Denali Backcountry Safari


You and a small group of fellow adventurers will ride aboard a rugged 6-wheel drive army truck on a spectacular off-road journey into Denali’s backcountry. Your adventure begins near the entrance to Denali National Park where you meet your driver-guide and head deep into the Alaskan bush.

Tour info

3 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
Up to 27
Price starts at

Why take this tour?

Your destination is the Stampede Trail. Not shown on most maps, this forgotten road was carved out of the wilderness by the early miners of the Kantishna region, seeking gold and antimony. The Stampede Trail gained notoriety in 1996 from the best-selling novel “Into The Wild” by Jon Krakauer, and subsequently, from the critically acclaimed motion picture directed by Sean Penn. This is the very same trail that Christopher McCandless, subject of the book and movie, took to enter the wilds of Alaska.

The first few miles of the Stampede Road are paved, but beyond this point, your guide will take you along very primitive trail with plenty of bumps, mud, and off-road 4×4 adventure. Your guide will explain the area’s rich history, point out interesting sights along the way, and allow ample time to view and explore the open tundra.

Don’t forget your camera! On a clear day, you may have the opportunity to see Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) from a viewpoint along the trail. Also, be prepared for the possibility of wildlife sightings–this is prime habitat for moose, caribou, bears, and foxes, as well as a multitude of smaller critters. In the backcountry, you’ll enjoy a hearty Alaskan snack before winding your way back to civilization with exciting stories and photos to share.

Frequently asked questions

We currently provide courtesy transportation between these select Denali National Park locations: Aspen Haus Bed and Breakfast Aurora Denali Lodge Cabins at Denali Crow’s Nest Cabins Denali Bluffs Hotel Denali Dome Home Bed and Breakfast Denali Faith Hill Lodge Denali Grizzly Bear Resort Denali Lake View Inn Denali National Park Bus Depot (Wilderness Access Center) Denali Park Hotel Denali Park Village Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge Denali RV Park and Motel Denali Touch of Wilderness B&B Denali Tri-Valley Cabins EarthSong Lodge Grande Denali Lodge McKinley Chalet Resort Miners Market Gas Station Nord Haven Motel Stampede Excursions Boardwalk Office Totem Inn White Moose Lodge To request a pickup please contact our team 48 hours prior departure.
We recommend: A jacket Sunglasses Water Reusable water bottle* Reusable coffee mug* Camera Closed toe shoes Hat Bug repellant and/or bug netting Tours operate regardless of weather conditions. We recommend dressing for being outdoors and in the elements. There is a possibility of getting dirty while on the trail. *In an effort to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles and single use cups, Stampede Excursions and its family of brands ask travelers to bring reusable water bottles and cups. Morning tours feature brewed coffee and evening tours have water available. Cups will be available if you do not have one that is reusable.
The Stampede Trail is prime habitat for moose, caribou, bears, fox, snowshoe hares, many different birds, and much more. Since the animals are wild, we can never guarantee how many animals or which specific animals you will see. Our guides a are always on the lookout and ask for guest participation in spotting creatures along the way. According to the Rangers of Denali National Park: The small outnumber the large. Denali isn’t the Serengeti or the Amazon, it’s a subarctic environment with mostly small, slow-growing vegetation. That means it takes a lot of acres to feed one good-sized vegetarian, or to provide enough plant-eating animals for one large meat-eater. That’s why you won’t see a ram, an eagle, a moose, or a wolf around every bend in the road. You do have a good chance of seeing a few big animals. And if you venture off the road, you have a great chance of seeing some of the park’s small plant-eaters and the subarctic plants that sustain them.
Bus 142 was removed by the State of Alaska with cooperation with the Alaska National Guard and Denali Borough. Our tour follows the historic Stampede Trail made famous by the book and movie Into the Wild. Guests will get a taste for what Chistopher McCandles encountered on his journey. Due safety concerns associated with river crossings we are unable to make it all the way out to the historic location of the “Magic Bus.” Our journey stops just east of the Savage River.
The following policy has been adopted in the interest of providing a safe and enjoyable tour experience and to comply with recently issued guidelines from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. -Children under the age of five will not be accommodated on this tour, regardless of height or weight. -Under certain circumstances children ages 5 through 7 may participate in the tour if they weigh at least 40 pounds. -If the child is at least 5 years old, but under the age of 8, and weighs at least 40 pounds, a booster seat is required unless the child is at least 4-feet 9-inches tall.

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