U.S. National Parks by ParkReservations.Com and Yellowstone Net

 Denali National Park & Preserve
 Plan Your Visit

  Plan Your National Park Vacation Today1



Other Popular Destinations:  Greater Yellowstone Colorado Jackson Hole •  Hawaii Alaska California


Introduction      Plan Your Visit       Weather       Activities      Wildlife      Environment
Hiking      History and Culture
        Mountaineering        More Information














































Denali National Park & Preserve is open year-round to visitors. The park is famous for spectacular landscapes, rugged peaks, and abundant wildlife. The Alaska Range, where Mt. McKinley is located, splits the park into north and south sides.


The North Side

The majority of visitors access the north side of the park by way of a single road 90 miles long. Beyond Mile 15 of the park road, visitors cannot drive personal vehicles and must enter the park by bus, bike, or on foot. The main Visitors Center is located on the north side of the park as well as a majority of the interpretative programs. The Visitor Center is open from May 15th to September 15th, and the Murie Science & Learning Center is open the all year and during the winter they are there to answer visitor's questions or help plan trips daily from 10 am to 4 pm.

The South Side

Denali National Park & Preserve's south side is accessed mostly by mountaineers climbing Mt. McKinley and other peaks in the Alaska Range, or by scenic flight tours. Climbers are required to check in with rangers at the Talkeetna Ranger Station before climbing Denali. The Talkeetna Ranger Station stays open year round. Rangers at the Talkeetna Ranger Station also offer interpretative programs about the park throughout the summer.

How to Get to Denali

PLANE -- Fly to either Anchorage or Fairbanks and then travel by car/shuttle/train to Denali. The park is 240 miles north of Anchorage, and 125 miles south of Fairbanks.

CAR -- Denali National Park & Preserve headquarters is located along Alaska Route 3, the George Parks Highway, approximately 240 miles north of Anchorage, AK, 125 miles south of Fairbanks, AK, and 12 miles south of Healy, AK. Denali Park's mountaineering headquarters is located in Talkeetna, AK, approximately 100 miles north of Anchorage, AK.

TRAIN -- Alaska's State Railroad runs directly to the entrance of Denali National Park & Preserve.

Operating Hours: Denali National Park & Preserve stays open year-round. The park road opens in late May depending on the weather, and closes in mid-September, also weather dependent.

What to Do

If you have ˝ a day… participate in one of the sled dog demonstrations conducted three times daily during peak season (May -- September). Free bus transportation from the Visitor Center is offered.

Hike an entrance area trail. Each of these trails provides opportunities to explore the taiga (boreal forest) and observe wildlife. Go on your own or join a ranger-guided walk.

Watch the orientation slide program at the Visitor Center, and hike down to Horseshoe Lake or to the Mt. Healy Overlook.

Ride the Savage River shuttle bus to Mile 15. Keep a lookout for moose, caribou, wolves and ptarmigan. In clear weather, Mt. McKinley may be seen in the distance from Mile 9. Once at the Savage River Day Use Area, hike the Savage River Trail.

If you have a full day….take a shuttle bus to Fish Creek at Mile 63 on the park road. From this location enjoy tremendous views of Mt. McKinley.

Plan your own hike. Topographic maps, guidebooks, and knowledgeable staff can assist you in planning a trip. All are available at the Visitor Center, or online at the Alaska Natural History Association bookstore.

If you have a few days… you have the opportunity to create more Denali memories to carry home. Plan in advance to camp at one of the park campgrounds or hike and enjoy an interpretive program. For the adventurous, obtain a backcountry permit and take a few days to explore Denali’s vast backcountry.

Join a ranger for a Discovery Hike. There are ranger lead walks & talks every day. You must sign up in advance at the main Visitor Center for Discovery Hikes.

Visit Denali’s Talkeetna Ranger Station, located 100 miles south of the park in the town of Talkeetna. This is a spectacular road trip that goes through Denali State Park and provides ample opportunities for viewing the mountain on clear days.

See a full list of year-round activities in and around Denali National Park & Preserve.


Need help finding information about local accomodations? The Greater Healy Chamber of Commerce is available to help plan your trip to Denali. The chamber has information on everything from lodging to activities.

Construction Delays:

While visiting Denali this winter you will notice various construction activity in the entrance area of the park.  This is part of the park’s Frontcountry Development Plan to improve visitor facilities and access in the entrance area. The plan includes road realignment, a new visitor center, a new science and learning center, railroad depot remodel and more. The improvements are scheduled for completion by summer 2005.

Fees & Permits

Entrance Fee: The Park entrance fee is $10.00 a person or $20.00 a family (effective January 1st, 2005). The entrance fee is collected when you purchase a bus ticket or a campground stay. If you are not taking a bus or staying in a campground, please pay your entrance fee at the Visitor Center or the Wilderness Access Center when you arrive.

Permits: Permits are required for overnight backcountry travel in the old park and Kantishna-area units. Permits are free. If you plan to climb Denali, you are required to register, and pay for a permit 60 days in advance of your climb.


  Images and text courtesy of National Park Service.




ParkReservations.Com and Yellowstone Net are Produced by
Bruce Gourley, Russ Finley
,  & Tim Gourley.
Copyright 1997-2010 by Bruce Gourley.