Summer Activities Cantwell Alaska


Summer time fun in Cantwell Alaska and Denali National Park

Summer days are long in Alaska. In Cantwell on solstice we get over 22 hours of functional daylight, so there’s plenty of time for one more Alaskan adventure.

Denali National Park

Denali National Park is the number one attraction the vast majority of our guests are here to experience. It is home to the tallest peak in North America, Mt. Denali (formerly named Mt. McKinley), which is visible in Cantwell, weather permitting of course.


Cantwell is a small community, but the scenery is big and spectacular! You can view Mt. Denali right here in Cantwell. Cantwell is also surrounded by the Alaska Range which makes for some awesome photography opportunities.

Hiking & Biking

Hiking and biking opportunities are numerous in our vast trail-less wilderness in the Cantwell area. At the Backwoods Lodge we can point you in the right direction for whatever kind of hiking or biking adventure you are looking for, especially if you are seeking solitude. We have open tundra, mountains and rivers ready for you to explore. There is still gold in the mountains and streams!


Artic grayling, whitefish, northern pike, burbot, lake trout, king, chum, and silver salmon are all found in our rivers and lakes. One mile from the Backwoods Lodge is Fish Creek, aptly named for the many Artic Grayling found in this water. Denali Fly Fishing Guides is located in Cantwell. 907-768-1127 or


We would highly recommend a flightseeing tour of Mt. Denali. There is no better way to see Mt. Denali and its surrounding glaciers. We would recommend Talkeetna Air Taxi. 800-533-2219

Average Monthly Temperatures for Denali National Park

Month Average
temp °F
Average low
Average rainfall
snowfall (inches)
Average Length of Day (hours)
January 3 -13 0.5 8.6 6.8
February 10 -10 0.3 5.6 9.6
March 30 9 0.3 4.2 12.7
April 40 16 0.3 3.7 16.2
May 57 34 0.9 0.7 19.9
June 68 46 2.0 0 22.4
July 72 50 2.9 0 20.5
August 65 45 2.7 0 17.2
September 54 36 1.4 1.1 13.7
October 30 17 0.9 10.1 10.5
November 11 -3 0.7 9.6 7.5
December 5 -11 0.6 10.7 5.7

Dog Mushing Tours

Squid Acres is located right in Cantwell, and they offer a summer dog mushing experience.  Join Cody and Paige to learn about the amazing athletes of Squid Acres Kennel. You’ll get the chance to meet the dogs, one on one. Learn what it takes to train for and run the worlds toughest sled dogs races, the Yukon Quest and Iditarod. You will also get to help hook up the team and go for a training run in a 5 passenger ATV.  Price is $100/person. Tours are offered during the cool hours of the day for the dogs. We offer a 8 am tour and a 7pm tour daily.

White-water Rafting and Scenic Float Trips

Rafting at Denali National Park with New Wave Adventures. 907-683-2040.

Kayaking & Pack Rafting

For those serious adventurers there are many opportunities to kayak or pack raft on the Nenana and Jack Rivers in the Cantwell area


Experience a scenic zipline tour in a boreal forest located just outside of Denali National Park. 907-683-2947 www.DenaliZipline.Com.

Fly Fishing

Personalized and fully outfitted fly fishing excursions in the Alaska Range.  Call Denali Fly Fishing Guides at 907-768-1127.

ATV & Jeep Tours

There is Denali ATV Adventures ½ mile north of the Denali National Park entrance. 907-683-4288 and Also, Denali Highway Jeep Excursion is a guided and narrated 100+ mile round trip on the #2 Scenic Drive of a Lifetime by National Geographic Traveler magazine. 907-683-5337

Wildlife Viewing

Cantwell is home to numerous wildlife, including: grizzly & black bears, caribou and Dall sheep that roam the mountain sides. Moose, wolves, fox, coyotes, lynx and snowshoe hares are only a few of the animals that visit our woods. We can see caribou grazing on the lichens of the tundra, either in small groups or by the thousands traveling by.

Berry Picking

Cantwell is a blueberry and cranberry picker’s paradise beginning in July.