There are many different shuttle bus options within Denali National Park.
Most, however, require quite the time commitment. We’re talking 12+ hours to go the full 92 miles out to Kantishna, with shorter journeys out to Wonder Lake or the Eielson Visitor Center taking 8+ hours.
Most of the time, I simply do not have it in me to sit on a bus for that long–even with the beautiful scenery surrounding me to pass the time.
Sure, I take at least 2-3 long trips into the park each season (OK, I only did 1 this summer, but who is counting?), however, the majority of my bus jaunts into the park are out to Savage River.
Savage River is located near the end of the paved portion of the park road–around mile 12. The area offers stunning views of the river, gravel bars, and the surrounding landscape. There are multiple trails nearby so the area is popular with day-trippers, tourists, and locals alike.
Even with the sometimes abundant crowds, the sheer vastness of the space helps ensure the area never feels crowded.
The 2 hours round trip bus ride is perfect for those days where a longer trip just isn’t in the cards. I have made several treks out to SR this season and I’m never disappointed.
It’s a gorgeous spot.
I love seeing the area change with the seasons. When I first got here in May, the ground was covered in snow. Then it quickly melted away and the brown, barren landscape soon burst into green life.
Gradually, the bright greens faded to the rich reds, oranges, and browns of fall.
On this last trip out, those vivid hues are not fading away and white is once again back to take its place in Denali.
I’m sure I’ll be back to this magical place in the future. So it’s not goodbye, just see ya later!
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