Transit Buses

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a green bus stopped on a dirt road with passengers looking out at a caribou
All buses pause whenever there's a chance to see wildlife.

NPS Photo / Kent Miller

Note: An ongoing landslide at Pretty Rocks is impacting bus service. In 2022, buses will travel no further than Mile 43 of the 92-mile long Denali Park Road.


Please keep in mind that specific schedules are subject to small adjustments throughout the season. Always acquire the most recent schedule upon arriving in person, either at the Denali Bus Depot or Denali Visitor Center.

Download the 2022 transit bus schedule. Tickets go on sale for each summer starting December 1 of the year prior.

Below are the base ticket prices for non-narrated transit buses. These prices do not include the park entrance fee.

2022 Ticket Prices

Adult (16 and older)
Children (15 and under)
East Fork Transit (Mile 43)
$30.00 Free
As the table above indicates, children (15 and younger) ride free on all non-narrated buses. They do still need a formal ticket, however, when you are booking over the phone, online or in person at the park.

The Tek Pass

This is only available to people staying in Teklanika Campground. The Tek Pass costs the same as a camper bus ticket each year. Learn more about Teklanika Campground and the Tek Pass. Contact the bus concessioner directly to inquire about special packages or other possible deals.


All transit bus, tour bus and campground reservations are handled by our bus concessionaire, Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture.

You can call them at 1-800-622-7275 (or 907 272-7275 for international or local Anchorage callers); or make bus reservations online.

Reservations for a given summer can be made as early as December 1, the year before, via the phone or online system. Ticket prices fluctuate slightly year-to-year, and longer trips are more expensive than shorter trips.

Children (15 and younger) ride for free on transit buses. Alaska's car seat laws apply to young children.


Transit Bus Explanation

All non-narrated buses, called transit buses, are designed to move people around within the park. They make regular restroom stops and wildlife-viewing stops, just like the narrated tour buses.

Unlike tour buses, however, you're not limited to staying on the bus in which you originally started. Thus, this is the type of bus you want to take if you're interested in a day hike, or just want to experience the park on your own terms rather than as part of a tour group.

If you get off your initial bus, you can flag down any other non-narrated bus going in your desired direction—i.e., farther into the park, or back towards the entrance. Re-boarding is on a seat-available basis, so you may wait anywhere from five minutes to an hour or more for a bus with ample seating. Transit buses are painted green, to help you identify them from far away. Narrated tour buses are tan-colored, and will not stop to pick up hikers.

Trips on these non-narrated buses are informal. The drivers provide basic park and safety information, assist you in spotting wildlife along the road and answer questions, and make restroom stops—but they do not provide a formal talk or program. Tickets are priced based on destination. There are over twenty non-narrated buses each day in mid-summer, all of which go to a pre-specified place on the road, where they turn around and travel back to the entrance of the park.

Prepare for Departure

  • The Denali Bus Depot is the starting point for nearly all non-narrated bus trips. There is ample parking, though the lots do get somewhat full, so arrive at least 20 minutes early to make sure you can park and walk into the building.
  • Bring food and beverages with you. No food or drink is available once you depart the Denali Bus Depot.
  • Rest stops occur around every ninety minutes throughout the trip. Stops usually last 15 minutes, though they might be longer or shorter if you are ahead of or behind schedule. The stop at your turnaround point will generally last 30 minutes.
  • Trash cans are not available at every rest stop. Bring a bag to pack out your own trash.

Camper Buses

Dedicated and specially configured (the rear seats have been removed to accommodate backpacks and bicycles), camper buses are used to transport visitors to campgrounds and/or backcountry units within the park. Campers at Riley Creek Campground and Savage River are ineligible to buy camper bus tickets, since they can drive, or ride a free shuttle, to their campground.

People biking the park road can also place up to two bikes on any camper bus. Check at the Bus Depot to reserve space for bikes.

Camper buses may only be reserved in advance for those visitors with campground reservations or a backcountry permit.

Camper buses are included the larger transit bus schedule. Camper buses are marked with a little tent icon, to differentiate them from regular non-narrated buses.

Service: Typically June 1 to mid-September each year (weather permitting). Prior to June 1 each year, campground and backcountry users will use regular transit buses.


Destinations: Choose Your Own Adventure

Up to 25 or 30 non-narrated buses operate each day during the peak summer season in Denali. Each of these travels to one of four destinations, listed below. Buses traveling farther in the park than others will stop briefly at each of the other turnaround points - i.e., a Toklat bus turns around at Mile 53, Toklat River; while an Eielson bus makes a rest stop at Toklat River, before carrying on to Mile 66, Eielson Visitor Center.

All trip durations listed on this page are round-trip, and factor in not only driving time on the mountainous, winding Park Road, but they account for restroom stops and the average amount of time buses stop to view wildlife and wilderness.

Use the map at the bottom of this page to orient yourself to these four destinations, and to get some general images from along the road.

Due to the Pretty Rocks Landslide, buses will travel to Mile 43 in 2022 and the trips listed below will not be available.


Unavailable in 2022

Located at Mile 53 on the Park Road, Toklat is a popular destination because it is a shorter bus trip than the other transit 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 Alaska Geographic Association publications are available in the large tent located here. If this is your final destination, you'll have a break of around 45 minutes here. If you are proceeding to points farther west, your stop here will be shorter—around 15 to 30 minutes.

Turnaround: Toklat River rest stop, Mile 53
Trip duration: 6.5 hours, round-trip
Service: May 20 to mid-September each year

Unavailable in 2022

This platinum LEED certified visitor center 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 Denali.

Various ranger-led activities are usually offered from Eielson Visitor Center. You will have a break of around 45 minutes at the center. To join a ranger hike, ensure you reach the center by noon (i.e., start your day with an initial bus departure of 8 am or earlier).

Turnaround: Eielson Visitor Center, Mile 66
Trip duration: 8 hours, round-trip
Service: June 1 to mid-September each year
Unavailable in 2022

The journey to Wonder Lake offers extraordinary views of the Alaska Range and Denali 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 transit bus and Kantishna Experience tour will take you past Reflection Pond. If you are on a Wonder Lake-specific bus, be prepared to walk over two miles from the Wonder Lake bus stop to reach Reflection Pond. Alternatively, ask your driver to be let off the bus before it leaves the main park road for a campground spur road, and your walk will be about a third of a mile each way.

You will have a break of around 30 to 45 minutes at Wonder Lake Campground. If you get off the bus early to walk to Reflection Pond, carefully track how long it takes you to get to the pond, so you can make sure you walk back with enough time to meet your bus as it drives up the campground spur road and hits the main park road.

Turnaround: Wonder Lake Campground, Mile 85 (south end of the lake)
Trip duration: 11 hours, round-trip
Service: June 8 to mid-September each year
Unavailable in 2022
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.

Your bus will have a break of around 15—30 minutes at a rest stop in Kantishna.

Turnaround: Kantishna Air Strip, Mile 92
Trip duration: 12 hours, round-trip
Service: June 8 to mid-September each year


Last updated: August 29, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park , AK 99755


907 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am—4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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