Start the morning in Fairbanks with a riverboat cruise along the Chena or Tanana rivers, followed by lunch on the deck at a riverside restaurant. In the afternoon, try your hand at panning for gold, then stop for a close-up view of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline on the Steese Highway. From there, end your day with a scenic, two-hour drive south to Denali National Park & Preserve, home to North America's tallest peak. Check in to your lodgings and spend the night at or near the park entrance.
Wake up early for a shuttle or tour bus ride along the 92-mile road into the park; buses are the only vehicles allowed on most of the road. The full round trip can take 12 hours, but shorter routes are available. Along the way, you'll see untouched wilderness landscapes, incredible wildlife, and keep your fingers crossed that Denali will be visible.
Once your guided or self-guided tour concludes, make your way back to your hotel for the night.
New for 2021! From May 20-Sept. 12, 2021, Denali National Park is extending public driving access to the Park Road to mile marker 30 at the Teklanika Rest Stop, 15 miles further than previous years. The Teklanika Road Permit will be available for reservations through www.recreation.gov and allows a limited number of daily scheduled entries.
Before making the drive back to Fairbanks, check out some other excursion options in the area like whitewater rafting, off-road excursions like ATVing, horseback riding, tours of the National Park Service sled dog kennels, and day hikes on trails from the park entrance.
Turn this itinerary into a 360-mile trip from Fairbanks to Anchorage by following the extended version of the itinerary by either private vehicle or the Alaska Railroad.