National Park Guides

Denali National Park: Experience Sled Dog Kennels and Remote Wilderness

POSTED ON February 28, 2024 BY Ralph S.


Introduction

In the heart of the remote Alaskan wilderness lies Denali National Park, a majestic enclave home to North America’s tallest mountain, Denali, formerly named McKinley. The Eielson Visitor Center offers an aerial view into the rugged terrain, where the Northern Lights dance above in a cosmic display of natural art.

Here, you can traverse the iconic Denali Park Road, where each turn brings a breathtaking vista of towering peaks and sprawling forests, hallmarks of the majestic Alaska Range.

Visitors are welcomed at the Denali Visitor Center, a starting point for an adventure through a landscape that stretches over six million acres—a vast expanse of natural beauty that has been designated both a national park and an international biosphere reserve.

Whether you seek the thrill of hiking trails that wind through this wilderness area or yearn for the tranquility of Wonder Lake, the park rangers are steadfast guardians, dedicated to preserve Denali National Park’s abundant wildlife and varied ecosystems.

Denali National Park History

Denali National Park

Denali National Park has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, with traces of early human encounters that still resonate through its vast landscapes. It wasn’t until 1906, however, that the area began to stir a broader interest when naturalist Charles Alexander Sheldon conceived a steadfast resolve to preserve this part of the Alaska Range as a protected area.

Prompted by the overhunting of the local Dall sheep population, Sheldon and guide Harry Karstens, who would become the park’s first superintendent, passionately advocated for the establishment of a national park.

Their collaborative efforts with the Boone and Crockett Club led to the creation of Mount McKinley National Park, encompassing over 2 million acres, on February 26, 1917, through an act signed by President Woodrow Wilson. This historical milestone was guided by the vision of conserving wildlife and awe-inspiring landscapes for future generations, a goal cherished and supported by the National Park Service, which was established just the year before, in 1916.

The development of the park gained momentum under the stewardship of Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service. Mather’s vision for preserving the pristine wilderness dovetailed with Sheldon’s dream, and in 1921, the park’s boundaries were expanded, providing additional protection to its diverse ecosystems.

The park underwent significant changes in 1980 when the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, signed by President Jimmy Carter, expanded its boundaries by four million acres and renamed it Denali National Park and Preserve, enhancing protection for a larger swath of the Alaska wilderness.

Notably, the park owes much of its present-day form to the dedicated efforts of people like Margaret “Mardy” Murie, often regarded as the “Grandmother of Conservation.” Murie’s tireless advocacy for wilderness preservation influenced the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980, securing more land for the park and ensuring its ecological integrity.

The same act also helped the park acquire the honorific status of an international biosphere reserve, reinforcing its pivotal role in conservation and ecological research.

Today, Denali National Park is not just a testament to natural preservation but also a celebration of collaborative conservation efforts. Visitors interested in wildlife, pristine terrain, and the journey to this remote haven from Anchorage.

Over the years, Denali has remained an enduring symbol of wild America, inspiring with its expansive landscapes and thriving biodiversity.

Key Facts about Denali National Park

Denali Mountain

  • Location: Interior Alaska, United States
  • Size: approximately 6 million acres (19,186 km2), making it one of the largest national parks in the United States.
  • Establishment Date: February 26, 1917 (as Mount McKinley National Park), renamed and expanded in 1980 as Denali National Park and Preserve.
  • Number of Visitors (2019): Around 427,562 (in 2022)
  • Number of Hiking Trails: about 20, with several off-trail hiking routes
  • Total Length of Hiking Trails: The park does not maintain an extensive trail system; most trails near the entrance area total about 37.3 miles (60 km). More info here.
  • Lowest Point: The Yentna River at 240 feet above sea level
  • Highest Point: The summit of Denali/Mount McKinley at 20,310 feet above sea level, North America’s highest peak
  • Pass: Purchase a digital site pass before your visit to cover entrance fees at this location

