Ultimate Denali Rafting Run


Enjoy the best of both worlds! After experiencing breathtaking views of the Scenic Run section, continue downstream and raft through action-packed rapids on the Canyon Run section, for a total of 22 miles. We recommend this trip for parties of 8 or more who want an all-day adventure.

Tour info

5 hours
Group Size
Up to 6
Price starts at
Meeting Point

2 Glacier Way Denali National Park AK

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Why take this tour?

Get the whole enchilada on this combination of the “Wilderness” and “Canyon Run”. A brief break in the middle gives you time for a quick snack if you wish to bring one.

Begin with the “McKinley Run” A spectacular trip over class II, III water through the most scenic and beautiful portion of the Nenana River. This is your chance to sit back and enjoy the rugged wilderness.

Continue on with the “Canyon Run”! Hang on! It’s whitewater ahead! You’ll get wet and enjoy every minute of it as we head for Healy. Get into real whitewater rafting as you hang on through thrilling rapids such as “Cable Car,” “Coffee Grinder,” and “Ice Worm”!

You have your choice of Oar Rafts or Paddle Rafts (It takes 5 participants to paddle, when possible we combine parties to reach five or more).

Both oar rafts and paddle rafts run the same rapids on the river. Perfect for 1st timers, an oar raft, is rowed by the guide while rafters sit, hold on and enjoy the view. In a paddle raft you will be expected to follow instructions and be an active participant by paddling the raft down river. You still have a guide but everyone has a paddle and the guide instructs you on how and when to paddle.

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 paddleboat Canyon Whitewater Raft Run: Recommended 11 years and up in an oar boat, 15 years and up in a paddleboat Ultimate Denali Raft Run: Recommended 11 years and up n an oar boat,15 years and up in a paddleboat
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
Personal items are not allowed on trips, with the exception of special medications that can be carried by your raft guide.
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
RAFTS -Four 18 ft rafts -Six 16 ft rafts -All manufactured by Hyside -Hypolonoe material -Multi-chambered -9 ft oars for 16 ft rafts -10 ft Cataract oars for 18ft rafts HELMETS AND PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE (PFD) -Man of rubber -Adjustable -Wear hats underneath -US coast guard certified PFD DRYSUITS -Gull -Neoprene necks for comfort -Several sizes to fit almost everyone -State of the art waterproof material -Will keep your clothes dry PADDLES -Hyside -New Wave Branded -48” -Only for use in Paddle Rafts

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