Frequently Asked Questions

Please browse our FAQ to help you in planning your Alaska tour and travel and Alaskan family tours. Whether you have specific questions about your arrival and departure in Kantishna and Denali National Park or general questions about flightseeing in Alaska or Alaskan lodging, answers to our FAQ can assist you in planning your Alaskan adventure.

We fly four Cessna 206 aircraft.
Each aircraft has 6 seats, 1 pilot and 5 passengers.

Yes. If you’re an overnight guest in Kantishna and flying with Kantishna Air Taxi, our luggage restriction is 25 lbs/person in soft-sided luggage (i.e. duffel bags).  If you’re staying at Kantishna Roadhouse, Camp Denali/North Face Lodge, or Denali Backcountry Lodge and taking the Denali Depot Express flight (Kantishna to the park entrance), you can put your excess luggage on the lodge bus and meet up with your luggage at the park entrance.  The bus and the plane arrive at the entrance at approximately the same time, 11:25am.  If you’re flying into Kantishna and have excess luggage, most guests leave their luggage with their lodging they are returning to.  You can always ask us at Kantishna Air Taxi and we can help you out with this detail.

The McKinley Park airstrip is located right next to the Denali Park train depot inside the park.  If you are driving your own car, here are the directions: From George Parks Highway turn west onto Denali National Park road. Continue past Riley Creek Campground, Post Office, and Wilderness Access Center. As you approach the railroad tracks, turn left onto an unmarked dirt road. (If you get to the round-about, you’ve gone too far.)  Ignore sign posted “No private vehicles,” continue to the end of road and park in the second of two small parking areas on the right. The train depot will be in front of you and the airstrip will be behind you. Walk toward the right end of the airstrip and stay on the access road, where your pilot will meet you.  Please keep all people, vehicles, and luggage off the aircraft parking area until directed to advance by your pilot, as airplanes taxi to the South end of airstrip. Our planes are white with red stripes and say “Kantishna Air Taxi” on the tail. We do not have an office at the airstrip. If aircraft or pilot is not there to meet you, you can call our office to check on flight status (907) 644-8222. If you do not have your own car, there are many shuttles that can drop you off at the train depot. Go to the main terminal, walk across the tracks, and you will see the airstrip straight ahead.

depot-map-edited

We fly out Merrill Field, the general aviation airport in Anchorage. It is a few miles east of downtown. A well-established Alaska air taxi called Spernak’s allows us to use their lobby and ramp for pick-ups and drop-offs.

Directions:  from downtown Anchorage go east on 5th Ave. (Glenn Highway) to Airport Heights Rd. Turn Right on Airport Heights Rd to first stoplight – Merrill Field Dr. Turn Right onto Merrill Field Dr. and continue until road dead ends at a T. Turn right at T. Spernak Airways is immediately on your right. Most cabs and shuttles are familiar with Spernak’s. Their address is 1707 Merrill Field Drive. From the international airport, it is around a 20-minute cab ride.

We provide all transfers once you get to Kantishna.  We will pick you up at the “Kantishna International Airport” and drive you to your lodge. If you’re departing Kantishna, we will touch base with you the night before at your lodge. The day you fly, we will pick you up at your lodge and take you to the airstrip.

It goes without saying that summer weather in Alaska is unpredictable.  Depending on the weather patterns, we can usually still fly if it’s cloudy or rainy.  Generally we cancel less than 5% of our flights all summer, although each summer a handful of days we will not be able to fly at all due to weather.  It is important to allow enough time and flexibility in your travel itinerary to get to your destination if your flight is cancelled and you have to take ground transportation. Know what your backup plan is.

Example:  if you’re booked for a Kantishna-Anchorage and you have to take ground transport, you will not arrive in Anchorage before 8pm. We recommend scheduling enough flexibility in your travel itinerary to overnight in Anchorage or have travel insurance if you need to get there that day.

Most Kantishna-park entrance flights depart at 10:30am. We make a weather call at 6am and will notify lodges shortly thereafter if they need to transport you by ground. If you are catching the southbound train to Anchorage or other time-dependent connections at the park entrance, you will most likely take the early morning lodge bus out. If you have your own car and are more flexible with your travel plans, you can fly at a later time that day if weather is forecasted to improve. If you have a reservation for a park entrance flight with a scenic flyby and the mountain is not visible, we will fly direct instead.

We wish we had a set answer for this, but unfortunately we never know what the weather is going to do. There is not one time of day or month that is better than another.  At 20,320 ft., Denali creates its own weather pattern and its constantly changing. We will not take you flightseeing in Alaska unless we can see the majority of the mountain and most of the glaciers. If you are taking our air taxi, have a reservation for a scenic flyby and the mountain is socked in, we will fly direct instead to/from the park entrance/Kantishna.

For questions related to lodging, please view our dedicated Skyline Lodge FAQ page.

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