A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Glacier National Park vs. Denali National Park

Should you visit Glacier National Park or Denali National Park?

Should I visit Glacier National Park or Denali National Park? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park (official website) is a large park situated in the far north of Montana, bordering Canada. The park borders the Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and both share UNESCO World Heritage Site and are biosphere reserves. Glacier National Park offers over 700 miles of trails and countless activities, including hiking, biking, canoeing, and fishing. As the park is split by the Continental Divide, the east and west sides of the park experience fairly different weather. The western side of the park gets the most rainfall while the eastern side offers more sunshine, but also more wind. During summer months, temperatures can get into the 90's Fahrenheit during the day while winter sees temperatures in the 20's and plenty of snowfall. The high season for the park is June-September, which is also when the majority of hiking trails, hotels, and shops are open.

Denali National Park

There is a place in Alaska, 240 miles wide, where you can be a part of the wild frontier. The expansive and untouched area of Denali National Park welcomes thousands of visitors ever year with stunning natural wonders and incredible wildlife like grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou and more.

As home to North America's tallest peak, Denali has attracted nature adventurers from all over the world. Established in 1917 as wildlife refuge, Denali National Park contains areas of tundra and taiga. Taiga zones are covered in evergreen, spruce and aspen trees, while tundra zones are full of miniaturized versions of the plants including flowers, mosses and shrubs.

Remember that the weather changes without warning in Denali. It is a well known to the locals that you can expect sun, wind, rain and clouds in the same day. Pack accordingly.

Which city is cheaper, Denali National Park or Glacier National Park?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Glacier National Park is $102, while the average daily cost in Denali National Park is $175. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Glacier National Park and Denali National Park in more detail.




Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $45. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Glacier National Park the cost is $90 on average.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $186 in Denali National Park For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Glacier National Park $45
    Denali National Park $93
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Glacier National Park $90
    Denali National Park $186


Food

While meal prices in Glacier National Park can vary, the average travelers spends about $23 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Glacier National Park should cost around $9.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Glacier National Park is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

Denali National Park food costs typically run travelers around $45 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Glacier National Park $23
    Denali National Park $45


Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Glacier National Park is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $55 per person, per day, on local transportation in Glacier National Park.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Denali National Park than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $61 on transportation in Denali National Park on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Glacier National Park $55
    Denali National Park $61


Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Glacier National Park typically cost an average of $27 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Sightseeing expenses in Denali National Park, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $24 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Glacier National Park $27
    Denali National Park $24


Alcohol

The average person spends about $6.73 on alcoholic beverages in Glacier National Park per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Denali National Park, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.71.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Glacier National Park $6.73
    Denali National Park $9.71



When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Glacier National Park and Denali National Park, we can see that Denali National Park is more expensive. And not only is Glacier National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Glacier National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Glacier National Park and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Denali National Park would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Denali National Park than you might in Glacier National Park.

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Glacier National Park vs. Denali National Park Travel Comparison

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