Destination Tour Operator Tour Operator

Denali River Rafting in Alaska

Written By: Valerie Raisis, Owner Operator, Denali River Rafting



Denali National Park nested in the Interior of Alaska is one of the most popular natural destinations for people visiting Alaska. While in Denali there are many activities to do, a bus ride into the park to see wild animals and breath taking scenery, whitewater or scenic rafting on the Nenana River, ATV rides through a glacial riverbed, visit a dog kennel learn how to run the Iditarod, fly over Denali in a plane or helicopter and many other activities. While in Denali go rafting with Denali Raft Adventures, Inc. established in 1974, the first raft company to offer commercial raft trips on the Nenana River at the entrance of Denali National Park. We are the only company to use Gore-Tex dry suits, for the utmost in comfort, neoprene boots, Coast Guard approved lifejackets, and a guided 18ft or 16ft raft which allows you to experience a sense of adventure and fun for an activity that has inherent risks.   We also offer charter trips for groups of 12 or more people.


We use 18ft self-bailing rafts made by Avon and Sotar. Passengers generally number no more than 9 per oar boat and 10 per paddle raft. Each trip has a minimum of two rafts and average trips will contain 4-5 boats. With more than 13 boats we can accommodate groups of over 100. General dates of operation are from May 20 to September 10, but can be adjusted due to weather.


So, how is it that a first time rafter can go on a raft trip with Class IV expert water? We provide you with an experienced guide who can recognize the river’s best line and direct the raft through turbulent waters, without difficulty, in relative safety..



Unfortunately there are significant elements of risk involved in rafting. Certain risks cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique character of the activity. Possible risks range from falling out of a raft, the most common, to raft flips and pins, the least common. Any of these risks can cause accidental injury, loss of equipment or in rare cases, death. In order to minimize these risks we take specific precautions


Basic Trip Spiel – We offer 2-hour, 4-hour, and full day raft trips on the Nenana River, which forms the eastern boundary of Denali National Park. We have 2-hour mild water (McKinley Run) or white water runs (Canyon Run). The four-hour (Healy Express) is a combination of both. The full day includes lunch on the Nenana River starting 12 miles above the 4-hour (Healy) combination put in. The Four-Hour Scenic is the full day minus the last 2 hours (Canyon); it is a mild run and includes lunch.


What to wear – We provide Gore-Tex dry suits with wet suit booties and lifejackets. We recommend layering your clothing for personal comfort. As the day warms up it is best to just remove a layer rather than change all your clothes. Fleece, polypropylene, capaline or similar fabrics are best because they wick away perspiration and water from your skin. Cotton is to be avoided on the river as it gets wet and cold. We highly recommend wool socks to be worn in our wet suit booties, a sweater or jacket and a hat made of wool or Polartec Fleece.


Commission is paid on full price bookings only; please call if you do not know your commission rate. Commissions are paid after the event date unless deducted from payment sent. Vouchers are accepted from authorized vendors as means of payment. To become an authorized vendor please request our credit application. No shows, no calls will be billed full price less commission.