Earlier in June, the stars aligned and I was able to get on a flightseeing tour with Fly Denali! Given Justin’s two Denali expeditions, he’s been through the Alaska Range several times and for someone that doesn’t like small planes, he would do it again and again. So of course I wanted to do a flightseeing tour around Denali, and I think after you see the pictures, you’ll want to as well!
There are a few local companies that do tours in our area, although Fly Denali is the only company that actually lands on a glacier right outside the National Park (one other local company flies around Denali, and another lands on a glacier way outside the park). In any case, the “Flightseeing/Glacier Landing” tour was a little over 3 hours. We left from Healy, flying over the braided rivers and tundra-covered foothills. Then the landscape below us changed to the park’s colorful ridge lines and the single road that slices through the landscape.
After that, pretty much everything turns to white, and we climbed to 12,000 feet in the small plane. Denali National Park and Preserve is about 6 million acres, and around 1 million acres is ice!
There are 600 different glaciers in the Alaska Range and to get up close and personal with them, you have to hike or fly to see them. We flew over the infamous Muldrow and Kahiltna Glaciers, and a few others that I didn’t catch the names.
Then we landed on the Ruth Glacier, which is spectacular because you are basically in an amphitheater of mountains.
It was absolutely a trip of a lifetime. I decided I’ll be a tour pilot in this area in my next life to get these unmatched office views … although I think I need to have more guts for sure!