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Denali National Park

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

37 mi 59 km of trail 8 Featured Hikes

Gems 6 Gems Easy Trails 18 Trails Intermediate Trails 9 Trails Hard Trails 0 Trails

Denali National Park is made up of six million acres of untamed land, divided by a single road. Visitors who travel along the road experience a variety of environments present within the park, enjoying the low-elevation boreal forest which gives way to high alpine tundra and snow-capped mountains. The centerpiece of this amazing alpine landscape is Denali, North America's highest peak rising to a staggering 20,310 feet above sea level. Large and small creatures roam these unbounded lands, existing as they have for ages. Seclusion, wilderness, and tranquility await visitors.

To learn more about Denali National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
  • Denali Visitor Center: Open May 15 through mid-September, 8 am to 6 pm
  • Eielson Visitor Center: Open June 1 through mid-September, 9 am to 7 pm
  • Murie Science and Learning Center: Open daily from 9 am to 4 pm
  • Wilderness Access Center: Open May 15 through mid-September, 7 am to 7 pm
  • Talkeetna Ranger Station: Open year round - hours vary by season

Visiting Tips

Denali National Park is open year round, and most summer visitor services and activities are available between late May and early September. Operating hours at Denali are highly dependent on seasons and weather. To check current operating hours and for more information about seasonal activities and closures, visit the park's website.

The park's one road, Denali Park Road, is 92 miles long, and only the first 15 miles are paved. The paved portion, leading from the park entrance to Savage River, is open during the summer for public (non-commercial) vehicles to drive. Summer travel beyond mile 15 is restricted to shuttle or tour bus or under human power.

The summer season in Denali runs from late May through early September. Visitors hoping to catch the wildflowers at their peak will want to visit the park from mid-June to mid-July. The wildflowers tend to peak around July 1 along and near the road and continue later into July at higher elevations and on north-facing slopes. Fall colors in the park are best observed from the last week of August through the first week of September depending on the weather as early snow or hard rain and wind can rapidly spoil the fall colors.

Fees & Passes:
To learn more about park fees, click here.

Camping & Lodging

Camping:
There are six established campgrounds in Denali. Reservations for each summer season can be made as early as December 1 of the preceding year. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1 (800) 622-7275.

  • Riley Creek: Open year round, fees charged May 15 - mid-September each year, free in winter
  • Savage River: Open May 19 - mid-September
  • Sanctuary River: Open May 20 - mid-September
  • Teklanika River: Open May 20 - mid-September
  • Igloo Creek: Open May 20 - mid-September
  • Wonder Lake: Open June 8 - mid-September

In addition to the established campgrounds at Denali, visitors can camp in the backcountry while on a backpacking trip. For more details about camping within the park, click here.

Lodging:
There are no NPS-operated accommodations in Denali. There are a few privately run lodges within the park in addition to a broad variety of lodging facilities outside of the park. To learn more about lodging in and around Denali, visit the park's website.

Food & Drink

The Morino Grill, located next to the Denali Visitor Center, is the only restaurant in the park. Snacks can be purchased at the Wilderness Access Center and snacks, sandwiches, and camping food can be purchased at the Mercantile located in the Riley Creek Campground.

In summer, there are numerous restaurants that operate outside of the park, along Highway 3. The summer season runs from June through August. Businesses open at different times each year, so prepare for limited services if you visit in May or September. In fall, winter, and spring, the nearest restaurants and convenience stores are located in Healy, 11 miles to the north.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

Guided Tours:
Denali National Park offers a variety of ranger-led programs. Programs are typically offered from late May or early June until mid-September and with the exception of Discovery Hikes and the Kantishna Experience Tour, all ranger hikes, sled dog demonstrations, campground programs and other talks in Denali are free and do not reqire advanced sign up. To learn more about these ranger-led programs and to see the current calendar of events, visit the park's website.

Shuttle Buses:
Summer travel beyond mile 15, which is highly recommended, is negotiable by shuttle, bus, or on foot. Keep in mind that bus schedules are subject to small adjustments throughout the season. Visitors can acquire the most recent schedule at the Wilderness Access Center or Denali Visitor Center. To learn more about current operating hours, fees, and destinations, click here.

