Hank – This morning we decided to do a flightseeing tour of Denali. We made reservations for a 2:30 Denali Grand Tour flight with K2 Aviation and drove a little over two hours to Talkeetna. We arrived early and changed our flight to a 1:00 Denali Flyer with a glacier landing. Kevin was our pilot. Ten of us piled into a de Havilland Otter after Kevin briefed us on how to buckle our seat belts, etc.
We flew towards Denali and also saw Mount Foraker nearby, which is the second highest peak in the Alaska Mountain Range and the third highest in North America. The views of the mountain range were jaw dropping. We also got to check out the 45-mile long Kahiltna Glacier and we landed on the Ruth Glacier. The flight was fun and the sights were awesome. Kathy got to ride in the copilot seat on the way back from the glacier landing. Kevin told her that her job was to not touch ANYTHING. That’s the best seat for taking pictures so she took lots of them. By the way, the weather was unseasonably warm so I was very comfortable in shorts while on the glacier. We also had to wear “glacier boots” over our shoes so we could walk on the snow with less slipping and sliding.
Kathy – After riding bikes, visiting museums, viewing wildlife, and sightseeing, it was time to do something different. Hank and I talked for about five minutes and decided let’s take a plane ride to Denali. After all, how often do we travel to Alaska and have such beautiful weather? So, within 30 minutes we called and booked the flight, packed up our stuff, checked out of the B&B, and started driving to our destination. Denali here we come!
Come on, the best way to top off a trip to Alaska is to get on a plane and fly around Denali (also known as Mount McKinley, its former official name)…right? The mountain is 20,320 feet high, the tallest mountain in the United States, and pretty darn spectacular. As we were driving to Talkeetna, Alaska we could see the mountain was out. This was exciting because often it is not viewable. The weather was sunny and in the mid 70’s. Thankful we picked the right time to come to Alaska.
Kevin our pilot did a great job of informing us that if we were to crash in the small plane that in the back of the plane they had lots of camping gear, warm sleeping bags and food. They also had a satellite phone and and emergency location beacon located in the cockpit area. He said he was required to tell us all this information and most likely none of it would be needed during our trip today. That was calming to hear.Kevin was a great pilot, during the flight he explained of information and history about Alaska and Denali, and made our trip very enjoyable. The views were extraordinary beautiful! It was totally amazing to see all the mountains, including Denali. Sometime we were so close to the mountains that it was a bit frightening, yet super exciting at the same time. It was almost like you could reach out the window and touch the mountainsides. Pretty darn cool!
Landing on the glacier was a little scary. Coming down and landing a ten seater airplane (on skis) in the middle of a mountain range can make you a bit nervous. Kevin was a expert pilot so all was well. We have walked on Alaska glaciers before, but this was so much better as we were totally immersed by mountains all around us. The those glaciers and mountains were simply magnificent. When we left the glacier landing I was offered the chance to sit in the co-pilot seat…and of course I’m not going to pass up this opportunity. As we took off there was a mountain directly in front of us. It was a little unsettling as we lifted off and turned to the right as Keven maneuvered us up and around all the mountains. Happy and thankful for our experienced pilot. The views from the front of the plane were incredible! The flight was so amazing. I am really pleased we decided to do this last minute trip to the mountain. This truly was a breathtaking experience, with memories that will last a lifetime. 🏔☀️🏔
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