Other Interesting Facts about Denali National Park and Preserve

Alaska Range, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

  • Diverse Wildlife: Denali National Park is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep, and caribou. The National Park Service provides visitors with guidelines on how to safely observe and interact with the park’s wildlife, ensuring both animal and human safety.
  • Sled Dog Kennels: The park is unique as it houses the only working sled dog kennels in any U.S. national park. These Alaskan Huskies are vital for patrolling the park during the winter months, and visitors can learn more about the kennels and their role in park management through ranger-led tours.
  • Spectacular Wilderness: With only one road, Denali Park Road, and very few trails, Denali is largely wilderness. This allows visitors to experience the landscape much like the first explorers did, with opportunities for backcountry hiking and camping.
  • Mountaineering Mecca: Denali’s towering peak is a mecca for mountaineers worldwide. Every year, hundreds of climbers attempt to reach Denali’s summit, with information and guidelines provided by the park’s Mountaineering Headquarters.
  • Science and Research: Denali National Park is a center for research and study of subarctic ecosystems. Scientists from all over the globe come to study its geology, wildlife, and weather patterns, supported by the Denali Science School.
  • Subarctic Ecosystem: The park features a subarctic ecosystem with habitats ranging from taiga forests to tundra. These diverse environments support a wide variety of plant life, which can be explored through the National Park Service’s resources.
  • Natural Wonder: Denali National Park is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, offering unparalleled views of the Alaska Range and the expansive wilderness. The park’s landscape is marked by glaciers, rugged mountains, and vast expanses of unspoiled nature.
  • Preservation of Indigenous Culture: The park is not only a haven for nature enthusiasts but also holds cultural significance for indigenous Athabascan people. Denali is integral to their heritage and the name “Denali” comes from the native language, meaning “The High One.”
  • Aurora Borealis Spectacle: Denali is one of the best places in the world to see the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, due to its location and dark skies. The National Park Service offers tips for visitors eager to witness this stunning natural phenomenon.
  • Formerly Known As Mount McKinley: Denali’s main peak was known as Mount McKinley until 2015 when it was officially renamed Denali. This change honored the indigenous name for the mountain, and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names provides more details.
  • Extreme Weather: The park experiences some of the most extreme weather in the world, with temperatures at the summit of Denali dropping as low as -75°F (-60°C) and wind chills down to -118°F (-83°C). The National Park Service’s weather station details specifics about the challenging conditions faced there.
  • Visitor Education: Denali National Park prioritizes education, offering various ranger-led programs and the Denali Visitor Center’s exhibits that educate visitors about the park’s ecosystems and history. By visiting the National Park Service’s educational page, potential visitors can plan educational activities during their visit.
  • Climate Research Importance: The park’s vast, untouched geological formations and ecosystems make it a critical location for climate research. Studies conducted in Denali inform broader understandings of global climate patterns, as highlighted by the National Park Service’s research page.

Climate and Weather

Denali National Park in Winter

Denali National Park, with its vast wilderness, experiences a subarctic climate characterized by long, cold winters and short, mild summers. Each season brings its own unique charm and challenges, offering visitors a chance to witness the park’s dynamic landscapes and abundant wildlife.

Here’s what to expect:

Spring (April–May)

As the snow begins to thaw, Denali National Park prepares for the bloom of new life in the Alaska Range. In the spring, temperatures range from highs of  10°C to lows of -7°C (20°F to 50°F).  This season is less frequented but offers a unique experience in Denali National Park, as the National Park Service starts to clear the Denali Park Road, allowing access to areas like the Savage River Loop Trail.

Rangers resume their positions at the Denali Visitor Center, preparing for visitors eager to take advantage of the solitary hiking trails and the chance to see the wildlife emerge. The climate can be unpredictable, often with lingering snowstorms, so individuals visiting the park during this time must prepare for potential cold snap conditions.

Summer (June–August)

Summer brings warmer weather and the peak of visitor season to Denali National Park. Average temperatures lie between 50°F at night and 75°F during the day (10°C to 24°C).

Visitors journeying along the George Parks Highway to the park entrance can indulge in nearly 24 hours of daylight and a landscape flourishing with wildlife. The extensive preserve of Denali National Park becomes fully accessible, from the Savage River to Wonder Lake, providing outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities.

This is the ideal season for those looking to visit Denali National Park and traverse the hiking trails, join ranger-led programs, and spot grizzly bears, caribou, moose, mountain sheep, and wolves in their natural habitat.

Another popular way to explore Denali is through tour buses.

Fall (September–October)

Autumn in Denali witnesses a crisp change in the air as foliage turns and temperatures start to cool, averaging between 50°F and 20°F (10°C and -6.5°C). The visitor traffic along the Parks Highway and at bus depots slows down, and certain services, like bus tours to Eielson Visitor Center, may lessen or close as the season progresses.