  • Toklat River: May 20 - September 15
  • Eielson Visitor Center: June 1 - September 15
  • Wonder Lake: June 8 - September 15
  • Kantishna: June 8 - September 15
  • Camper Bus: June 1 - September 14

Tour Buses:
Tour buses feature a trained naturalist who drives the bus and narrates during the tour. To learn more about tour bus options, click here.

  • Denali Natural History Tour: mid-May - mid-September
  • Tundra Wilderness Tour: May 20 - mid-September
  • Kantishna Experience: June 8 - mid-September

Courtesy Buses:
There are three free bus services available in the park's entrance area that travel between the various visitor service buildings. For more information and to see current operating schedules, click here.

  • Savage River Shuttle
  • Riley Loop Shuttle
  • Sled Demonstration Shuttle

REI Adventures:
REI offers over 30 National Park trips, each led by an expert guide capable of taking you off the beaten path. Adventurers are often treated to hidden gems and aspects of the parks that most visitors never see.

Check out REI Adventures' national park offerings here.

Other Activities

Denali National Park offers a multitude of ways to explore the park's vast and awe-inspiring landscape. If you are visiting the park in the summer, you can choose from a variety of activities including hiking, sightseeing by bus, visiting the sled dog kennels, cycling the Denali Park Road, or "flight"-seeing by plane. Those hardy enough to explore the park in the winter can expect a similarly stunning landscape, but should come prepared to face extreme weather and solitude. Additionally, Denali offers several specialized activities for those planning a longer stay in the park. Backpacking, hunting, and climbing Mount Denali or Mount Foraker are all options for the more adventurous visitor. Visit Denali's website for more information on the park's other activities.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Gems in Denali National Park - 6

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite A view from near Eielson Visitor Center, Denali National Park: Photo Credit: NPS Photo/Tim Rains.

Eielson Visitor Center

(8) Healy, AK
gem Favorite A younger dog at the Kennels.

Denali Sled Dog Kennel

(6) Healy, AK
gem Favorite Reflection Pond delivers a great scene on clear days. Photo credit: NPS Photo/Tim Rains

Reflection Pond

(5) Healy, AK
gem Favorite Fall at Polychrome Overlook. with permission from David Broome

Polychrome Overlook

(4) Healy, AK

Featured Hikes in Denali National Park - 8

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Hikes

Favorite View from the Mt. Healy Overlook Trail.
Intermediate/Difficult

Mt. Healy Out and Back

4.8 mi 7.7 km • Out and Back • 1,609 ft Ascent 490.42 m Ascent

(13) Healy, AK
Favorite Peering down over Horseshoe Lake. with permission from Rumiana Koynova-Tenchova
Easy/Intermediate

Horseshoe Lake

2.3 mi 3.7 km • Loop • 287 ft Ascent 87.6 m Ascent

(14) Healy, AK
Favorite A fall hike alongside the wild and powerful Savage River with mountain visible in the distance.
Intermediate/Difficult

Savage Alpine and River Route

6.0 mi 9.7 km • Point to Point • 1,626 ft Ascent 495.56 m Ascent

(10) Healy, AK
Favorite Train
Intermediate

Triple Lakes Out and Back

15.0 mi 24.1 km • Out and Back • 2,172 ft Ascent 661.91 m Ascent

(4) Healy, AK
Favorite Looking up the ridgeline to the summit of Mount Healy from atop the first climb.
Difficult

Mount Healy from Bison Gulch

6.9 mi 11.1 km • Out and Back • 4,058 ft Ascent 1236.87 m Ascent

(5) Healy, AK
Favorite Tundra and mountains in Denali National Park. with permission from David Broome
Intermediate

Mom's Polychrome Picnic Loop

2.7 mi 4.3 km • Loop • 283 ft Ascent 86.11 m Ascent

(3) Healy, AK
Favorite Denali National Park
Intermediate

Thorofare Pass

6.1 mi 9.8 km • Loop • 1,024 ft Ascent 312.23 m Ascent

(3) Healy, AK
Favorite Toklat River Bar, Denali National Park. Photo credit: NPS Photo/Jacob W. Frank
Easy

