Best Denali Flightseeing in 2024: Top Tours, Costs & Tips

Ready to book the best Denali flightseeing tour?

If you are wondering if you should include a Denali Flightseeing to your Alaska itinerary, my answer to your is: YES, Please do it! One of the best ways to experience the magical beauty of Denali National Park is on a flightseeing tour.

I did a lot of research before choosing my Denali flightseeing tour, and I’m here to share the top-pick options with you. You will note that although the tours all very similar, it’s important to note that some only offer flightseeing while others include a glacier landing. The tours can take anywhere from 1-2 hours total.

On a Denali flight tour, you have the chance to get close to the majestic mountain and see it right in front of your eyes. Taking a Denali flightseeing tour is one of the bucket list experiences in Alaska.

This guide provides you with all the necessary information on the best Denali flightseeing tours available, along with a comprehensive review of each tour. This will make it easier for you to choose the tour that best suits your needs. So, without any delay, let’s jump right into the guide!

If you are planning an Alaska Itinerary, these are must-read:

Denali flightseeing

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Best Denali Flightseeing Tours Overview

In case you are in a hurry, I have included a list of the best Denali flightseeing tours. Before you make a decision, it’s important to consider your priorities. Between this brief overview, you can make an informed decision that best suits your preferences.

Our Top Pick

Denali Experience Flightseeing Tour from Talkeetna

The Denali Experience Flightseeing Tour from Talkeetna is the most popular Denali Flightseeing and the one I chose to go to. You have the option to go on a private or group tour on board for 1.5 hours. You also have the option to include glacier landing.

TOURHIGHLIGHTS RECOMMENDED TOUR
πŸ† Best Overall Denali Flightseeing1.5 hours, small group, this was my personal choice!Denali Experience Flightseeing Tour from Talkeetna
πŸ›©οΈ Top Denali Flightseeing tour + Glacier Landing1.5-2 hours tour, enjoy the flightseeing tour with glacier landingTalkeetna: Grand Denali Flight Tour with Optional Glacier Landing
πŸ’Έ Best Budget Denali Flightseeing tour1-1.5 hour tour with a small group, with a small groupTalkeetna: Denali Southside Explorer Scenic Air Tour
⭐️ Best Reviews Tour – 5 star of 360+ 1-hour to catch fantastic views of the tallest mountains in the Alaska RangeDenali Peak Sightseeing by Plane
πŸ’Έ How much does a Denali Flightseeing cost?
Prices range from $255-460 depending on which tour you choose and the operator that you decide to go with. As you can see it’s not a cheap activity but the experience makes the price completely worth it!

πŸ’‘  EXPERT TIP: Before booking your Denali Flightseeing tour, read the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section for the tour(s) you’re considering, to ensure you pick the best one for your needs and interests. 

best Denali flightseeing tours

Read More: A Complete Guide on How to Visit Denali National Park

7 Tips on How to Choose The Best Denali Flightseeing Tours

πŸ›©οΈ THE MOST POPULAR TOUR COMPANIES: There are several options available with the main operators being K2 Aviation, Fly Denali, Sheldon Air Services, and Talkeetna Air Taxi. Three of these companies are located in Talkeetna which is the closest town and around 2.5 hours away from Denali National Park.

πŸ›©οΈ TOUR LOCATION: Fly Denali is situated near the entrance of the park and offers incredible flightseeing tours with glacier landings. Booking a tour with them has its benefits, as you can easily add a tour to your Alaska itinerary if you plan on spending a few days in the park. Moreover, the majority of your flight will be over the park itself, rather than just the scenery you’ll find on the way to the park.

πŸ›©οΈ BOOK YOUR TOUR IN ADVANCE: As this activity is so popular you’ll need to book around 3 months in advance. After all, there aren’t many companies that offer flightseeing experiences in Alaska and for that reason, space is limited. So, once you know your trip dates this should be the first activity you book!

