Denali Scenic Raft Run


Enjoy a gorgeous tour along the natural boundary of Denali National Park. On the Wilderness Wave Raft Tour, you’ll glide through 11 miles of glacially carved valleys and amazing vistas with panoramic views of Mount Fellows and the Nenana Canyon. Although you’ll encounter the occasional rapid, this option is mellow enough for the whole family. The most scenic portion of the Nenana River gives you thrilling, and enjoyable rafting.

Tour info

3 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
Up to 6
Price starts at
Meeting Point

Mile 236 Parks Highway Denali National Park AK

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Why take this tour?


Both options (the Oar Rider and the Paddle Rafter) will be on the same stretch of river, running the same waves.


This option allows you to play it cool and ride along. With an Oar Boat Rider, you can hold on and enjoy the adventure as your guide navigates you downriver. This option allows rafting in Alaska to be feasible for almost anyone. In an oar boat, guests are less likely to fall out because they are holding on.


This option allows you to heat it up and actively paddle through the waves with your guide. We ask that guests are 15 years of age or older to paddle. In a paddle raft, you'll ride with a professional guide steering you from the back, while you and your team paddle together. There are plenty of breaks from paddling for you to relax and enjoy the views of Denali National Park. The Paddle Rafter demands a higher activity level than riding along in an oar boat. This option is the best for the more adventurous crowd.


AGES: 5+

CHECK-IN: 8:00am, 12:00pm & 6:00pm, 3-3.5 hours start to finish

LOCATION: Denali National Park, Alaska

RIVER: Nenana River

LEVEL: Class II-III rapids

Recommend clothing:

  • Non-cotton base layers, like polyester or wool, yoga pants, long johns, or snug-fitting clothes to wear underneath the drysuit
  • 2 pairs of non-cotton socks to help stay warm (your feet will be dry but, they will be sitting in the bottom of the raft)
  • Rain jacket
  • Eyeglass retainers like Chums or Croakies

Frequently asked questions

Guests can be picked up at the provided list of hotels. Pickup requests must be received no later than 72 hours prior to departure. Please wait in the front lobby of the hotel 15 minutes prior with a voucher. 8AM TRIPS D1- 7:30 am Denali Cabins 7:35 am Denali Park Village 7:45 am Grizzly Bear 7:50 am Riley Creek Bus stop D2- 7:35 am Denali Grand 7:45 am Denali Bluffs 7:50 am Princess & Salmon Bake 7:55 am Chalet 10AM TRIPS 9:10 am Denali Cabins 9:15 am Denali Park Village 9:20 am Grizzly Bear 9:30 am Riley Creek 9:40 am Denali Grand 9:50 am Denali Bluffs 9:55 am Princess & Salmon Bake 10:00 am Chalet 12PM TRIPS 11:05 am Denali Cabins 11:10 am Denali Park Village 11:15 am Grizzly Bear 11:25 am Riley Creek 11:35 am Denali Grand 11:45 am Denali Bluffs 11:50 am Princess & Salmon Bake 11:55 am Chalet 2PM TRIPS D1- 1:10 pm Denali Cabins 1:15 pm Denali Park Village 1:20 pm Grizzly Bear 1:30 pm Riley Creek 1:40 pm Denali Grand 1:50 pm Denali Bluffs 1:55 pm Princess & Salmon Bake 2:00 pm Chalet 6PM TRIPS D1- 5:30 pm Denali Cabins 5:35 pm Denali Park Village 5:40 pm Grizzly Bear 5:50 pm Riley Creek Bus stop D2- 5:35 pm Denali Grand 5:45 pm Denali Bluffs 5:50 pm Princess & Salmon Bake 5:55 pm Chalet
In an oar boat, you hold on and enjoy the ride – your river guide does all the work. In a paddleboat, you will participate in propelling the boat downstream. Both rafts run the same stretch of river and the same rapids. The paddleboat tends to be more adventurous for the customer because you are actively leaning outside the raft and paddling through waves.
Denali Scenic Raft Run: Recommended 5 years and up in an oar boat, 15 years and up in a paddle boat Canyon Whitewater Raft Run: Recommended 11 years and up an oar boat, 15 years and up in a paddle boat Ultimate Denali Raft Run: Recommended 11 years and up n an oar boat,15 years and up in a paddle boat
Yes. Each participant will be wearing a coast guard approved personal floatation device (PFD) which will keep you afloat if you find yourself in the river. Before your departure, your raft guide will give you an in-depth safety speech and prepare you for what do to if you fall out of the raft. Safety is our top priority here at New Wave Adventures, and all of our raft guides have gone through an intensive training course in whitewater rescue.
Professional photos will be taken during your trip. Handheld cameras and phones are discouraged, as they are more likely to be lost than used during your trip.
You will be provided with all of the proper equipment, including: Professional River Guide 18ft or 16 ft Hyside commercial raft GCX3 Breathable Gull Drysuits Type 5 Personal Floatation Device PFD Helmet Paddle if needed River shoes Transportation to and from the river Courtesy shuttle from Hotel to Excursion A safe location to store your personal belongings during the raft trip
Denali Scenic Raft Run: Take in the beautiful scenery while floating along the outskirts of Denali National Park and enjoy rapids ranging from Class I-III. This trip is ideal for families with younger children (minimum age of 5), elderly family members, or families new to whitewater rafting! Canyon Whitewater Raft Run: Test yourselves against the most challenging rapids we have to offer on the Nenana River, ranging from Class II-IV (ages 12+). This 11-mile section of the river is not only some of the best whitewater in the state of Alaska, but you and your family will have ample opportunity in between rapids to take in the wild and scenic beauty of Denali.
Class I - Easy. Smooth water; light riffles; clear passages, occasional sandbanks, and gentle curves. The most difficult problems might arise when paddling around bridges and other obvious obstructions. Class II - Moderate. Medium-quick water; rapids with regular waves; clear and open passages between rocks and ledges. Maneuvering required. Best handled by intermediates who can maneuver canoes and read water. Class III - Moderately difficult. Numerous high and irregular waves; rocks and eddies with passages clear but narrow and requiring experience to run. Visual inspection required if rapids are unknown. Class IV - Difficult. Long and powerful rapids with standing waves; big hydraulic waves and boiling eddies. Powerful and precise maneuvering required. Visual inspection mandatory. Class V - Extremely difficult. Long and violent rapids that follow each other almost without interruption. River filled with obstructions. Big drops and violent currents. Extremely steep gradient. Even reconnoitering may be difficult. Rescue preparations mandatory. Can be run only by top experts. Class VI - Extraordinarily difficult. Paddlers face a constant threat of death because of extreme danger. Navigable only when water levels and conditions are favorable. This violent whitewater should be left to paddlers of Olympic ability. Every safety precaution must be taken.
To stay warm and comfortable during your trip, the following items are recommended: -Non-cotton base layers, like polyester or wool, yoga pants, long johns, or snug-fitting clothes to wear underneath the drysuit -2 pairs of non-cotton socks to help stay warm (your feet will be dry but, they will be sitting in the bottom of the raft) -Rain jacket -Eyeglass retainers like Chums or Croakies

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