Toklat River Out and Back

1.8 mi 2.8 km • Loop • 72 ft Ascent 21.99 m Ascent

(1) Healy, AK

Trails in Denali National Park - 19

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Trails

2.0 mi 3.1 km #1Mt. Healy Trail
Difficult
Healy, AK
Difficult
2.0 mi 3.1 km Healy, AK
2.1 mi 3.3 km #2Rock Creek Trail
Intermediate
Healy, AK
Intermediate
2.1 mi 3.3 km Healy, AK
4.3 mi 7.0 km #3Savage Alpine Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Healy, AK
Intermediate/Difficult
4.3 mi 7.0 km Healy, AK
2.5 mi 4.0 km #4McKinley Bar Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Healy, AK
Easy/Intermediate
2.5 mi 4.0 km Healy, AK
1.7 mi 2.8 km #5Savage River Loop Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Healy, AK
Easy/Intermediate
1.7 mi 2.8 km Healy, AK
8.9 mi 14.4 km #6Triple Lakes Trail
Intermediate
Healy, AK
Intermediate
8.9 mi 14.4 km Healy, AK
0.3 mi 0.5 km #7Savage Cabin Trail
Easy
Healy, AK
Easy
0.3 mi 0.5 km Healy, AK
0.3 mi 0.6 km #8Meadow View Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Healy, AK
Easy/Intermediate
0.3 mi 0.6 km Healy, AK
2.0 mi 3.2 km #9Roadside Trail
Easy
Healy, AK
Easy
2.0 mi 3.2 km Healy, AK
0.8 mi 1.3 km #10Eielson Alpine Trail
Difficult
Healy, AK
Difficult
0.8 mi 1.3 km Healy, AK
0.7 mi 1.1 km #11Mountain Vista Trail
Easy
Healy, AK
Easy
0.7 mi 1.1 km Healy, AK
1.3 mi 2.1 km #12McKinley Station Trail
Easy
Healy, AK
Easy
1.3 mi 2.1 km Healy, AK
0.6 mi 0.9 km #13Blueberry Hill
Easy/Intermediate
Healy, AK
Easy/Intermediate
0.6 mi 0.9 km Healy, AK
1.8 mi 2.8 km #14Bike Path
Easy
Healy, AK
Easy
1.8 mi 2.8 km Healy, AK
0.4 mi 0.6 km #15Tundra Loop Trail
Intermediate
Healy, AK
Intermediate
0.4 mi 0.6 km Healy, AK
1.6 mi 2.6 km #16Horseshoe Lake Trail
Easy
Healy, AK
Easy
1.6 mi 2.6 km Healy, AK
1.0 mi 1.6 km #17Taiga Trail
Easy
Healy, AK
Easy
1.0 mi 1.6 km Healy, AK
1.8 mi 2.8 km #18Parks Hwy Multi-Use West Side
Easy
Healy, AK
Easy
1.8 mi 2.8 km Healy, AK
2.5 mi 4.0 km #19Windy Creek Trail
Easy
Healy, AK
Easy
2.5 mi 4.0 km Healy, AK

Photos of Denali National Park - 80

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

Hiking the McKinley Bar Trail towards the McKinley River with the Alaska Mountain Range as a backdrop.  Denali (Mt McKinley) is just out of the picture, to the right.  This is a short and easy hike, but one of the few trails in Denali National Park.
Apr 24, 2015 near Healy, AK
Reflection Pond delivers a great scene on clear days. Photo credit: NPS Photo/Tim Rains
Sep 8, 2016 near Healy, AK
Denali towering over the landscape near Eielson Visitor Center. Photo Credit: NPS Photo/Tim Rains
Sep 8, 2016 near Healy, AK
Looking up the ridgeline to the summit of Mount Healy from atop the first climb.
Sep 19, 2017 near Healy, AK
A clear day at Wonder Lake.
Jul 31, 2017 near Healy, AK
A view from near Eielson Visitor Center, Denali National Park: Photo Credit: NPS Photo/Tim Rains.
Sep 7, 2016 near Healy, AK
Looking down the ridgeline from near the summit.
Sep 19, 2017 near Healy, AK
Blueberry Hill Sunset.
Jan 14, 2016 near Healy, AK

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