In the shadow of Mt McKinley, you can whitewater raft, dogsled, hike, and 4-wheel drive. But did you know that you can horseback ride in Denali too?
The National Park forbids horses within park boundaries, but Denali NP abuts 325,000 acres of state parkland,
And in this region, less than 11 miles from the NP entrance, you can meet Ivana to go horseback riding in Denali.
On the evening that I went horseback riding in Denali, the trail ride started at Ivana’s farm, down a dirt road outside of Healy. She a true frontierswoman, living on this electricity-free farm (yes, that means no credit cards), operating a skin-tanning operation in her garage. As you ride, she regales you with tales of hunting and gun policy from this 49th state, as well as her childhood, growing up with horses in Europe.
Accompanied by the resident St Bernard, the spirited horses carried us out of the paddock, through stands of tiaga spruce and up into the hills.
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DETAILS OF HORSEBACK RIDING IN DENALI
You’ve got to be at least 7 years old but you can weigh as much as you like because Ivana’s got draft horses on the farm to carry you.
You can choose any ride from 1 hour to a 3-day pack trip, and you need no horseback riding experience, although shorter rides are recommended for novices.
Horseback riding in Denali starts at $110/hour and run around $300 for a full day.
AFTER HORSEBACK RIDING IN DENALI?
I spent a memorable day following this little guy (below) around Horseshoe Lake Trail, admiring him and his industrious friends as they worked for hours on a dam.
I spurned the big fancy lodges at Denali National Park entrance and set myself up instead at these charismatic log cabins that come complete with modern baths, super friendly and attentive front-desk service, and unbeatable views – wide-reaching vistas of the park, perched above (read as: sheltered from) the “circus” at the park entrance.
I also inexpensively rented a bike from the Lynx Creek store at the park entrance and tooled around, on paved and evenly cindered paths, the entire front of the park: Visitors Center, sled dog kennels, railroad-overlook bridge, and more.
YOU, TOO, WANT TO SEE A LESS-TRAVELED DENALI?
Are you confused by the bus system to get into Denali?
Do you want more than the formulaic tours offered by the big companies?
Would you like advice from an expert with on-the-ground experience so that you don’t come home saying, “I wish I had known about THAT!”
I’ve have been to Denali, by van and train. I’ve rafted, ridden the bus throughout the park, hiked off-piste, slept by Wonder Lake, and – of course – gone horseback riding in Denali.
I would love to show you how to do it!
Call me at Tough Love Travel (609) 923-0304 or email me here, today!
Summer 2014 is already filling up!