Denali Base Camp Tour Includes:

  • The Mountain House Tour Route
  • South Hunter Ice Fall
  • West Ridge of Mount Hunter
  • Climber's Base Camp
  • West Buttress Route, Denalis' most popular climbing route
  • Little Switzerland, Kanikula,Tokositna, and Ruth Glaciers


Denali Base Camp Tour
Per Person $275
with Glacier Landing
Per Person $365

- Minimum 3 passengers per flight.

- Flight last about 1 hour and 15 mins.

- If you are a single or a couple we will combine you with other passengers.

The epicenter of climbing activity on Mount McKinley is the Kahiltna Glacier Base Camp, a location established by Don Sheldon as Bradford Washburn was pioneering the West Buttress route up Denali.

The focal point of our Base Camp Tour is a a close-up look at Mount Hunter, the Kahiltna Glacier (Denali's biggest), and the Kahiltna "Base Camp" where the majority of Mt. McKinley's climbers really begin their journey, at an elevation of 7,200 feet.

A Sheldon Air Service Base Camp tour from Talkeetna is the perfect shore excursion for cruise ship tourists with a day or two in Anchorage.

Our popular Base Camp flightseeing air tour gives the passenger a good look at both the base camp and the enormous Kahiltna Glacier. This route also includes all of the highlights of the Don Sheldon Mountain House Tour.

You'll depart from Talkeetna and experience the vast river and forest lands on the flight to the Kahiiltna Glacier.

The river and forest lands are home to Alaska's wild game such as black bear and moose. In addition the occasional lodge can be be sighted along the lake shores, often only accessible by float plane.

On the way the route takes you past Little Switzerland, a popular destination for both technical climbing expeditions and fun day trips. This particular subset of the Alaska Range is characterized by steep rocky peaks similar to the European alps. Accordingly, many of the more experienced climb teams come to this location for the pure technical climbing challenge.

The flight offers outstanding views of Little Switzerland as we enter the massive Kahiltna Glacier gorge.

Next you climb over the Kaliltna Glacier as it winds toward Denali

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.

If you wish, you can ask to add a glacier landing to this flight, and we can land on the Ruth Glacier. Landing on the Kalhitna is reserved for climbers. As Sheldon co-owner Dave Lee says, "A landing lets you put the flight into perspective." It gives one a moment to appeciate the scale of the surroundings in flight.

The route continues with a cut through a pass which eventually leads to the the Don Sheldon Amphitheater at the top of the the Ruth Glacier.

You will see Mooses Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth peaks, popular climbing destinations on the far side of the Amphitheater.

In the course of the May-June Denali climbing season, Sheldon pilots deliver and pick up climb teams to the base camp in all kinds of weather. As the video at the top of the page shows, even if it is overcast in Talkeetna, outstanding scenery can be observed once in flight.

To top off your Alaskan flightseeing Adventure you will experience the majestic Ruth Gorge on the way back to Talkeetna.

The Great Gorge, as it is also 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.

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.

Denali from near Kahiltna Glacier Base Camp Base Camp Tour Route - Sheldon Air Service
Base Camp Tour Route
Little Switzerland area of the Alaska Range from a Sheldon Air Service air tour. Kahiltna Glacier on the Mountain House Tour with Sheldon Air Service. Sheldon Air Service DH-2 Beaver at Kahiltna Glacier Base Camp
The great gorge of the Alaska range seen from Sheldon Air Service Cessna 185.

© 2017 Sheldon Air Service
P.O.Box 648 · Talkeetna, Alaska 99676
Voice: 907-733-2321 · Fax: 907-733-2333
Email: Use our email form

Official 2017
Denali National Park Concessionaire
Sheldon Air Service
Locally Owned and Operated Locally Owned
and Operated
by year-round
Talkeetna Residents
FAA Certified Federal