From catapulting flaming soldiers over castle walls to sitting on active geysers, humans have long been fixated on flying through the air. Absorb the wonderment of flight with today’s Groupon: for $195, you get a Mountain House Tour flight for two from Sheldon Air Services in Talkeetna (a $390 value).
With 32 years of experience guiding adventurers to Denali National Park's majestic glaciers, David Lee Sheldon of Sheldon Air Service reveals Alaska's picturesque bounty during exhilarating Flightseeing tours. The 60-minute Mountain House tour invites tour-goers to climb aboard a Cessna 185 or deHavilland Beaver aircraft and absorb the breathtaking views of Mt. McKinley's south face from takeoff to landing. While passengers converse comfortably and compete to get glaciers to honk at them, the plane zips them through the Great Gorge of Ruth glacier, North America's deepest gorge, and carries them high above the Tokositna glacier.
The flight's ultimate destination is a flyover of the Don Sheldon amphitheater and the Mountain House shelter David built to escape house calls from traveling HVAC salesmen. The tour affords two opportunities for landing: one at the Ruth amphitheater, which adds an extra 30 minutes to the tour's duration, and one at the base of the Mountain House, which costs an additional $75 per person and provides ample chances to snap timeless pictures.
Passengers can purchase a glacier landing for an additional $75 per person.
Sheldon Air Service
According to Malcom Gladwell’s hypothesis from Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of practice in a field to reach the heights of success achieved by Bill Gates, the Beatles, and other icons. This makes Sheldon Air Service’s David Lee the Paul McCartney of pilots—every time he takes to the air, Lee draws upon experience gained during more than three decades of experience and 12,000 flight hours.
Lee’s carefully honed talent—and his specialization in glacier landings—makes him an ideal guide for the company’s three flightseeing tours. One heads to the Mountain House Shelter, which founder Don Sheldon built, while others glide to Kahiltna Glacier Base Camp or Denali National Park. The air service can also aid arctic adventurers, offering air support to mountaineering expeditions or skyward tracking of the Iditarod’s meandering course.