Denali National Park
37 mi 59 km of trail — 8 Featured Hikes
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.
- 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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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 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
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 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.
Maps & Guidebooks
Gems in Denali National Park - 6
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Featured Hikes in Denali National Park - 8
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Mount Healy from Bison Gulch
6.9 mi 11.1 km • Out and Back • 4,058 ft Ascent 1236.87 m Ascent
Singletrack Healy, AK( 3 )
Savage Alpine and River Route
6.0 mi 9.7 km • Point to Point • 1,626 ft Ascent 495.56 m Ascent
Singletrack Healy, AK( 9 )
Mt. Healy Out and Back
4.8 mi 7.7 km • Out and Back • 1,609 ft Ascent 490.42 m Ascent
Singletrack Healy, AK( 9 )
Triple Lakes Out and Back
15.0 mi 24.1 km • Out and Back • 2,172 ft Ascent 661.91 m Ascent
Singletrack Healy, AK( 4 )
Mom's Polychrome Picnic Loop
2.7 mi 4.3 km • Loop • 283 ft Ascent 86.11 m Ascent
Singletrack Healy, AK( 3 )
Trails in Denali National Park - 19
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Mt. Healy Trail
|2.0 mi 3.1 km||Healy, AK||2|
Rock Creek Trail
|2.1 mi 3.3 km||Healy, AK||2|
Savage Alpine Trail
|4.3 mi 7.0 km||Healy, AK||7|
McKinley Bar Trail
|2.5 mi 4.0 km||Healy, AK||5|
Savage River Loop Trail
|1.7 mi 2.8 km||Healy, AK||5|
Triple Lakes Trail
|8.9 mi 14.4 km||Healy, AK||6|
Savage Cabin Trail
|0.3 mi 0.5 km||Healy, AK||2|
Meadow View Trail
|0.3 mi 0.6 km||Healy, AK||2|
McKinley Station Trail
|1.3 mi 2.1 km||Healy, AK||2|
|2.0 mi 3.2 km||Healy, AK||2|
Eielson Alpine Trail
|0.8 mi 1.3 km||Healy, AK||4|
Mountain Vista Trail
|0.7 mi 1.1 km||Healy, AK||5|
|0.6 mi 0.9 km||Healy, AK||2|
|1.8 mi 2.8 km||Healy, AK||2|
Tundra Loop Trail
|0.4 mi 0.6 km||Healy, AK||1|
Horseshoe Lake Trail
|1.6 mi 2.6 km||Healy, AK||1|
|1.0 mi 1.6 km||Healy, AK||3|
Parks Hwy Multi-Use West Side
|1.8 mi 2.8 km||Healy, AK||1|
Windy Creek Trail
|2.5 mi 4.0 km||Healy, AK||0|
Photos of Denali National Park - 77
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