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Old 03-05-2012, 08:54 PM   #1
JessLCH
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Question Alaska land tour: Denali tour question

Looking into Alaska (land, not cruise) but want to really SEE Denail. I notice on the ABD itinerary it has a wolf tracking activity in the am on the Denali day and then a free afternoon. Is there any afternoon option to do a tundra wildlife tour and really get into Denali more in depth? Looking into 2013. Kids will be almost 9 and almost 12.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:18 PM   #2
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We did ABD Alaska last year. We stayed in Danali and also wanted to see the Danali park. We asked to skip the afternoon session and be dropped off at the tour sight where we purchased tickets for the bus tour that goes into the the park and spots the wildlife. You cannot miss this tour. ABD was really great about accommondating us. The tour lasts about 8 t0 10 hours BUT the hotel will pick you up at the end after they drop you off. All you have to do is call the hotel and they send their van to bring you to the hotel. They were great too. I'm glad we chose to tour the park. You also can purchase a DVD that recorded all the wildlife you saw on the trip.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:20 PM   #3
corndog59
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Due to the vast size of Denali Park I doubt you would be able to do both in one day.

You might want to consider taking the Alaska Railroad Tour from Fairbanks to Anchorage. It is about an eight hour trip. You can do an all inclusive that includes meals as well as travel in an Observation car.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:33 PM   #4
Bobo912
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There were several folks on our Alaska ABD who skipped the wolf tracking and opted for the tundra tour instead. I don't remember what we did earlier that morning, but I think they were with us until we finished lunch and then our bus driver took them to the tour and came back later and picked up those of us who were wolf tracking. BTW...we didn't see any wolves or get close enough to any to pick up their signals. The people who took the tundra tour saw a lot of wildlife. Tundra tour was probably the better choice, but my DS (who turned 9 during the trip) had such a blast with the other kids, I wouldn't have changed a thing. Our trip was in July and you can do a lot in a single day in Alaska in July. It was never dark, so you can go on ATV tours, rafting, etc., at some very odd hours.

Last edited by Bobo912; 03-05-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #5
JessLCH
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Will ABD help us arrange the Tundra tour instead of wolf trAcking? Seems odd that ABD wouldn't offer the Tundra tour in Denali.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessLCH View Post
Will ABD help us arrange the Tundra tour instead of wolf trAcking? Seems odd that ABD wouldn't offer the Tundra tour in Denali.
We thought so too.They will let you leave the group, or at least in our case they were quite nice about it. After we returned a number in the group wished they had followed our lead. It is quite easy to purchase your own tickets and will drop you off at the front door to purchase.It was $35.00 or so and you recieved a box lunch. There are plenty of busses and they run every half hour if I remember correctly. The reason that we were given was that they thought that people would not want to sit on a bus for a full day. But DON"T MISS THIS TOUR....It was the highlight for us.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:38 AM   #7
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You can buy tickets in advance online and you can also book tours from the front desk at the lodge. I can understand why ABD doesn't include the tundra tour as part of their itinerary. 8+ hours on a bus probably isn't for everybody. There are already some long bus rides on this trip just getting from one location to another. Minimum age for this trip is 4 and there are often grandparents on ABDs too. We had a 4-year-old, a 70 year-old and 2 who were over 80 on our trip. I suspect a lot of people would have opted out, even though it's a great tour.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo912 View Post
You can buy tickets in advance online and you can also book tours from the front desk at the lodge. I can understand why ABD doesn't include the tundra tour as part of their itinerary. 8+ hours on a bus probably isn't for everybody. There are already some long bus rides on this trip just getting from one location to another. Minimum age for this trip is 4 and there are often grandparents on ABDs too. We had a 4-year-old, a 70 year-old and 2 who were over 80 on our trip. I suspect a lot of people would have opted out, even though it's a great tour.
I'm one of the folks who would have opted out. 8+ hours on a bus would mean no walking for several days afterwards, I suspect! I have a really bad back, and the buses used by Aramark in Denali are converted school buses, not nice motorcoaches. I totally get that it's the best way to see wildlife in Denali, but it's just physically beyond me. I lucked out; when I did the Alaska ABD in September of 2009, we were there near the height of Fall colors, and the area that the wolf-tracking went through was spectacularly gorgeous. I have no regrets doing that vs. the Tundra tour. When I was there in 2006, I did the shorter Natural History Tour, and while it doesn't go as far into Denali as the Tundra Wilderness Tour, it was enough for me.

That said, we did have one person who opted out of the wolf tracking to take the Tundra tour, and she loved it. The same company that runs the Grand Denali Lodge (Aramark) also runs the park transportation, so as others have said, the Hotel is *really* good about getting you from tours in the park back to the Hotel.

We also had a few folks who went off on a hike of the park after the wolf tracking, and they had a great experience also. There's a lot of trails you can get to using park transportation. I *think* ABD had to go retrieve them from the Park, however, because they got back really late.

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