The Northern Lights begin to make spectacular appearances for those touring Denali’s towering peaks in the darkening skies. It is also the season when wildlife prepares for the winter, offering exceptional viewing experiences, especially for photographers.

Winter (November–March)

Winter cloaks Denali National Park and Preserve in snow, ice, and profound silence, with temperatures ranging from -7°C to -29°C (20°F to -20°F). It is certainly the most challenging season with limited access – the park road is closed beyond the Savage River to private vehicles – but it offers unparalleled winter wilderness adventures. Activities shift to snowshoeing, guided hikes, cross-country skiing on established trails, and dog-sled viewing of wildlife.

For the prepared and adventurous spirits, Denali’s wilderness area becomes a serene, icy domain, and the bus tours to catch glimpses of the Northern Lights are at their most resplendent. The extreme weather and limited daylight hours mean that any venture into Denali National Park during the winter requires planning, caution, and appropriate gear.

Check with the National Park Service for up-to-date information on road and facility status.

Essential Gear for Your Denali National Park Adventure

Alaska Range, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

When planning your adventure to Denali National Park, selecting the right gear is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience. The National Park encompasses a variety of terrains and climates, so versatility in equipment is key.

  • Clothing: Due to the variable weather along Denali Park Road and within the Alaska Range, it is essential to dress in layers. Your base layer should be made of moisture-wicking materials to keep you dry from sweat. Insulating layers such as fleece or down jackets are necessary to combat the cold, especially in the high altitudes near North America’s tallest mountain. Read more about layering for outdoor activities in our dedicated guide.
  • Footwear: Whether you’re walking the Savage River Loop Trail or trekking to Wonder Lake, sturdy hiking boots are a necessity if you’re encountering wet or snowy conditions. They should be waterproof, provide ankle support, and, ideally, be broken in before your trip to minimize blisters. Also, consider packing extra socks to change into as needed for comfort and hygiene.

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  • Navigation and Safety: Before you set out from the park entrance, ensure you have a map and compass because you might not always have a reliable signal for GPS. Moreover, because of the possibility of encountering grizzly bears and other wildlife, it’s advisable to carry bear spray and know how to use it.
  • Gear for Activities: Depending on your activities, your gear will vary. For those planning to visit Denali National Park for photography or bird watching, bring binoculars and a camera with a good zoom lens. Silverlight’s guide to wildlife photography can help you make the most of your equipment.
  • Backpack: A durable and spacious backpack is a must for carrying essentials like water, snacks, extra layers, and a first-aid kit. Look for a backpack with adjustable straps for comfort during extended hikes.
  • Miscellaneous: Other recommended items include sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, a first-aid kit, and a hydration system or water purifier. For multi-day hikes, a reliable tent and sleeping bag rated for the lowest temperatures you might encounter are essential in the Wilderness Area. Check on regulations concerning personal vehicles and bus tours if you plan to go beyond the Savage River checkpoint.

Remember, being well-prepared with the right gear is the best way to ensure a safe and remarkable experience. Always check in at the nearest Visitor Center for current trail conditions and other wildlife activity updates.

What to Do in Denali National Park

Alaska Range, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Besides admiring the stunning views and experiencing the unique winter wilderness, there are plenty of exciting activities to do in Denali National Park. Here’s a guide to what to do to make the most of your visit:

Hiking and Backpacking

Hiking in Denali National Park

Denali boasts a variety of hiking trails suitable for different skill levels. From short walks like the Savage River Loop Trail to challenging hikes like the Triple Lakes Trail, there’s a trail for every adventurer. Don’t forget to check out the guided hikes offered by park rangers for a more informative experience.

