Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you located?
During the summer (May-September), we operate out of our private airstrip, located 8 miles south of the road entrance to Denali National Park. We are located at Mile 229.5 on the George Parks Highway. We are on the east side of the highway and there is a large white sign and white cones marking the driveway.
We move our family and planes to Anchorage during the “off-season” (roughly October through April).
Why should I choose Denali Air?
Denali Air is the original flight tour company operating out of the Denali National Park entrance area. We have more than 40 years of experience in Denali!
- Pilots: Our pilots are veterans of Alaska wilderness flying with many years and thousands of hours of experience.
- Location: Our location on the east side of Denali National Park allows us to access the Park within minutes of departing from our airstrip. We cover more ground within Denali than any other tour operator. Due to our location, we are also able to fly on the north or south side of the Alaska Range, which gives us great flexibility when weather conditions dictate alternate flight routes.
- Planes: Our twin-engine aircraft provide comfort and safety. Every seat is a window seat accessed by a center aisle.
- Flexibility: We have more flight departure times than other tour operators, making it easier to schedule a flight that suits your itinerary and also allows easier rescheduling as weather conditions necessitate.
Are you open year-round?
We operate in Denali only during the summer months (May-September). We re-locate to Anchorage from October-April and are available for questions and reservations via email (email@example.com) and phone (907.683.2261).
Can we bring our kids?
Yes! Children under age 2-years are lap babies and are free of charge; a lap baby does not get his/her own seat. We appreciate advance notice when you will be traveling with a lap baby. Children aged 2-12 qualify for a reduced fare.
Do you offer charter flights?
Although our scheduled flights during the summer are our primary focus, we do offer charter services on occasion. Please contact our office directly for prices and availability.
Do you offer transportation from Denali hotels/campgrounds?
Yes, we offer courtesy shuttles to and from hotels, campgrounds, and landmarks. Please note that we can not typically offer shuttles from Airbnbs. Please contact us with questions about pick-ups from a specific location. Pick-up times range from 30-60 minutes prior to flight times, depending on location.
NOTE: Our shuttles are only for customers on our scheduled flightseeing trips or charters booked directly through our office. If you will be flying with us to get to/from your lodge in Kantishna, please contact your lodge directly to inquire about shuttles in the Denali entrance area.
Do you have a per passenger weight limit? Will passengers over a certain weight be charged an additional fee?
No, we do not have an individual passenger weight limit and we do not charge additional fees based on passenger weight. Please note that passengers must be able to enter and exit the airplane door. Please contact our office with specific questions.
Can Denali Air accommodate passengers with limited mobility/in wheelchairs?
Our vans can accommodate folding wheelchairs. We do not use lifts or have ramps for the vans or the aircraft. Passengers must be able to ascend/descend 2-3 steps (with assistance). Our office and our restrooms are wheelchair-accessible.
How long are your flights? What distance is covered on the flight?
Peak Experience is 60-70 minutes and covers approximately 200 miles
Denali Express is 45 minutes and covers approximately 150 miles
What are your flight routes?
In general, 99% of our flights occur within Park boundaries. Our private airstrip is located across the Nenana River, which forms the eastern boundary of the Park. Although our flight routes are weather dependent, we generally fly along the spine of the Alaska Range en route to Denali. Our goal on both flights (Denali Express and Peak Experience) is to showcase all the features of the Park, and on the Peak Experience we also focus heavily on the area directly surrounding Denali. On the Peak Experience flight, we get within approximately a mile of Denali, weather permitting. Please see our map with general flight routes by clicking HERE.
How long will I be gone from my hotel?
Please allow for approximately 2.5 hours for the entire tour, including ground transportation, checking in at our office, pre-flight safety briefing, and post-flight debriefing
What times do you fly?
Peak Experience: 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm
Denali Express: 12pm, 2pm
What is the best time of day to fly?
This is a very common question and is unfortunately impossible to answer! There is not a predictable weather pattern in Denali. The massive size of Mt. Denali results in unique weather patterns than can vary throughout the day. We recommend that clients contact us for recent flight reports. We also highly recommend that passengers book their flights as early into their Denali stay as possible in order to maximize opportunities to reschedule according to weather conditions.
What should I wear on my flight?
We suggest that passengers dress according to temperatures on the ground; a sweater or light jacket is usually sufficient for the plane. We also highly recommend bringing sunglasses due to the bright glare off the snow of the glaciers and peaks.
What should I bring on my flight?
We recommend that passengers bring their cameras/phones with extra batteries and sunglasses. Most guests do not find binoculars helpful during the flight but feel free to bring binoculars if you’d like.
Due to FAA regulations, passengers are not permitted to bring carry-on bags on our flights. Passengers must carry all small personal items, such as cameras and phones. Passengers are encouraged to leave any backpacks and purses in a secure location in our office.
What is the altitude of your flights?
Our flights do not exceed 12,000 feet and most of the flight ranges between 7,000 to 10,000 feet. We believe this is the optimal altitude to really capture the enormity of the towering peaks and also get close views of the breathtaking glaciers and valleys in Denali.
What if the weather is bad?
Weather questions are the most common ones fielded by our office staff since it is always a concern for visitors. The weather in the mountains is difficult to predict and we rely on a variety of sources to make decisions about flights and educate visitors about flight conditions. We check weather cameras in the Denali vicinity and also rely on pilot reports in addition to more traditional weather sources (radar, etc). The weather in the Park and especially Mt. Denali can be very different than the weather at the hotels/in the Park entrance area. We always recommend that visitors contact us directly to find out the most current weather reports.
Do we need a reservation in advance?
We recommend booking your seats as soon as you are able. We also highly recommend booking your flight as early into your Denali stay as possible in order to maximize potential to reschedule, if necessary. We do accept same-day and walk-in reservations when we have space available. Feel free to contact our office at any time for availability information and for recent flight reports.
What is your cancellation policy?
Reservations may be cancelled with no penalty 24 hours or more prior to flight time. Flights may be rescheduled, as needed, based on availability. Weather cancellations are at the discretion of Denali Air. Please contact us for recent pilot reports and weather updates if you have concerns about your flight.
What kind of planes do you fly?
Our fleet consists of Piper Navajos (seat 6) and a Piper Chieftain (seats 8). Our twin-engine planes are relatively spacious compared to smaller Alaskan bush planes with an aisle running down the center and one seat on either side of the aisle. All seats are window seats.
Are all seats window seats? Can we choose where we sit? Can I sit co-pilot?
Yes, all seats are window seats. You are welcome to request a specific seat, including co-pilot, but seating is ultimately decided by the pilot due to configuring weights and balance for the aircraft. If you have a specific request, please notify the front desk upon check-in. Also, if you are traveling with a group under different last names, please notify your van driver or the front desk if you would like to sit on the same plane.
Do your planes have oxygen?
No, our planes do not have oxygen and they are not pressurized since our flights do not exceed 12,000 feet.