Denali flightseeing with Talkeetna Air

Denali flightseeing with Talkeetna Air

Denali, also known as Mount McKinley is the tallest mountain peak in all of North America, at 20,310 feet above sea level. Summiting Denali is a feat accomplished by an elite few… fortunately climbing is not the only way to get a better look at America’s highest peak. I went on a flightseeing trip with Talkeetna Air Taxi, and got super up-close with Denali and several of the other peaks of the Alaska Range, within Denali National Park!

I heard a statistic that you have a 30% chance of seeing Denali on any given day, because the massive mountain creates its own weather, which more often than not, is cloudy. My friends and I planned our Denali flight right in the middle of September, a time when the weather is often rainy, so we crossed our fingers for good weather.

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The day of our flight was the CLEAREST day, we could see Denali bright and clear from where we were staying, over 100 miles away in Big Lake. We had been incredibly lucky with the weather, and happened to be visiting Alaska during an exceptionally warm and sunny “Indian summer”.

These photos (many of which are shot on film with my Leica M6) are from our Grand Denali flightseeing trip on the afternoon of September 13th. Our pilot Richard flew us in a 1950s DeHavilland Otter up to and around the peaks of Denali, including a landing above Ruth Glacier within Don Sheldon Amphitheater(!).

 Denali and the Alaska Range

Denali and the Alaska Range

 Peaks of the Alaska Range

Peaks of the Alaska Range

 Getting closer to Denali (Mount McKinley)

Getting closer to Denali (Mount McKinley)

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 Super close up peek at these peaks!

Super close up peek at these peaks!

 The DeHavilland Otter landed using special ski landing gear

The DeHavilland Otter landed using special ski landing gear

 Our pilot, Richard

Our pilot, Richard

 Glacier landing with friends!

Glacier landing with friends!

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 Flying down the mountain along Ruth Glacier. This is an area called “Little Switzerland”, popular among rock climbers.

Flying down the mountain along Ruth Glacier. This is an area called “Little Switzerland”, popular among rock climbers.

 The Chulitina River, fed by many of the glaciers within Denali National Park

The Chulitina River, fed by many of the glaciers within Denali National Park

 Landing on the runway back in Talkeetna after a beautiful, smooth flight!

Landing on the runway back in Talkeetna after a beautiful, smooth flight!

Our flightseeing trip was absolutely magical, a highlight of my three-week Alaska trip for sure! My flight was made possible by the very kind folks of Talkeetna Air Taxi, I highly recommend you take a flight with them if you ever visit Alaska!

Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

Jungfraujoch, Switzerland