Best Hikes in Denali National Park

  • Horseshoe Lake Trail: The Horseshoe Lake Trail offers an idyllic 2-mile (3.2 km) round-trip hike that takes about 2 hours from the trailhead to complete. This trail, while short and near the park entrance, presents a gentle introduction to the Denali wilderness. The path winds through a verdant forest and opens to views of the mountain Denali. The Horseshoe Lake Trail is a family-friendly option and a perfect starting point for visitors interested in experiencing the park’s natural beauty without embarking on a strenuous journey.
  • Mount Healy Overlook Trail: Ascending to the Mount Healy Overlook Trail, this hike demands a moderate effort for its 2.7-mile (4.3 km) one-way span. Starting from the Denali Visitor Center, it typically takes around 2 hours to reach the overlook. The trail rewards hikers with panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the picturesque wilderness of the national park and preserve. Ranger-led programs are sometimes conducted along parts of this trail, giving insights into the park’s ecology and geology. Check out Mount Healy Overlook Trail Guide.
  • McKinley Station Trail: The McKinley Station Trail provides visitors with a moderate 1.6-mile (2.5 km) walk that beckons with historical and natural splendors. Starting from the Denali Visitor Center, it takes about an hour to reach Riley Creek Campground or Riley Creek Mercantile. As you meander along the trail that traces the park road, you’re likely to spot some of Denali’s wildlife, including moose or even black bears. The path itself is comfortably close to visitor services, making it a safe and accessible option for those who want to explore Denali without venturing too far off the beaten path. Check out McKinley Station Trail Guide
  • Roadside Hiking Trail: For those who hop on the Roadside Hiking Trail, a moderately strenuous 1.8-mile (2.9 km) trek awaits. The duration is approximately one hour from the Denali Visitor Center to Park Headquarters and the fascinating sled dog kennels. As you hike this trail, you traverse through the scenic Taiga forest, punctuated by opportunities to see caribou grazing in the distant Alaska landscape. Although the terrain may be challenging, the proximity to visitor centers and gift shops ensures that the trail remains well-traveled, and help is never far away should you need it. Check out Roadside Trail Guide
  • Rock Creek Trail: The Rock Creek Trail offers hikers an engaging 2.4-mile (3.8 km) one-way journey that takes around 1.5 hours from the Denali Visitor Center. This trail allows visitors to deeply connect with the wilderness as they cross babbling brooks and navigate densely forested areas. With its proximity to the visitor centers, the Rock Creek Trail is convenient for those looking to fit in an adventure without straying too far. Along the way, one could encounter the diverse wildlife that calls the park home, including wolves and black bears, under the watchful eye of the majestic mountain Denali. Check out the Rock Creek Trail Guide.
  • Triple Lakes Trail: Finally, for the ultimate trekking challenge, the Triple Lakes Trail stands as the longest trail in Denali National Park. Spanning 9.5 miles (15 km) one-way, it requires 4 to 5 hours to travel from one end to the other. The terrain varies throughout the journey, treating hikers to a distinctive experience that incorporates the essence of hiking off-trail. A memorable and unique opportunity in this national park and preserve. The trail provides views of scenic lakes, the thrill of crossing a suspension bridge, and the potential for wildlife sightings. Its sheer length and varied landscapes make it popular among seasoned adventurers and those looking to immerse themselves in the splendor of the Alaskan wilderness. Check out the Triple Lakes Trail Guide.

Don’t leave without checking out the park’s self-guided trail hikes or downloading a print-friendly map and chart of trail info.

Camping

Shuttle Bus, Denali National Park, Alaska

Campgrounds in Denali National Park and Preserve are strategically located to provide a range of experiences, from the convenience of car camping to the solitude of backcountry sites. Permits and reservations for camping should be obtained in advance so you can ensure your spot in this majestic landscape.

Here’s a rundown of the available campgrounds:

  • Riley Creek Campground: Located near the park entrance, Riley Creek Campground is the most accessible option. Open year-round, it offers both tent and RV sites, providing a convenient starting point for your Denali adventure.
  • Savage River Campground: Situated at mile 13 on Denali Park Road, Savage River Campground is a popular choice for those seeking a more secluded camping experience. Open in summer only (May 20 to mid-September), it offers tent-only sites, allowing you to immerse yourself in the surrounding wilderness.
  • Sanctuary River Campground: Further into the park at mile 22, Sanctuary River Campground provides a serene setting along the Teklanika River. Open in summer only (May 20 to mid-September), this campground features tent-only sites, allowing campers to enjoy the sounds of nature in a peaceful environment.
  • Teklanika River Campground: Located at mile 29, Teklanika River Campground offers a deeper immersion into Denali’s wilderness. It is primarily designed for campers using the Teklanika Shuttle and features tent-only sites. It is open in summer only (May 20 to mid-September).
  • Igloo Creek Campground: Igloo Creek Campground, at mile 34, is a tent-only campground accessible by the park’s shuttle system. It offers a more remote camping experience. However, as of writing this article, the campground is closed until further notice.
  • Wonder Lake Campground: Positioned at mile 85 on Denali Park Road, Wonder Lake Campground is known for its stunning views of Denali. However, as of writing this article, the campground is closed until further notice. It typically offers 28 tent-only sites, allowing for a truly immersive experience in the heart of the park. It’s advisable to check for updates on the campground’s status and reservation availability.

