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
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
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
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
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.
Alaska's State Railroad runs directly to the entrance of Denali National
Park & Preserve.
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
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.
entrance area trail. Each of these trails provides opportunities to
explore the taiga (boreal forest) and observe wildlife. Go on your own or
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
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
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
Join a ranger for
Discovery Hike. There are ranger lead walks & talks every day. You
must sign up in advance at the main Visitor Center for Discovery Hikes.
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
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.
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
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 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