. There are amazing views all throughout the trail, and I highly recommend going. From the Princes Wilderness Lodge (mentioned later in this post), you can even see some of the trail and the lake!
This is not a very strenuous hike (it’s still gorgeous and I highly suggest going), but I do recommend hiking boots and water!
hikes: taiga trail
Taiga is another beautiful hike, slightly longer than Horseshoe! This takes you to Mt. Healy. The beginning of the hike is located right across the beginning of Horseshoe trail.
There are many, many more hikes in Denali that are much easier to get more info on while you are there! Horseshoe and Taiga were just a couple of my favorites!
Bikes: there are also bikes around the area that you can rent if the weather is decent!
where to stay in denali
We ended up having to do a TON of research to find a good place to stay in Denali. Without a doubt, the best play to stay is easily the Princess Wilderness Lodge (often referred to as the Princess). I highly recommend staying there. It’s like a cute little village inside with a ton of little shops and walkways. The views are also absolutely gorgeous. You can see part of Horseshoe trail from it as well! (Tip: for the best views, book building A!)
There are restaurants inside the Princess Wilderness Lodge, and a few outside of it as well. Believe it or not, there are absolutely NO vegan restaurants in all of Alaska (as of 2020). However, a great restaurant that we went to, Moose-Aka’s, was able to cook us all-vegan food the entire time we were there! I highly recommend going:)