Mooses Tooth, Broken Tooth
The Great Gorge
Ruth Ice Fall
South Face of Denali
Don Sheldon Amphitheatre
The broad Susitna Valley
On a beautiful, panoramic Alaskan day we offer our spectacular Denali Grand Tour. On this majestic route you will see everything on our Mountain House and Base Camp tours plus the north side of Mount McKinley.
View the famed North Face and the 14,000 foot high Wickersham Wall, the longest uninterrupted vertical rise in the world.
On the flight out and back you will see the vast expanse of interior Alaska. Fly over the Peters, Muldrow, and Traleika Glaciers. A glacier landing on the Ruth Glacier can easily be included to top off your Alaskan adventure.
A grand air tour of Denali is the most spectacular event you can choose if you are on a day-trip shore excursion from one of the many popular cruises that dock at Anchorage.
You'll depart from Talkeetna and experience the vast river and forest lands on the short trip over to the Alaska range, just as you would on our Mountain House or Base Camp air tours.
The river and forest lands are home to Alaska's wild game such as black bear and moose. In addition, there are occasional lodges to be sighted along the lake shores, often only accessible by float plane.
Sheldon's pilots know the lay of the land like the back of their hand and will point out points of interest on the way, as the terrain gradually changes through the foothills of the Alaska Range.
Denali is so massive that it won't appear to get closer until you are past the foothills and flying up the Tokositna Glacier. Off to the left will be Little Switzerland, a popular destination for both technical climbing expeditions and fun day trips.
Next you climb through One Shot pass and fly over the massive Kahiltna Glacier as it winds toward Denali, flying within six miles of the massive summit.
The Kahiltna is massive, easily the largest glacier in the Alaska Range.
Just short of the head is a small branch off to the east that contains the landing area Don Sheldon pioneered as the arrival point for climbing expeditions. This is where the climbers begin and conclude their trek up Denali -- Base Camp.
When on the flight you will marvel at the rugged peaks, massive ancient glaciers, brilliant cobalt-blue glacier lakes and surrounding foothills of the Alaska Range.
You will see Mooses Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth peaks, popular climbing destinations on the far side of the Don Sheldon Amphitheater.
In the course of the climbing season, Sheldon pilots deliver and pick up climbing teams at the Kahilta Glacier Base Camp, the starting point for summit attempts on Denali (Mount McKinley).
An aerial view of Don Sheldon's Mountain House is the focal point of the Sheldon Air Service basic flightseeing tour and is included in the Denali Grand Tour. The Mountain House was built in 1955 by Sheldon as a climber refuge and private retreat and is a popular overnight destination. Reservations for the Mountain House are booked up to two years in advance.
To top it off, you will experience the majestic Ruth Gorge on the way back to Talkeetna. The Great Gorge, as it is sometimes called, is a mile deep in some places. The floor is the rugged Ruth Glacier. Watch for the brilliant pools of bright-blue glacier melt water.
A landing at the peak-ringed Ruth Amphitheater allows the flightseer to take the majesty of the surroundings into perspective and grab photos of the range.
A glacier landing will add an extra half hour to the flight and is the highlight of any flightseeing experience. On the way back, the Tokositna River area at the base of the Alaska Range offers another opportunity to view moose and bears in their natural habitat.