For all camping inquiries and to secure your reservation at a campground, please visit Denali National Park Campgrounds Reservations. Keep in mind that availability is seasonal and weather-dependent, and planning ahead is crucial for securing a spot during the busy summer months.

Photography

Shuttle Bus, Denali National Park, Alaska

With its breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife, Denali is a photographer’s paradise. Join a photography workshop or venture out on your own to capture the beauty of this national park.

In winter, the snow-covered landscapes in the park also offer breathtaking opportunities for photography.

Wildlife Watching

Shuttle Bus, Denali National Park, Alaska

Denali National Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including moose, caribou, wolves, and grizzly bears. Take a guided tour or venture out on your own for a chance to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Winter is an excellent time for spotting wildlife in the park. With fewer visitors, animals are more likely to be seen, and their tracks in the snow make for exciting sightings.

More information is available here.

Winter Activities

Denali National Park

For those looking for a more intense winter activity, cross-country skiing is an excellent option. With miles of trails to explore, you can take in the serene beauty of Denali National Park while getting a great workout.

Snowshoeing is also an excellent way to explore the park’s trails and get up close to nature. Rent snowshoes at the Wilderness Access Center, or join a guided tour for a more in-depth experience. Make reservations here.

Check out more information about winter activities here.

Fishing

Wonder Lake

For anglers, Denali National Park presents a serene setting to enjoy fishing amid the vast Alaskan wilderness. The park offers a selection of quiet streams and pristine lakes ideal for catching arctic grayling and Dolly Varden. Notably, the Teklanika, Toklat, and Savage River, are popular spots among fishing enthusiasts. Before casting a line, visitors must be aware of the delicate ecosystem and strictly adhere to the catch-and-release practices encouraged within the park to maintain the natural fish populations.

Before heading out, it is essential for visitors to obtain an Alaska State Fishing License, which is a regulatory requirement. Since fishing regulations are subject to change, maintaining up-to-date knowledge of the latest rules is crucial. These can include specific catch limits, gear restrictions, and seasonal guidelines designed to protect both the fish and their habitat.

Regulations and detailed information about fishing in Denali National Park are available online or at the various visitor centers within the park, ensuring that your angling adventure aligns with environmental stewardship.

Dog Sledding

Dog sled tours offer an unforgettable way to experience Denali’s snowy terrain while taking in views of wildlife. You can opt for a guided tour or learn how to mush yourself with experienced guides.

Read more about the Kennels here.

Northern Lights Viewing

Denali National Park and Preserve is one of the best places in the world to catch a glimpse of the stunning Northern Lights during the darker months. The park’s remote location and minimal light pollution make it an ideal spot for aurora borealis viewing. You can also join a bus tour or hike to a secluded spot for optimal viewing conditions.

Where to Stay

Shuttle Bus, Denali National Park, Alaska

Finding the right lodging within or near Denali National Park is crucial for maximizing your experience in this pristine wilderness. While options are limited within the park itself, there are charming accommodations in nearby towns. Let’s explore the choices:

Within the Park:

Remote Wilderness Lodges in the Kantishna Area:

Lodging within Denali National Park is limited, and the majority of options are situated in the remote Kantishna area at the end of the Park Road. These lodges provide an immersive experience amid the park’s breathtaking landscapes.

  • Camp Denali: Offering a blend of comfort and wilderness immersion, Camp Denali is an intimate lodge nestled in the heart of Denali. With only a limited number of cabins, guests enjoy a secluded and authentic Alaskan experience. For reservations and details, contact Camp Denali directly.
  • Denali Backcountry Lodge: As one of the exclusive lodges within the park, Denali Backcountry Lodge provides cozy accommodations surrounded by stunning vistas. The lodge is committed to sustainability and offers various activities to explore the wilderness. For bookings and inquiries, reach out to Denali Backcountry Lodge.
  • Kantishna Roadhouse: Kantishna Roadhouse is another remote gem, offering rustic charm and a historic atmosphere. Guests can savor locally sourced meals and engage in guided activities that showcase Denali’s beauty. For more information on staying at Kantishna Roadhouse, contact the lodge directly.
  • Skyline Lodge: Skyline Lodge, perched in the Kantishna hills, provides panoramic views of Denali’s wilderness. This lodge offers comfortable accommodations and is an excellent choice for those seeking a tranquil escape. For inquiries about stays at Skyline Lodge, contact the lodge directly.

