The typical climbing season for the high mountains in the Alaska Range is mid-April through mid-July. In the later part of July, travel on the glaciers becomes more difficult at snow bridges disappear and more crevasses are visible.
Climbing Lower Peaks
Historically, April has been found to be a great month to climb some of the lower peaks in the Alaska Range due to the cold weather and often clear conditions in the early season.
Best Chance to Summit
During the month of June, more clients will summit McKinley than in any other month.
Registering with National Park Service - 60 days in BEFORE CLIMB
- Register with National Park Service 60 days before your intended climb and provide deposit.
- Climbers will need to pay a $25 per person deposit with their registration and a $175 balance when they check in at the Talkeetna Ranger Station.
- Select expedition name and expedition leader to put on all paperwork.
- You can register online www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/registrationinfo.htm or by mailing in registration
Talkeetna Ranger Station
PO Box 588
Talkeetna AK 99676
- If mailing registration paperwork, mail all expedition members information at same time and put expedition name on each registration.
- Put expedition name on all correspondence with NPS.
- Contact Talkeetna Ranger Station by email (email@example.com) or phone (907-733-2231) to confirm that they have received your registration.
- To add someone to your expedition, the expedition leader should contact the Talkeetna Ranger Station.
Have you climbed either Mt. Foraker or McKinley since 1995?
If you have, you may be able to use the seven-day rule exemption. Check with the Talkeetna Ranger Station to see if they have you on file.
Orientation - Required Check-in/Check-out with NPS - Mt. Foraker and McKinley Climbs
- Schedule an appointment with NPS for a expedition orientation (this is done after you receive your official letter from NPS confirming your registration).
- The expedition leader can schedule on-line at www.nps.timetrade.com or contact the Talkeetna Ranger Station to make your appointment.
- Orientation times are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days per week.
- Bring photo identification when you check-in.
- Mountaineering - Denali National Park and Preserve which can be found online at www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/booklet.htm
Guided Climbing Partners
K2 Aviation provides air support to both American Alpine Institute and Rainier Mountaineering Incorporated. Both are concessionaires and provide excellent service into the Alaska Range. American Alpine Institute has been flying with K2 for over 30 years. RMI has been leading McKinley expeditions for over 35 years and flying with K2 Aviation since 2010.
American Alpine Institute - www.aai.cc
The American Alpine Institute was founded in 1975 and since then has been dedicated to helping climbers raise their skills, protect the environments in which they climb, develop good judgment, and safely gain access to the great mountains of the world.
In its early years AAI was best known for its leadership in alpine guiding, but since the early ‘80’s, the Institute’s programming has given equal importance to rock, snow, ice, glacier, and high altitude climbing. AAI also offers nationally recognized programs in wilderness and glacier skiing, avalanche hazard assessment, and technical rescue. We offer courses, climbing trips, and expeditions throughout the year in six states and 16 countries.
Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. - www.rmiguides.com
Rainier Mountaineering Inc. (RMI Expeditions) is one of America's most reputable and long standing guide services with over 42 years of mountain guiding experience. An American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) accredited guide service specializing in mountaineering expeditions, alpine climbing, trekking and ski touring programs, RMI is committed to leading exceptional mountain adventures.
RMI is the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Mt. McKinley and has been guiding on Mt. McKinley since 1975 leading over 300 successful expeditions on the mountain. RMI leads training seminars on the Kahiltna Glacier as well as climbs of McKinley.
|11,670 ft (3557 m)
Elevation Gain 3,500 ft (1067 m)
62°47'56" N 151°52'55" W
BASE CAMP is @ 8,200' upper Yentna Glacier
| 20,320 ft (6193 m)
Elevation Gain via West Buttress 13,100 ft (3993 m)
Base camp on the Southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier is @ 7,200ft (2,196 m)
|Mount Foraker|| 17,400 ft (5,304 m)
Elevation Gain 10,200 ft (3111 m)
Base camp is @ 7,200ft (2,196 m) Southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier
|Mount Hunter|| 14,573ft (4,442 m)
Elevation gain 7,373 ft (2,249 m)
Base camp is on the Southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier 7,200ft (2,196 m)
|(The Munchkin, North Troll, Middle Toll, South Troll, Royal Tower, Hobbit King, Hobbit's Footstool, Practice Wall, Dragon's spine, Crown Jewel, and Your Highness).
