The Visitor Transportation Shuttle (VTS) is a shuttle bus system, not an interpretive tour. Visitors use the VTS to access park facilities and campgrounds, back country units for hiking, for transporting bicycles, or to simply sit back and enjoy Denali’s wildlife and scenery. Having buses transport visitors into Denali National Park and Preserve helps to protect the natural resources and reduce traffic congestion. By using the park's bus system, visitors actively support the National Park Service’s mission of preserving and protecting park resources for future generations.
Please note that the VTS is designed to get visitors from point A to point B and is not a narrated tour. While the VTS buses often stop to photograph and view park wildlife and scenery, the VTS system is a scheduled service and drivers are required to stay on schedule.
Located at Mile 53 on the Park Road, Toklat is a popular destination because it is a shorter bus trip than the other shuttle options.
With excellent hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities in the area, this rest stop is located at the confluence of the east and west forks of the Toklat River. There are great views of the surrounding mountains across the river.
Interpretive displays and an array of publications are available in the large tent located here.
Turnaround: Toklat River rest stop, Mile 53
Trip duration: 6.5 hours, round-trip
Service: May 20* - September 11, 2014
This recently renovated, is worthy of the 8-hour bus trip. National Park Service rangers and interactive displays provide insight and information about the park and its myriad of resources.
On a clear day, Eielson offers magnificent views of Mt. McKinley.
Turnaround: Eielson Visitor Center, Mile 66
Trip duration: 8 hours, round-trip
Service: June 1 - September 11, 201
The journey to Wonder Lake offers extraordinary views of the Alaska Range and Mt. McKinley on a clear days. The road crosses mountain passes and wetland tundra on the way to beautiful Wonder Lake.
Visitors wishing to upgrade their Eielson bus tickets to Wonder Lake tickets may do so at the Eielson Visitor Center bus dispatch office on a space-available basis. (Please note: only cash is accepted for the upgrade).
Mosquitoes can be plentiful during June and July, so bring along some insect repellent or headnets.
One of the most iconic and often-photographed images of the mountain is from Reflection Pond, just beyond mile 85. The Kantishna shuttle and Kantishna Experience tour will take you past Reflection Pond. If you are on a Wonder Lake-bound shuttle, be prepared to walk over two miles from the Wonder Lake bus stop to reach Reflection Pond.
Turnaround: Mile 85 (south end of the lake)
Trip duration: 11 hours, round-trip
Service: June 8 - September 11, 2014
Once a gold mining town, few remnants remain of its early history. A stop at the restored Fannie Quiqley house with informative wayside exhibits reminds visitors of the rugged nature of the early settlers.
An air strip and four privately-owned businesses are the primary sights at the "end of the road." Since much of the Kantishna area is private property, visitors are discouraged from hiking in the area without obtaining permission and guidance ahead of time.
Turnaround: Kantishna Air Strip, Mile 92
Trip duration: 13 hours, round-trip
Service: June 8 - September 11, 2014
Camper Pass - Adult (16 and older) -$34.50f
As the pricing indicates, children (15 and younger) ride free on all shuttle buses.
In an effort to preserve the fragile ecosystem of Denali National Park and Preserve, the National Park Service has limited access on the park road for private vehicles. To experience the best of the Park, we suggest taking one of our fascinating and awe-inspiring interpretive tours. These tours give you the opportunity for wildlife spotting – and also allows you the chance to sit back, relax, and listen to your Certified Interpretive Guide share their stories about the history, culture, and geography that surrounds you.
Duration is 4.5 - 5 hours; 17 miles one-way.
The Denali Natural History Tour operates and focuses on presenting the rich cultural and natural history of Denali National Park and Preserve. Throughout the tour, your driver/naturalist will provide a great introduction to the landscape, geology and history of Denali National Park and Preserve.
7-8 hour tour; 53 miles one-way into the park.
Traveling 53 miles into the park to the Toklat River rest area, the Tundra Wilderness Tour offers a wonderful diversity for visitors. Incredible scenery, a narrated history of the park road and some of the best opportunities to view the park’s wildlife inhabitants await you on this tour.
7-8 hour 30 miles into the park to mile 53
This excursion into the park with a certified driver-naturalist. Going to at least Toklat River, this tour provides in-depth information about the history of the park, while maintaining a keen eye in search of wildlife and photography opportunities.
Travel to Mile 30 of the park road, stopping at Mile 12 – Mountain Vista Trailhead. Join a 90-minute guided hike on the ¾ - mile maintained trail. Under the leadership of a science educator from the Murie Science and Learning Center, you will satisfy your curiosity about the subarctic ecosystem.
11-12 hour tour, 92 miles one-way to the end of the Park Road.
Follow in the footsteps of Fannie Quigley to the old gold town of Kantishna on this all day adventure to the end of the Park Road. Join a Certified Interpretive Guide driver naturalist on this unique tour experience. You will have the opportunity to discover Denali’s wilderness as you travel to Kantishna.