wilderness wave tour denali

Wilderness Wave Tour

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wilderness wave tour denali

Points of Interest

  • Nenana River Gorge

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

Enjoy a gorgeous tour along the natural boundary of Denali National Park. On the Wilderness Wave Raft Tour, you'll glide through 11 miles of glacially carved valleys and amazing vistas with panoramic views of Mount Fellows and the Nenana Canyon. Although you'll encounter the occasional rapid, this option is mellow enough for the whole family.!

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Denali Wilderness Wave Rafting

wilderness wave tour denali

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Excursion Overview

A gorgeous journey along the nenana river..

Glide along eleven miles of glacially carved terrain for a mellow, family friend rafting tour. This class II-III rafting adventure encounters the occasional rapid but provides an experience for the whole family to share along the Nenana River. The Nenana River is situated along the natural boundary of Denali National Park. Panoramic views of Mount Fellows and the Nenana Canyon provide a stunning backdrop on this Denali rafting ride. All rafters are outfitted with dry suits, helmets, river shoes, and personal flotation devices. Your highly trained adventure guide will navigate your group through the moderate but always exciting course.

Paddle Rider versus Oar Boat Rider?

In an oar boat, you hold on and enjoy the ride – your river guide does all the work. In a paddleboat, you will participate in propelling the boat downstream. Both rafts run the same stretch of river and the same rapids. The paddleboat tends to be more adventurous for the customer because you are actively leaning outside the raft and paddling through waves. You'll have a chance to indicate your preference during the check out process.

Things You Need to Know


  • Roundtrip transportation available from the following local Denali lodging accommodations: Denali Bluffs Hotel Denali Cabins - Denali National Park Denali Crow's Nest Log Cabins Denali Grizzly Bear Resort Denali Park Village Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge Denali Visitor's Center Grand Denali Lodge McKinley Chalet Resort Riley Creek Campground
  • Dry suit and helmet
  • River shoes (so you return to a dry pair of shoes)
  • Personal flotation device


  • Minimum age: 5 years and up
  • Minimum weight: 50lbs or more
  • Guests should wear warm layers and a pair of warm socks. A base layer (long sleeve shirt or thermal), mid-layer (long sleeve sweater, sweatshirt, fleece, or a vest), and an outer layer (light puffy jacket, jacket with a hood, rain jacket) are highly recommended.
  • A thin glove layered by a pair of dish gloves is a great way to keep your hands warm
  • Signed liability waiver

Duration: 3-3.5 hours (Roundtrip from local Denali accommodations.)

  • 30 minutes - Meet your guide, gear up and safety orientation
  • 2-2.5 hours - Wilderness Wave rafting adventure

Meeting Instructions:

  • This tour picks up from select local accommodations. If you have your own vehicle, guests are welcome to self-transport themselves. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.

ADA Accessibility of Tour:

  • This tour is limited mobility accessible. Guests must be able to climb 4 steps in and out of the van. There is limited storage in the vehicle for foldable wheelchairs or walkers. Please leave a comment during checkout if accommodations for collapsable equipment will be required on the tour.

Refund Policy:

  • You may cancel for any reason up to seven (7) days prior to the date of the tour for a full refund.
  • Please see our Refund Policy Page for complete details.

Tours can be canceled for any reason up until seven (7) days prior to the date of the tour for a full refund unless otherwise noted on the individual tour product page in the Things to Know section. To cancel a tour, please use the cancelation request link within your e-ticket that was emailed to you OR send an email to  [email protected] with the following information:

- Order number

- Tour you are canceling

- Number of passengers you wish to cancel

Within 0-7 days before the tour date, cancelations are eligible for a full refund only in the following scenarios:

- The tour is canceled by the tour operator for any reason (for example: bad weather or mechanical issue)

- You experience a medical emergency during this window and can provide documentation (documentation must be submitted within 30 days to receive a refund)