Base Camp is on the Pika Glacier 5,600 ft (1708 m)
|(Mt. Dan Beard [63°01'10"N 150°47'24"], Peak 11,300, Mt. Silver Throne, Mt. Barrill, Mt. Dickey [62°56'46"N 150 °43'20"W, The Moose's Tooth [62°58'07"N 150°36'48"W], The Eye Tooth, Sugar Tooth, Broken Tooth, Bear Tooth [62°57'51"N 150°36'22"], Wisdom Tooth, Mt. Bradley, Mt. Wake, Mt. Grosvenor, Mount Church, Hut Tower, Werewolf Tower, London Tower, and lots more.|
|Mountain House|| 5,700 ft (1739 m)
|Great Gorge|| 5,000 ft (1525 m)
|Root Canale||7,350 ft (2,242 m)
West Fork of the Ruth Glacier (Peak 11,300)
| 7,100 ft (2,166 m)
|Denali's Northern Route (Muldrow Glacier) also Mt. Brooks and Mt. Silver Throne||Elevation gain 18,200 ft (5,551 m)
Drop off in Kantishna (Wonder Lake)
1,570 ft (479 m)
|Eldridge Glacier||7,200 ft (2,196 m)
|Back Side Glacier
(Landing at toe of Bake side Glacier on Back Side Lake)
3,000 ft (915 m)
Ready to Climb Mt. McKinley? K2 Aviation will make it easy.
The K2 team is committed to helping you accomplish your goal in the mountains, whether it's a Mt. McKinley climb or other climb in the Alaska Range. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to make your expedition easier and we will see what we can do.
K2 makes it easy
- K2 Staff is available by email, fax or phone to help you plan your expedition and answer questions.
- K2 Staff will help arrange your transportation to and from Talkeetna.
- K2 Staff will assist you in reserving the hostel or hotel. We will help you find best value and fit for your group.
- In town, shuttle to get expedition members to and from hostel/hotels and National Park Service.
- Secure storage for valuables.
- Tracking system for our climbers. We are happy to field calls from friends and family.
- Climber hangar where you can sort gear and prepare for climb, hang out on rainy days or dry tents and get organized for your return home.
- Wireless service and computers so you can email before or after trip.
- Secure storage for your valuables such as passports.
- Largest ski plane fleet - Four De Havilland Turbine Otters that can transport 7 climbers and gear, two De Havilland Beavers that can transport 4 climbers and gear, two Cessna 185s that can transport 3 and gear.
- Satellite phone arrangements
- Snowshoe and sled rentals (many sleds rigged but bring your own)
- Group discounts
Safety first at K2 Aviation:
K2 Aviation has the best glacier safety record. We consider safety in all of our decision making. You count on us to get you there and back safely.
Weather windows - no problem!
You will be back in Talkeetna, have had a shower, a hot meal and a beer while others wait for their flight back. Getting to and from the mountain is simple when the weather is good. However, the weather in the mountains is constantly changing and this can lead to several days of not being able to get to Base Camp.
K2 Aviation has the largest number of ski planes and we can provide better service to you and your team. This means we are able to quickly get climbers into the mountains before their climb and back to Talkeetna during short weather windows.
Over 50 years
The Rust Family brings more than 50 years of experience to your flight. We are unique in that our family has been operating in Alaska and has built a floatplane/skiplane fleet of 19 plus airplanes making us the largest airport flight operator in the state. We bring this experience and expertise to your flight.
K2 Aviation committed to doing things better...first in improving soundscape
At K2, we have looked for creative solutions to fly safer and quieter airplanes. In 2002, K2 Aviation introduced the turbine, De Havilland Otter to mountain operations. It is quieter and more efficient. It reduces the number of flights over the park. As a result, we have added three Otters to our fleet that can transport 6 climbers with gear.
Denali Day Hikes
Interested in exploring Alaska?
Venture out on a Denali Day Hike.
Celebrate your birthday with K2!
Happy birthday! In your birthday month, we will offer you a percentage discount that matches your age...