An excellent way to explore Denali National Park  at your own pace is by mountain bike. Bikes are allowed on the Park Road, and can be transported aboard the camper shuttle bus, but be sure to mention the bike when you make a reservation. Note that only the camper buses carry bikes and that they only carry two at a time, so it is possible to get far out on the Park Road and then find yourself unable to catch a bus back. Be sure to pick up a “rules of the road” handout at the visitors center  before heading out.
Denali Outdoor Center (907/683-1925 or 888/303-1925, www.denalioutdoorcenter.com ) has mountain bike rentals and tours from its office next to the Denali Riverside RV Park.
Three raft companies run the Nenana River along the eastern margin of the park, including two-hour Class II–IV white-water trips or Class II–III float trips ($85):
907/683-1925 or 888/303-1925
Denali Raft Adventures
907/683-2234 or 888/683-2234
Nenana Raft Adventures
907/683-7238 or 800/789-7238
All provide rain gear, boots, and life jackets, plus transportation to and from local hotels. Denali Raft Adventures and Denali Outdoor Center also offer trips that combine both segments for a four-hour trip that includes both the rapids and easy sections of the river ($115–120).
Float trips are OK for children, but only adults can do the white-water runs. Denali Outdoor Center would be my first choice, and they also provide inflatable kayak tours for those who want to paddle on their own.
If the mountain is out and there’s room on the plane, this is the time to pull out the credit card. These one-hour flights around Mt. McKinley will leave you flying high for days.
Denali Air (907/683-2261, www.denaliair.com ) operates from a private airstrip at Mile 229 of the Parks Highway (eight miles south of the park entrance). Their one-hour trip over the mountain is $350 in a twin-engine plane. McKinley Flight Tours (907/683-2899 or 888/733-2899, www.mckinleyflighttours.com ) is based in Healy (12 miles north of the park entrance) and has 2.5-hour flights that include a glacier landing for $450.
Based in Kantishna at the center of the park, Kantishna Air Taxi (907/683-1223, www.katair.com ) provides charter air service to end-of-the-road Kantishna lodges, and flightseeing trips within the park. Quite a few other flightseeing companies operate out of Talkeetna  and Anchorage .
You can go for a helicopter ride on Era Helicopters (907/683-2574 or 800/843-1947, www.eraflightseeing.com ), based along the river in Denali Park. Tour options include a 50-minute flight over the park ($335), or a 75-minute trip that includes a glacier landing ($435).
Mt. McKinley—the tallest peak in North America—is a major destination for mountaineers from around the globe. Over 1,000 climbers attempt to summit Mt. McKinley each year, with three-quarters of these attempts via the West Buttress. The primary climbing season is May–July.
From the south side of Mt. McKinley, the usual approach is by ski plane from Talkeetna  to the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier or to the Ruth Glacier in the Don Sheldon Amphitheater. From the north, the approach for Denali and other peaks is by foot, ski, or dogsled. Specific route information can be obtained from the Talkeetna Ranger Station.
Climbers on Mt. McKinley and Mt. Foraker are charged a special use fee of $200 per climber. Call the ranger in Talkeetna (907/733-2231), or visit the Park Service website (www.nps.gov/dena ) for additional mountaineering information.
Six companies are authorized to lead guided mountaineering climbs of Mt. McKinley and other peaks in the Alaska Range; contact the Park Service for specifics. Two of the best are Alaska Mountaineering School (907/733-1016, www.climbalaska.org ) in Talkeetna  and NOLS (907/745-4047, www.nols.edu ) in Palmer .
Visitors whose appetite is whetted by the daily dogsledding demonstrations at park headquarters may want to return when the snow flies for the real thing. Earth Song Lodge (907/683-2863, www.earthsonglodge.com ) offers wintertime dogsled adventure tours into Denali National Park . These range from an easy overnight trip to ones lasting 10 days.
Four-time Iditarod winner Jeff King lives with his family at Goose Lake near Denali, and his staff offers summertime tours of his state-of-the-art Husky Homestead (907/683-2904, www.huskyhomestead.com ) kennels and training area. Two-hour tours and demonstrations ($49 adults, $29 children) depart from local hotels.