Nearby Towns:

  • Denali National Park Village: Located just outside the park entrance, the Denali National Park Village offers a range of accommodations, including hotels, cabins, and lodges. This area provides convenient access to the park’s entrance and various amenities.
  • Healy: Healy (direction), a small town located about 11 miles (17 km) north of Denali, provides additional lodging options. From cozy bed and breakfasts to cabins, Healy offers a more relaxed atmosphere while still being close to the park.
  • Talkeetna: For those seeking a unique experience, Talkeetna (direction), about 47 miles (75 km) south of Denali, boasts a vibrant arts scene and stunning views. Lodging options include charming inns, lodges, and cabins.
  • Cantwell: located about 40 miles (64 km) from Denali Park, Cantwell (direction) provides a quiet setting with a few lodging choices.
  • Nenana: Located further away, about 135 miles (217 km) east of Denali (direction), Nenana offers a peaceful retreat with unique lodging options such as cabins and cozy bed and breakfasts. Nenana RV Park and Campground is your best option for camping.

How to Get There and Getting Around

Shuttle Bus, Denali National Park, Alaska

Embarking on the adventure of exploring Denali National Park requires thoughtful planning when it comes to transportation. Whether you’re arriving from Anchorage or another part of Alaska, understanding how to get there and get around is essential for a seamless experience.

Getting to Denali National Park:

  • By Air: The closest major airport to Denali National Park is Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), the state’s major gateway. From Anchorage, you can take a scenic train ride, bus, or drive along the George Parks Highway to reach the park. The breathtaking journey takes you through picturesque landscapes, offering a taste of the natural wonders awaiting you.
  • By Train: Consider taking the Alaska Railroad, which offers a scenic rail route from Anchorage to Denali. The train journey provides stunning views of mountains, rivers, and valleys, offering a unique perspective on Alaska’s vast wilderness.
  • By Car: If you prefer the flexibility of driving, the George Parks Highway (Alaska Route 3) is the main road connecting Anchorage to Denali. The drive runs from Anchorage to Fairbank and offers opportunities to explore charming towns and stop at viewpoints along the way.

Getting Around Denali National Park:

  • Denali Park Road: Denali Park Road is the primary artery for exploring the park’s interior. While the first 15 miles (24 km) are open to private vehicles, beyond that point, access is restricted, and visitors rely on a tour bus, shuttles, or alternative transportation.
  • Tour Buses and Shuttles: Consider booking a bus tour for a comprehensive exploration of Denali. These tours, ranging from half-day to full-day excursions, offer an immersive experience with knowledgeable guides sharing insights into the park’s natural wonders. The Denali Bus Depot serves as a central hub for these services.
  • Personal Vehicles: While private vehicles are allowed on the first 15 miles (24 km) of Denali Park Road, beyond that point, visitors must utilize park-provided transportation. This regulation is in place to minimize the impact on the park’s pristine environment and wildlife.
  • Eielson Visitor Center Shuttle: For a more extended journey, take the Eielson Visitor Center Shuttle. This service provides a guided experience with stops at key points along Denali Park Road, allowing you to explore and appreciate the park’s vastness.
  • Discover Denali Shuttle: The Discover Denali Shuttle offers hop-on-hop-off flexibility for exploring the park’s scenic viewpoints, hiking trails, and visitor centers. This service allows you to tailor your itinerary based on your interests. You can make reservations online.

For more details on planning your visit and discovering Denali, visit the official National Park Service website.

Conclusion

Experience Denali National Park Preserve through guided hikes or hop on a bus for an extended journey along the Parks Highway, with opportunities to hop off and discover serene beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities, from moose to wolves to the elusive caribou.

From the Pretty Rocks Landslide to the grandeur of Denali, this national park and preserve invites all to admire, explore, and honor the essence of Alaska’s untamed spirit.

No visit to Denali is complete without acknowledging its role as a preserve, with efforts to maintain and protect the unique ecosystem, including the Teklanika River and the habitats that thrive along the Savage River.

Find more inspiration in our other National Park Guides for other exciting destinations.


RALPH S.

Ralph S. is the founder of Silverlight, an avid hiker and trail runner he enjoys spending time outdoors, riding his motorcycle and swimming at the beach when he's not busy replying to customers or developing new Silverlight gear.

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