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Denali Unexplored - A Base Camp Hiking

Adventure: Denali National Park

Bear Viewing

Rust’s Flying Service offers you a brand new way to see Denali National Park. With over 6 million wild acres, the tallest peak in North America, and countless rivers and glaciers, Denali National Park lives up to the title as America’s crown jewel. While most visitors experience the park through its main northern corridor, the Denali Park Road, the south side of the park sees little visitation and remains completely road-less and virtually unexplored. Rust’s flying Service is partnering with Alaska Alpine adventures to offer you a fly in backpacking trip; you will be one of the few to see this side of Denali National Park.

Combine this kind of solitude, the greatest scenic flight on earth, with the greatest hiking trip in Alaska and experience the real Denali. Accessing the park by floatplane (also known as seaplane, your first treat will be a phenomenal flight around the Ruth Gorge and Mt. McKinley. You will then spend 4 days and 3 nights camping and hiking Denali’s wild side from the comfort of our wilderness base camp situated on the edge of the mighty Ruth Glacier. This exclusive wilderness camp, on the shore of a small lake, puts you right in the epicenter of the Alaska Range and in a place where you will feel humbled by the scale and majesty of Denali National Park.

With a light daypack, you will spend your days hiking miles of vast tundra and exploring the seemingly endless glaciers; returning to camp each evening for a delicious lakeside feast under the midnight sun. See Denali in a way that few ever have.


Day 1: This morning, we will make our way to Lake Hood Seaplane Base, the busiest floatplane airport on earth, where, after a short orientation and gear check, we will board a floatplane bound for the Denali National Park and our home for the next 3 nights. This 1.5-hour scenic flight will take us over alpine tundra, braided rivers, and cascading waterfalls; past Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America; and finally down through the mighty Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier, the deepest trench on earth! Our skilled bush pilot will then take us down to a small lake nestled in a cleft between the Ruth and Tokositna Glaciers, where we will unload our gear on a small beach and then wave the airplane goodbye. We will set up camp on the lake, enjoy our first wilderness lunch, bask in the newfound solitude, and then take an afternoon hike. Lunch and Dinner Included.

Day 2: The options are staggering! With almost unlimited daylight, we’ll head for the tundra hills above camp, destined for magnificent views of the Backside Glacier, Ruth Glacier, and if weather permits, “The Great One,” 20,320 foot Mount McKinley. On today’s hike, you’ll learn in practice the skills necessary to hike off-trail in the Alaska wilderness – including reading a topographic map, choosing the best route, using trekking poles, and traveling efficiently. After a full day of exploration, we will tally our wildlife and mountain peak sightings as we enjoy a filling meal in the wilderness. All meals included.

Day 3: After a hearty breakfast, we will grab our daypacks and again head out in search of adventure in Denali. Today, we will make our way up onto the Backside Glacier. In all likelihood, this will be your first time hiking on a glacier, and you will quickly understand why this area draws mountaineers from all over the world. While not at all technical, your trek on the ice will give you the chance to learn firsthand the glacial features of this frozen river of ice, the valley that bears the scars of thousands of years of glacial activity, and the more recent visual indications of climate change on the Alaska landscape. All meals Included.

Day 4: As the floatplane descends on the Lake, we will depart knowing that this amazing place has made a lasting impact on our souls. We will return to Anchorage by early afternoon. Breakfast & Lunch included.

Price: $1750.00 per person for 3 people and more in a plane.

The price is $2,295 per person for 2 people in a plane.

Level 2 Trip**

What is included:

  • All group gear (tents, stoves, fuel, cooking & eating utensils, etc.) and safety equipment.
  • Trekking poles.
  • Ground Transportation to Lake Hood on Day 1.
  • Roundtrip scenic bush flights from Anchorage to Denali National Park
  • Professional guide service at a maximum 5:1 client to guide ratio.
  • All meals from lunch on day one through lunch on the final day of the itinerary.
  • Storage for your extra travel items while in the field.

What’s Not:

  • Lodging in Anchorage prior to and after your adventure.
  • Personal gear (sleeping bags, packs, rain gear, etc.).
  • Trip cancellation insurance.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Guide gratuities.

*Trip Minimums
In order to confirm any Alaska Alpine Adventures departure, a minimum number of participants must sign up. Our trips into Denali National Park generally require a minimum of 3 guests to confirm departure. However, we will operate our adventures at below the minimum required for a modest surcharge. Please contact us for details.

**Level 2
Physical conditioning and consistent exercise prior to these trips is essential. You will be hiking over hilly and uneven terrain, often covering more than 10 miles in a day. In addition to long day-hikes, you will also be expected to load and unload your own gear. Pre-trip physical conditioning should begin no later than 2 months before departure and should include walking or hiking.




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