πŸ›©οΈ DENALI FLIGHTSEEING TOUR SAFETY: Several tour operators offer Denali flightseeing tours and each one of them has an excellent safety record. The pilots are extremely experienced and have thousands of flight hours so you’ll be in great hands. If you’re not a keen flyer then you may feel nervous but thousands of people do this activity every year!

πŸ›©οΈ GLACIER LANDING: Many people choose to just opt for the flightseeing tour but if you can, include a glacier landing! You’ll get around 30 minutes to explore the glacier and you’ll be truly remote so you won’t have to share this experience with the crowds.

πŸ›©οΈ DURING YOUR FLIGHT: Try so seat on the back of the plane. Do this and you won’t have to worry about propellers from the plane detracting from the quality of your photos. Also, wear warm clothes and warm shoes, especially if you are going to land on the glacier.

πŸ›©οΈ IF THE WEATHER IS BAD: Denali flightseeing tours are dependent on suitable weather conditions so you need to keep that in mind. Many of the operators keep an eye on weather conditions via cameras, pilot reports, and radars as this area is known for its unpredictability. Your tour may have to be canceled due to the weather and if so you’ll be offered to reschedule your flight or have a refund.

Denali Flightseeing

Read More: Top 15 Things to do in Talkeetna

Overall Best Denali Flightseeing Tours

1. Denali Experience Flightseeing Tour from Talkeetna

πŸ† TOP PICK MOST POPULAR DENALI FLIGHTSEEING πŸ”₯ πŸ”₯

Denali Flightseeing
With my bad a$$ pilot Melissa – one of the only female pilots in Alaska

Tour at a Glance:

πŸ›©οΈ TOUR TYPE: Small groups of up to 6 people

πŸ“ TOUR INCLUDES: Hotel pick-up and drop-off within Talkeetna State Airport, live commentary on board, & Headsets so you can hear the guide

⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours

⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 (2442 Reviews) | Details: Read more reviews now!

Why Take This Denali Flightseeing Tour:

My top choice was to go with Denali Experience Flightseeing Tour from Talkeetna, because they had great reviews, and they were very professional from the beginning to the end, offering the BEST EXPERIENCE I had in Alaska.

The flight starts from Talkeetna State Airport, all the way to the summit of Mount Denali. I was lucky to fly on a very clear day, and get breathtaking views of North America’s tallest mountain! After admiring the summit, Melissa (my pilot) flew into the Ruth Amphitheater and the Great Gorge. I could see the iconic Ruth Glacier and Tokositna Glacier. During this tour, I could also get to spot Mount Huntington, Mount Hunter, and Moose’s Tooth.

Melissa was an amazing pilot who made me feel safe and comfortable throughout the entire flight. She expertly maneuvered the plane so that I could enjoy breathtaking views and take stunning photographs. Melissa was also very knowledgeable and was able to answer all of my questions while narrating the adventure during the entire flightseeing experience.

This Denali flightseeing tour includes an optional glacier landing too but you’ll have to decide that when you book!

  • You’ll get to listen to live commentary during the tour
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off are included
  • You’ll have an exclusive flight experience as only 6 people are allowed on this tour
  • At the end of the tour, you can purchase a DVD if you wish!

This was perhaps the best, most memorable vacation moment ever. Our pilot, Melissa was nothing short of a Rockstar! If you’d like a positive role model for your daughter, why not pick the woman that lands planes on a glacier! It’s amazing to see her narrate and fly with contagious enthusiasm and gentle calmness. The experience was nothing short of magical. 10 out of 10! Worth every penny.

Julie (read more reviews now)

2. Talkeetna: Grand Denali Flight Tour with Optional Glacier Landing

πŸ† BEST DENALI SIGHTSEEING TOUR WITH GLACIER LANDING

best Denali flightseeing tours

Tour at a Glance:

πŸ›©οΈ TOUR TYPE: Small group experience with optional glacier landing

πŸ“ TOUR INCLUDES: Hotel pick-up and drop-off, window seat, personal headset, narration during the trip, & 30-minute glacier landing (optional)

⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5-2 hours (depending on whether you choose to do the glacier landing)

⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 (2442 Reviews) | Details: Read more reviews now!

