How to Spend 2 Days in Denali National Park
At 20,310 feet (6,190 meters), Mt. Denali is North America’s tallest peak and the focal point of Alaska’s Denali National Park. You’ll want to set aside an entire day for exploring the Denali Park Road and then another for an outdoor adventure or two. Here are a few ways to spend two days in Denali National Park.
Day 1: Follow Denali Park Road
**Morning:**The best way to visit Denali National Park is as part of a bus tour or by the park’s hop-on, hop-off shuttle, as private vehicles are only allowed to travel the first 15 miles (24 kilometers) of the park’s one and only road. Choose between full-day backcountry excursions, wildlife-focused tours, or half-day sightseeing jaunts.
**Afternoon:**You can easily spend the entire day exploring Denali Park Road. It takes a full day (11-13 hours) to cover the entire 92 miles (148 kilometers) of the Park Road; spots such as Wonder Lake and Reflection Pond can only be seen on the full-day tour.
**Night:**Since you have two days, consider spending your first night at one of the lodges or campgrounds in Katnishna, located deep inside the park. Alternatively, there are plenty of evening activities near the park entrance, such as ranger-led talks, night hikes, or a backcountry dinner excursion by horse-drawn wagon.
Day 2: Denali Adventure Highlights
**Morning:**On your second morning in Denali, set out on a hike from the Savage River or join a wilderness walking tour. If you want to increase your chances of seeing wildlife, another bus trip into the park is recommended.
**Afternoon:**Devote the afternoon to thrills; go rafting down the Nenana River, opt for a ziplining adventure outside the park, or choose an offroad ATV or jeeping tour. By far the most exhilarating way to see Denali is during a flightseeing tour by light aircraft; opt for a tour that includes a glacier landing for the ultimate Denali experience.
**Night:**Depending on what time of year you visit, opt for an evening hike or hunt the Northern Lights on a viewing tour—from September through March, you’ll have the greatest likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights. During the summer months, the sun barely sets which enables you to explore beneath the midnight sun.