- Your ship changes port itineraries causing you to miss an excursion

All refunds are processed through Alaska Shore Excursions, and will not be processed through any cruise line or local tour provider. Refunds will appear under Alaska Shore Excursions on your bank/credit card statement. Credit card refunds are processed within 10 business days of the request. Exceptions to the refund policy include multi-day packages and some day tours. Please refer to the specific refund policy listed on the individual tour product page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bald eagles, waterfowl, and beaver are all common sights, and we also have the opportunity to see bears, moose, foxes, and wolves however this is not a designated wildlife tour and specific wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

Your shoes will be left at the office in a bin and you will be given a pair of cool river rafting shoes. Dress warm and bring socks. The water is really cold. Your cothes keep you warm and the dry suit keeps you dry. The only body part that should get wet is your hands and your head.

In an oar boat, you hold on and enjoy the ride – your river guide does all the work. In a paddleboat, you will participate in propelling the boat downstream. Both rafts run the same stretch of river and the same rapids. The paddleboat tends to be more adventurous for the customer because you are actively leaning outside the raft and paddling through waves.

This tour is for guests ages 5+ with a minimum weight requirement of 50 lbs.

Yes. Each participant will be wearing a coast guard approved personal floatation device (PFD) which will keep you afloat if you find yourself in the river. Before your departure, your raft guide will give you an in-depth safety speech and prepare you for what do to if you fall out of the raft. Safety is our top priority here at New Wave Adventures, and all of our raft guides have gone through an intensive training course in whitewater rescue.

Professional photos will be taken during your trip. Handheld cameras and phones are discouraged, as they are more likely to be lost than used during your trip.

Guests are provided with all of the proper equipment, including a dry suit, wetsuit booties, PFD (personal floatation device), helmet, and paddle if applicable.

Personal items are not allowed on trips, with the exception of special medications that can be carried by your raft guide.

The Wilderness Wave route is a mellow journey where you may encounter the occasional rapid.

Class I - Easy. Smooth water; light riffles; clear passages, occasional sandbanks, and gentle curves. The most difficult problems might arise when paddling around bridges and other obvious obstructions. Class II - Moderate. Medium-quick water; rapids with regular waves; clear and open passages between rocks and ledges. Maneuvering required. Best handled by intermediates who can maneuver canoes and read water. Class III - Moderately difficult. Numerous high and irregular waves; rocks and eddies with passages clear but narrow and requiring experience to run. Visual inspection required if rapids are unknown. Class IV - Difficult. Long and powerful rapids with standing waves; big hydraulic waves and boiling eddies. Powerful and precise maneuvering required. Visual inspection mandatory. Class V - Extremely difficult. Long and violent rapids that follow each other almost without interruption. River filled with obstructions. Big drops and violent currents. Extremely steep gradient. Even reconnoitering may be difficult. Rescue preparations mandatory. Can be run only by top experts. Class VI - Extraordinarily difficult. Paddlers face a constant threat of death because of extreme danger. Navigable only when water levels and conditions are favorable. This violent whitewater should be left to paddlers of Olympic ability. Every safety precaution must be taken.

Check out other frequently asked questions  here !

Guest Reviews

wilderness wave tour denali

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Duration: 3-3.5 hours

Date Required

Time Required

# of Passengers Required

Adult Rafter: $ 130.00

Minimum Weight 50lbs

Child Rafter (5-11): $ 80.00

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Wilderness Wave Tour

Denali National Park, Alaska

Activity Level

Excursion Type

Wheelchair Accessible

Starting At

Minimum Age

Information Not Currently Available

Meals Included

Meals not included

Take in the beautiful scenery while floating along the outskirts of Denali National Park and enjoy rapids ranging from Class I-III.

On the Wilderness Wave Raft Tour, you’ll glide through 11 miles of glacially carved valleys and amazing vistas with panoramic views of Mount Fellows and the Nenana Canyon. Although you’ll encounter the occasional rapid, this option is mellow enough for the whole family.