Why Take This Denali Flightseeing Tour:

This Grand Denali Flight Tour is one of the most popular options when it goes to flightseeing in Alaska. Operated by Talkeetna Air Taxi, this tour will take you over the striking Alaska Range where you’ll get to see the diversity of Denali National Park.

The pilot will take you through one of the passes located on either side of Mount Denali. So, be prepared to witness some breathtaking views! You will be treated with stunning sights of the vast expanse of tundra landscapes before heading towards Wickersham Wall, which is the North face of the mountain. Standing at an impressive 13,658 feet (4,163m), this is one of the best things you will witness during your trip to Alaska!

If you’ve opted for the glacier landing then you’ll have 30 minutes down on the ground to explore and take photographs.

  • Gives you the chance to land on a glacier and then spend some time exploring the area!
  • You’ll get to admire the iconic Wickersham Wall
  • The weather and safety briefing will be held in a charming Alaskan cabin
  • This tour offers you the chance to appreciate Alaska’s tundra landscapes

Excellent view when you took a flight to see Denali so close. Captain was very professional and friendly. He showed us all the famous mountains as well as the glaciers. If you are lucky to land there, it was really amazing view with fantastic experience. Really worth it and please don’t miss this tour.

GetYourGuide Traveler (read more reviews now)

3. Talkeetna: Denali Southside Explorer Scenic Air Tour

πŸ† BEST BUDGET-FRIENDLY DENALI FLIGHTSEEING TOUR πŸ’Έ

Denali Flightseeing tour

Tour at a Glance:

πŸ›©οΈ TOUR TYPE: Small group experience with optional glacier landing

πŸ“ TOUR INCLUDES: Hotel pick-up and drop-off within a 2-mile radius of downtown Talkeetna, window seat, personal headset, & pilot commentary

⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1 – 1.5 Hour

⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 (2442 Reviews) | Details: Read more reviews now!

Why Take This Denali Flightseeing Tour:

This Denali Southside Explorer Scenic Air Tour will take you on the adventure of a lifetime! It’s one of the best Denali flightseeing tours out there and offers you the chance to admire some of Alaska’s most dramatic landscapes.

As you take off, you will be able to enjoy breathtaking views from your window seat as you head towards the Alaska Range. The tour is specifically designed for flying over the south side of the mountain range, where you will witness some of the most stunning peaks and incredible glaciers that the region has to offer.

Some of the best places to visit in the area include the Great Gorge, Don Sheldon Amphitheater, and Ruth Glacier. If you choose the optional glacier landing, you will have 30 minutes to spend on the ground.

  • You’ll get to relax in an authentic Alaskan cabin after your briefing while you wait for the pilot
  • Every flight is customized to get you the best views of Denali National Park
  • You’ll get to see popular spots including the Great Gorge and Ruth Glacier
  • There’s an optional glacier landing available if you wish to do it

4. Denali Peak Sightseeing by Plane

best Denali flightseeing tours

Tour at a Glance:

πŸ›©οΈ TOUR TYPE: Small group flightseeing tour

πŸ“ TOUR INCLUDES: Hotel pick-up and drop-off, all taxes & fees, driver/guide, live pilot commentary, & headsets

⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1 Hour

⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 (2442 Reviews) | Details: Read more reviews now!

Why Take This Denali Flightseeing Tour:

If you’re looking for a Denali Peak Sightseeing tour then this is one of your best options! Although it’s one of the most expensive options, you’ll truly get to see the best of Denali National Park.

Not only will you get to marvel at Mount Denali’s North Face – the Wickersham Wall but you’ll also get to admire the next three tallest mountains in the Alaska Range. These are Mount Foraker, Mount Hunter, and Mount Russel. You’ll also get to see Mount Denali’s iconic ridgelines during this tour.

If that alone isn’t enough to convince you then you’ll get to fly over several glaciers too including Eldridge, Kahiltna, Ruth, and Tokositna. This tour also takes you over the Great gorge and some of the national park’s other dramatic landscapes.

