visiting alaska national parks

How much to visit all Alaskan National Parks

Ferry Alaska

Traveling to the 8 National Parks located in Alaska has been by far the most challenging leg of this journey. Up front, you should know this is an expensive task so be prepared for it.

Four of the parks are only accessible by bush planes. Yeah, those little planes that always seem to go down in the movies, right? Well rest assured, they’re pretty safe. here I would like to share a cost breakdown of all the expenses involved while visiting non stop.

Drive to Alaska starting in port Angeles WA right at Olympic National park.

  • Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria Canada (Black Ball) – $85
  • Ferry from Nanaimo in Victoria  to Vancouver Canada – $57
  • Driving from Vancouver Canada to McCarthy Alaska (45 hour drive) (2200 Miles)
    • Gas – $350
    • Accommodation – $300 for 2
    • Food and Miscellaneous  $40 x day for 2 people x 7 days – $280

At this point we have spent $1072 just to get to our first Alaska National Park.

Please consider we decided to take 7 days on the road to really enjoy our first visit to Canada , stopping here and there to take photos, enjoy a nice meal, take a shower and sleep on a bed. Something to consider is that there is plenty of rest areas to FREELY stay overnight on the Alaska highway so the hotel becomes optional.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

Hiking in Alaska

  • Camping for 2 nights inside the park $20 per night x 2 nights. – $40
  • Couple of Meals in McCarthy (Baked Potato Restaurant, Salmon Recommended) – $140
  • Ice Climbing Tour – $155 per adult, 2 adults -$310

* We spent $490

Gates of the Arctic and Kobuk National Parks.

Alaska Sand Dunes

These two can only be access by bush plane and they take off from Kotzebue AK.

Drive from Wrangell-St Elias National Park to Anchorage

  • Gas – $80
  • Hotel in Anchorage – $100
  • Flight from Anchorage to Kotzebue round trip for 2 people – $596.00
  • Accommodation two nights in Kotzebue for 2 people – $240
  • Food and Miscellaneous for 2 people – $120
  • Plane Tour to Gates of the Arctic and Kobuk NP – $2100

* We spent $3236

Back to Anchorage and now on our way to Kenai Fjords National Park. In this park the only expense would be the camping and food since the boat Tour is optional. Even if you decide to just do the hiking exploration there is plenty to see and enjoy including the epic glaciers.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park

  • Gas – $40
  • Food – $120
  • Camping – $80
  • Boat Tour – $150 per person (OPTIONAL)

* We spent $240

Now on or way to Lake Clark National park, we have to make our way back to Anchorage  and then take a bush plane to Lake Clark.

Lake Clark and Katmai National Parks


  • Flight from Anchorage to Port Alsworth Lake Clark $270 per 2 people – $540
  • Camping in Port Alsworth Lake Clark $50 per night x 2 – 100
  • Camping food – $50
  • Flight from Port Alsworth back to Anchorage $270 per 2 people – $540

We are doing a day tour in Katmai National Park round trip from Anchorage.

  • Day Tour from anchorage to Katmai and back. $845 per person – $1690

* We spent $2920

Back in Anchorage we drove to Denali National Park.

Denali National Park

Denali Mountain

  • Gas – $40
  • Camping $16 x 5 nights – $80
  • Food for 2 people for 6 days – $200

* We spent $320

Drive from Denali to Skagway to take 2 ferris to our 8th and last Alaska National Park.

Glacier Bay National Park


  • Gas 160$
  • Ferry tickets  from Skagway to Juneau for two adults – $118
  • Hotel in Juneau $200 (OPTIONAL we slept in the Terminal)
  • Ferry tickets from Juneau to Gustavus – $88
  • Taxi from Gustavus terminal to the National Park – $15
  • Free Camping
  • Food for 7 days for 2 Adults – $280
  • Tour to the Glaciers $224.27 per adult (OPTIONAL)
  • Ferry tickets back from Gustavus to Juneau – $88
  • Hotel in Juneau $200 (OPTIONAL we slept in the Terminal)
  • Ferry tickets back from Juneau to Skagway for two adults – $118

* We spent $867

We love Alaska but sadly we have to make our way back to the mainland so we have to drive through Canada again to get back to Washington State.

  • Driving Back from Denali to Bellingham, Washington (30 hour drive) (1512 Miles)
    • Gas – $280
    • Accommodation for 2 – $300
    • Food and Miscellaneous  $40 x day for 2 people x 7 days – $280
  • We spent $860


In a hypothetical scenario where the two of us are already in Alaska and visit all 8 National Parks with the bear minimum not including food, gas, lodging or camping. And assuming we are doing the basic activities to experience each park.

We would spent at least. $6106

I know at this point this sounds like a lot but please consider this is for 2 people visiting ALL 8 National Parks in Alaska. no matter how corners are cut here, you are going to spend money, just embrace this fact before your adventure to the last frontier.


  1. Thanks so much for this breakdown. We know we want to see the parks, and seeing about how much it would cost to do in one fell swoop is really nice info to see.

  2. Really useful detail, which is much appreciated!

    It looks like you spent 7 days driving each direction (14 days total) and about 3.5 weeks in Alaska (trying to add up days worth of food and nights of accommodation). Is that about right for the $10k expense? Plus about 5,000 miles on your car?

  3. Thank you so much for your post! My husband and I are taking our kids to all 61 (or more by the time we get there)…the goal is to get it done by the time they graduate high school. We were just trying to wrap our heads around Alaska (it’s a LONG way out for us) so we can plan financially for it. Feels like a logistical nightmare, but thanks to you, we have a better idea of what to expect. Thanks again!

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