Pack It All In
Your Denali adventure will be full of contrasts – untamed wilderness by day and luxury accommodations by night. We’ve put together this convenient packing list to help you plan for this unique adventure and ensure you’re comfortable, safe and enjoying every moment of your vacation.
Alaska's climate during the May-through-September travel season ranges from cool and rainy in the Inside Passage, to mild and sunny in the Interior and the Anchorage area. No matter which time of year you visit, dressing in layers is always a good idea. You'll be far more comfortable in a cotton turtleneck topped with a light sweater and windbreaker than bundled up in a parka. You can add and subtract layers as the weather warrants.
Use the Alaska packing lists and tips below as starters and modify them for your personal tastes and needs.
- Clothing you can layer: Long underwear, a fleece, and a waterproof/breathable shell
- Comfortable shoes with good traction: Running shoes with good support are adequate for anything you'll do except hike steep hillsides (which you may not do). If you prefer something sturdier, lightweight hikers are great, and some are waterproof as well.
- Sun protection: Lightweight, brimmed hat (sun and rain); sunglasses and sunscreen
- Light winter cap/gloves/scarf: These really keep you warm if it gets unseasonably cold—or if you're feeling the effects of glacier-chilled wind—without adding a lot of weight.
- Summer clothing: Unless you prefer last-minute local shopping, pack shorts and short sleeve shirts. Recent Alaskan summers have been hot and sunny.
- Formal vs. casual: Casual dress is the way to go in Alaska. Some cruise-goers bring formal attire for onboard the ship, then break out the jeans on land.
- Mosquito repellent: The bugs generally aren't as bad as people fear, and they're really only a big consideration in June and July. If you really want to protect yourself, there's nothing as effective as 100% DEET products. Mosquito head nets tend to be overkill unless you plan on doing a lot of hiking or tent camping, as they obscure visibility and can get warm.
- Fishing license: You can order this ahead of time online, but it's easy to obtain from your air taxi, fishing guide, or most local groceries.
- Small first aid kit: Most hotels and tour operators will have you covered, but it's convenient to have bandages and ointment for minor emergencies
- Camera/ video camera: Capture your Alaska experiences in real time and don't forget the extras: batteries, lenses, chargers, and memory cards.
- Backpack or tote bag (medium to large)
- Binoculars/spotting scope
- Zipper-top bags: Freezer-size zipper-top bags are great to keep clothing folded and toiletries isolated (in case of leaks). Separate baggies make it easier to repack in case your luggage is searched, and extra bags are handy for storing dirty or damp clothing.
- Identification and/or passport
- Watch/ alarm clock: With so much daylight, it's easy to lose track of time.
The following items are additional suggestions of what you might bring on your Denali National Park trip.
- Reservation confirmation paperwork and photo ID
- Lip Balm
- Wet Wipes
- Seasonal clothing – with extra layers and rain gear
- Extra batteries
- Collapsible walking stick
- Wildlife guidebook