Denali View Backpacking

A backpacking expedition through the rugged terrain of the Northern Talkeetna Mountains

Denali View Backpacking

$2500 per person

A backpacking adventure through Alaska’s northern Talkeetna Mountains with views of Denali, Denali National Park and the Alaska Range.

Come backpacking through the rugged terrain of the Northern Talkeetna Mountains, with views of Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) and the Alaska Range, and excellent wildlife viewing potential. These Northern Talkeetna Mountains are the traditional and current homelands of the Ahtna people.

This trip is an a-to-b route in the northern reaches of the Talkeetna Mountains. The route begins roughly 40 miles due east of Denali (briefly and previously known as Mt. McKinley) – the tallest mountain in North America – and Denali National Park. If the weather allows, we will get stunning Denali views as we ascend into the Talkeetna Mountains on the first days of this trip. As we continue east and north, we’ll travel through predominantly trail-less rolling tundra and mountainous terrain, cross mountain streams, camp in stunning valleys and maybe even go for a dip in small, alpine lakes. Along the way we’ll hope to cross paths with the many species of wildlife that call this unique place home, including caribou, sheep, moose, wolves, marmots, bears, wolverines and many species of resident and migratory birds. As our trip concludes, we will descend from the Talkeetna Mountains towards the Denali Highway. If we are lucky enough to have clear skies, we’ll be treated to views of the Eastern Alaska Range. We’ll travel 5-8 hours per day over both trails and trail-less terrain. Daily mileage will range from 8-12 miles with elevation gain/loss between 1000′-4000′ per day.

Because this trip utilizes no flights to access the backcountry, it is a significantly lower-carbon – and lower cost – adventure than many comparable backcountry trips in Alaska. We still offset all of our carbon for the drive to and from Anchorage. These offsets are included in the price of the trip.

Non-Profit Partner: Alaska Wildlife Alliance

Prior to the trip, participants will have a chance to learn about the Alaska Wildlife Alliance’s work to protect Alaska’s wild creatures and the habitats they call home. A significant monetary donation will be make to the Northern Alaska Environmental Center in honor of this trip. Learn more about our non-profit partner program on our Why Us page.

8 Days
14 years+ Age
  • Departure
  • Dress Code
  • Included
    Food While In The Wilderness
    Professional Guide Service
    Roundtrip Transportation from Your Trip's Departure City (Typically Anchorage or Fairbanks)
    Safety & Repair Gear
    Stoves, Cooking & Eating Utensils
    Water Filter
  • Not Included
    Additional Food or Meals (beyond those described in the itinerary)
    Additonal Hotel Nights (beyond any described in the itinerary)
    Alcoholic Beverages
    Guide Gratuities
    Lodging on Night One of Your Trip (Location Varies by Trip)
    Personal Clothing & Equipment
Day 1 - Gather in Anchorage, Orientation, Depart for the Backcountry
This morning will meet in Anchorage for an early (~8am) breakfast orientation and gear check. Emergency or last minute gear needs can be addressed at the local gear shop AMH or REI. By 11am we will depart via the Parks Highway for our trip's starting point. After roughly three hours of driving (with bathroom and photo breaks) we'll arrive at our starting point in the Northern Talkeetna Mountains. An access trail and a half day of hiking will bring us into the alpine and into the predominantly trail-less expanse of the Northern Talkeetnas. If we're lucky and have clear skies, we'll be treated to views of Denali (previously known as Mt. McKinley), the western Alaska Range and Denali National Park. We recommend that you arrive in Anchorage the day prior to allow for any unexpected delays or travel complications. 
Meals included: all; Accommodations: Backcountry camping
Day 2-7 - Backcountry Travel
We'll spend these days traveling east and north as we traverse from the Parks Highway to the Denali Highway. We'll follow multi-use trails to access the alpine. Once at a higher elevation we will climb steep mountain passes, travel across tundra and ford alpine streams. We'll learn how to travel through Alaska’s unique terrain and look for the animals that call this place home. Our days will be spent on foot, moving for up to 8 hours per day. Our evenings and mornings will be spent beneath the cook tarp getting to know one another and enjoying the camaraderie of backcountry travel.
Meals included: all; Accommodations: backcountry camping
Days 8 - Exit the Backcountry, Return to Anchorage
By mid-day, we will arrive at the Denali Highway and our awaiting ride. After celebrating the completion of our route, we'll begin heading south back to Anchorage. Our travels will take between 5-6 hours, depending on the road conditions. If returning home this day, please schedule flights for after 10pm to allow for any unexpected delays. Better yet, if your schedule allows, give yourself a couple of days to explore Anchorage and beyond to see a little more of what Alaska has to offer.
Meals included: breakfast and lunch; Accommodations: none

Ready to Join this Trip?

  1. Fill out the Trip Interest Form.
  2. We will get in touch with you to discuss the trip.
  3. Confirm your participation with a trip deposit.
    • What if the trip has not yet met the minimum number of two guests? Pay your deposit per usual. If the trip does not meet it's minimum by 30 days prior to departure, you have three options:
      1. Pay a premium for a private and/or below-minimum trip
      2. Transfer your deposit to another Tundra Travels trip
      3. Receive a full refund of your deposit
  4. Prepare by downloading the Personal Equipment Checklist, commit to a physical training plan if necessary and stock up on some books and podcasts from our recommended list to get stoked!
  5. Book your flights and pre- and post-trip accommodations.
  6. Stay in touch with any questions that come to mind!