OAR BOAT RIDER This option allows you to play it cool and ride along. With an Oar Boat Rider, you can hold on and enjoy the adventure as your guide navigates you downriver. This option allows rafting in Alaska to be feasible for almost anyone. In an oar boat, guests are less likely to fall out because they are holding on.

PADDLE RAFTER This option allows you to heat it up and actively paddle through the waves with your guide. We ask that guests are 15 years of age or older to paddle. In a paddle raft, you'll ride with a professional guide steering you from the back, while you and your team paddle together. There are plenty of breaks from paddling for you to relax and enjoy the views of Denali National Park. The Paddle Rafter demands a higher activity level than riding along in an oar boat. This option is the best for the more adventurous crowd.

Note:  Minimum age is 5. Maximum height is 6'5". Maximum weight is 325 lbs. Pregnant women or guests with back or neck problems are not allowed to participate. Dress in warm layers. Bring extra pair of socks. Time on raft is approximately 2 hours.

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Denali Sightseeing Tours

wilderness wave tour denali

Wilderness Wave Tour

Approximately 3 1/2 hours

May 15 -September 15

departure dates are subject to change

Adult - $134.95

Child - $104.95

  • Moderate Activity Level
  • Shopping Opportunities

Enjoy a gorgeous tour along the natural boundary of Denali National Park. On the Wilderness Wave Raft Tour, you’ll glide through 11 miles of glacially carved valleys and amazing vistas with panoramic views of Mount Fellows and the Nenana Canyon. Although you’ll encounter the occasional rapid, this option is mellow enough for the whole family.


Minimum Age is 5. Maximum height 6’8” feet tall. Maximum weight 300. Restrictions for pregnant women, recent back surgeries, and allergic to cold water. Drysuit, helmet, paddle, river shoes and life jacket are included. Recommend non-cotton base layers, like polyester or wool, yoga pants, long johns, or snug-fitting clothes to wear underneath the drysuit, 2 pairs of non-cotton socks to help stay warm (your feet will be dry but, they will be sitting in the bottom of the raft), rain jacket and eyeglass retainers.

This tour can only be booked in conjunction with a Denali rail tour. To add this tour to your package, please visit the Guest Service Desk upon arrival at your hotel or call 1-888-425-1737 to book in advance.

wilderness wave tour denali

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New Wave Adventures

wilderness wave tour denali


With more than 20 years of river raft guiding in the Denali area, the team at New Wave Adventures brings together exceptional guides, top-of-line equipment and unique water adventure packages to provide unforgettable memories and experiences in the Denali National Park area.

wilderness wave tour denali

The team at New Wave Adventures collectively has more than 100 years of experience rafting rivers all over the world, and more than 50 years of experience in Alaska.

With core values that reflect a commitment to excellence and premium customer experience, New Wave Adventures strives for 'the best trip everytime' and creating unforgettable memeories for all guests.

New Wave Adventures has a complete menu of river adventures to choose from, including laid-back scenic river floats, heart-pumping whitewater adventures and several packrafting options. Please see the available options below for more details.

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  • Over 100 years of collective rafting experience with more than 50 years experience in Alaska
  • Top-quality gear and outfitters
  • Fully licensed and insured
  • Class II, III and IV rapids
  • Breathtaking views and scenery
  • Opportunities to see wildlife

wilderness wave tour denali

Terms & Policies

To book a raft trip full payment is required at the time of booking. New Wave Adventures will provide a full refund up to 48 hours of your trip. If cancellation is within 48 hours of your trip, you are subject to only a 50% refund. If cancellation is within 24 hours of the trip time NO refund will be given. Please note the booking fee will not be refunded for partial refunds

Group Cancellations- Groups of 20+ rafters cancellations after time of booking will be refunded in full with the exception of cancellations within 14 days of the trip date. There will be no refund available for trips cancelled within 14 days or less of trip date.

To participate in a rafting/hiking/pac-rafting activity with New Wave Adventures LLC. you must accept the risks of designated activity by signing our Liability Waiver.

Call to book your reservations today!

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