Denali by Air: Helicopter or Airplane?

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Summer is just around the corner, and if you’ve got a trip to Denali planned, that probably means you’re finalizing your itineraries and booking excursions.  Many visitors to Alaska find that their flightseeing tour was the highlight of their entire trip.But there are a lot of incredible tour experiences available in Denali, and it can be hard to choose the ones that are right for you, especially when it comes to flightseeing. Since comparing flight tours in Denali can be difficult, and since the choice often comes down to airplanes versus helicopters, we decided to line-out some of the differences in between our Peak Experience Tour and the helicopter tour into the National Park.  Over the years, we have maintained a friendly relationship with the helicopter operator in Denali. We refer passengers who absolutely want the experience of riding in a helicopter.  And they refer to us passengers who want the most comprehensive aerial tour of Denali.

Denali Air Peak Experience Tour

  • Focused on circumnavigating Denali (Mt. McKinley), weather permitting
  • Potential viewing of Denali from within half mile of the mountain face
  • Traverses the Alaska Range from the park entrance to Denali, approximately 80 miles 
  • 200 miles, round trip
  • 60+ minute tour, 99.9% over Denali National Park
  • Gives you a unique perspective of the beautiful landscapes of the National Park that you are likely to see on the bus tour
  • Twin-engine Piper Navajo aircraft allow pilots to navigate around clouds and weather
  • 6-8 seat aircraft, all seats are windows seats 
  • $399 per adult, $205 for children under 12

Denali Helicopter Excursion

  • Focused on viewing Denali National Park
  • On a clear day, potential Denali viewing occurs from a distance of approximately 50 miles from the mountain face
  • 35 minute tour 
  • 6 seat aircraft with middle seat assignments
  • $411 per adult

So there you have it! We sincerely believe that you can’t go wrong no matter what tour you chose (though of course we’re a tiny bit biased toward our own), and all the flight-tour vendors in the area offer safe, incredible options. If you have questions or would like more information about our tours, give us a call or send us an email. There’s no experience in the world quite like flightseeing in Denali, and we’d love to help you pick the excursion that’s right for you.

Abby Anderson

Author Abby Anderson

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