  • You will have the opportunity to witness the four largest mountains in the Alaska Range, however, this is subject to weather conditions.
  • This tour flies over some of Alaska’s most impressive glaciers.
  • Get fantastic views of Wickersham Wall during your tour
  • During the climbing season, you’ll get to see the most popular climbing routes and camps from above

What to Wear during a Denali Flightseeing Tour?

As you’ll be flying at altitude it’s naturally going to feel colder so you’ll want to dress appropriately. Here are a couple of recommendations:

  • Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt as your underlayer
  • Have a sweater or a light jacket that you can wear over the top if necessary
  • If you feel cold generally, then may want to wear a warm coat and a hat
  • Bring sunglasses with you to help with the glare that you’ll encounter off the snow-capped mountain peaks
  • Make sure you’re wearing closed-toe shoes e.g. hiking boots or snow boots

Read More: What to pack for Alaska + FREE printable packing list

Denali Flightseeing Tour FAQs

What is the Best Time for Denali Flightseeing?

The best time for a Denali flightseeing tour is between May and September since this is when the weather is at its best. However, it’s worth noting that Talkeetna Air, K2 Aviation, and Sheldon Air Service all offer Flightseeing tours of Denali year-round. In contrast, Fly Denali only offers tours from May through September.

In terms of the best time of day for Denali flightseeing, there really is no best time of day for a flight since Denali’s weather is very unpredictable.

So, when booking the best Denali flightseeing tour you need to be flexible and keep an eye on the weather. Then, once the clouds break, you can enjoy your Denali flightseeing tour.


Is Flightseeing Denali worth it?

1000% yes! Getting to see the Alaska mountain range and Denali Mountain from up in the air is an experience like no other. Mount Denali is also much more accessible via a flightseeing tour as you’ll be within several miles of it, and the views are breathtaking! Just make sure you take your camera because you’ll need it.


Can you see Denali from a plane?

Yes, you can see Denali from a plane. In fact, seeing Denali from the sky is a spectacular sight with that mighty peak dominating the landscape in front of you. Spotting Denali can be extremely difficult since It reveals itself less than 30% of the time. So, catching a glimpse of that stunning peak is really difficult to do.


When is the best time to plan a Denali Flightseeing Tour?

The weather changes rapidly in Denali National Park so there’s no perfect time to book a flightseeing tour. Due to unpredictable weather patterns flights often get rescheduled, and that’s especially true during the winter months. I’d recommend booking your tour as early into your trip as possible so that if it gets canceled or moved, you’ve still got the chance to reschedule it.


Does it have any additional taxes?

Yes, if you book a flight with a glacier landing then you’ll need to pay to enter Denali National Park.
Typically, the fee to enter Denali National Park is $15.00 for anyone 16 and older and your ticket is valid for a week. You can also use the America the Beautiful Pass to cover the cost of admission.


How to add the Denali flightseeing tour to your itinerary?

Denali so it won’t be long before you’re flying over the Alaska Range! Many of the tours only last for around 1.5 hours so you don’t want to waste time having to reach the park itself. If you are going to fly from Talkeetna, the best way to plan is when you travel from Denali National Park to Anchorage, as Talkeetna is located halfway between both. It is worse to spend a full day and night in Talkeetna as you will find other amazing Things to do in Talkeetna.


Denali Flightseeing Photos

Denali Flightseeing
I choose to seat next to my pilot Melissa, and it added to the best views to my Denali flightseeing tour
best Denali flightseeing tours
The views of the Denali mountain range
best Denali flightseeing tours

Denali Flightseeing Tour Conclusion

As you can see there are plenty of fantastic Denali flightseeing tours available! Whether you choose to include a glacier landing or not, this is one of the best experiences that you can do in Alaska.

Just make sure you weigh up each tour to see which one is most suitable for you! You’ll also want to take into account the price and the flexibility required for this type of activity due to cancellations.

This experience is a must for any Alaska itinerary so make sure you book in advance!

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