Flying High Above Denali

Pilot Tyler, Theresa and Timm on a glacier below Mt. McKinley

We spent a week in June hoping for a glimpse of Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America.  There’s a saying in Denali National Park that you have a 95% chance of seeing a bear but only a 25% chance of seeing Mt. McKinley.  The mountain is so tall that it creates its own weather and is often obscured by clouds.  We never did see “The High One” while in the national park, but we saw it a couple of times while in Denali State Park.  Even at 40 miles away, the mountain loomed large in our view. 

While waiting for the mountain to emerge from the clouds at the Denali South Viewpoint one afternoon, we met a couple who saw the mountain up close the day before in a “flightseeing” tour.  They said it was one of the most amazing experiences of their lives.  So we were inspired to fly there ourselves.

The weather was mostly cloudy and rainy the few weeks before, but we hit a patch of nice weather that enabled us to view the incredible glaciers in Prince William Sound.  We studied the weather and made reservations a couple days out.  Talkeetna Air Taxi has a 100% money-back guarantee if the weather is too poor to fly, so we weren’t worried about wasting our money.  But Talkeetna was a 2-hour drive from where we were camping in Palmer, so we didn’t want to drive a half day for nothing.  It was cloudy the morning of our flight, but right on cue, the clouds parted around noon, and the weather was perfect for our 5 o’clock flight.

The photo above shows us with our terrific pilot Tyler when we landed on a glacier below Mt. McKinley.  Please check out the photo tour of our amazing flight over Denali National Park.

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