One of the best ways to see Denali and also experience the sheer size of her, is by plane. I recently was in Talkeetna doing land base training and I had the opportunity to go up with K2 Aviation.
Seeing Denali was by far one of the highlights of my life.
Billy, our pilot was absolutely amazing! He took 10 of us up in a DeHavilland Turbine Otter plane. One of the most interesting things about these planes are the skis attached to the bottom. Why skis? Because you have the option of landing on a Glacier in Denali National Park, near the base of Denali. Well, I wasn’t going to fly to Denali and not do that!
On the way out to Denali you get to take in the Alaska Range. The glaciers river flowing below and right in front of us, Denali! As we got closer, Billy turned the plane to give everyone a breathtaking view of Denali. We continued around the range, Billy pointing out and explaining everything that we were passing. One of my favorite moments was flying over the base camp where the hikers start their climb to the summit.
After flying for a while, Billy landed on Ruth Glacier. This was one of the most awe-inspiring moments of my entire life! I was completely overcome with emotion. To be surrounded by nothing but white peaks and to realize the ice below the snow under our feet is over 3700 feet deep, some of it more than a thousand years old.
As I stood there I could not stop thinking about God creating such a masterpiece!
After taking picture after picture, standing in awe and of course making a snow angel, we all loaded back up in our plane and headed back to Talkeetna. On the way back we hoped for a glimpse of a moose or bear. Billy, our pilot explained that it was common to spot wildlife on the return.
As we neared the landing strip, I couldn’t stop my mind from reverberating thank you over and over again. I will always be thankful for that moment and pray that I will experience it again one day!
So, do I recommend this “excursion” to see Denali?
Without a doubt! It is one that, not only you will love, but it changes you and allows you to see the world and God’s creation a little different.