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Denali National Park Trip Planner

Home to North America's highest peak, 20,320-foot tall Mount McKinley, Denali National Park and Preserve was originally established as Mount McKinley National Park in 1917. Designated an International biosphere in 1976, the park was originally established as a wilderness area to protect the animals there and was incorporated into Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980. Named for President William McKinley, the park today is home to more than 650 species of plants and hundreds of species of animals including black bears and grizzlies.

Crowning the 600 mile long Alaska Range, Denali, or the "High One" as the Athabascan people named it, towers over South Central Alaska. The mountain is characterized by cold, unpredictable weather, giving it a dangerous, but irresistible reputation among climbers. The first attempted ascent was accomplished by four locals, known as the Sourdough Expedition, equipped with a bag of doughnuts, a thermos of cocoa and a 14 foot spruce pole. They achieved the lower summit and planted their spruce pole. Their claims were disputed until the first true ascent to the highest summit in 1913 lead by Hudson Stuck. With binoculars, Stuck confirmed the presence of the spruce pole in the lower summit, validating the Sourdough Expedition's claims.

Denali National park and Preserve is about 100 air miles north of Anchorage and almost always offered as a day trip by various cruise lines. Alaska's state railroad runs right up to the front entrance of the park and the park office is 240 miles north of Anchorage along Alaska Route 3. However, beyond the Savage River Check Station at Mile Marker 15, access to the park is possible only by shuttle bus, biking or hiking. The Denali Park Road is the only road in the park and private vehicles are prohibited. However, the Park, cruise lines and other tourist venues offer many ways to access and enjoy the park. Several different types of shuttle buses are offered by the park, depending on the kind of experience you want from your visit.

Wildlife abounds in the park and most people visit with the expectation to see the "Big Five" - moose, grizzlies, Dall sheep, caribou and wolves. If you're lucky, all may be seen from the buses that travel the Park Road if conditions are right. Denali hosts two types of bears, black and grizzly. Most of the bears seen along the park road are grizzlies.

Denali's rangers use sled dog teams during the winter for their 3000 miles of winter patrols. In the summer, the dogs are an integral part of the various interpretative presentations on the history of the park. These are the only dogs that aid in the protection of a National Park.

DENALI QUICK STATISTICS

Annual Rainfall: 15 inches / 83.0 inches snowfall
Average July Temperature: 66 / 43

DENALI VISITOR INFORMATION

U.S. National Parks Service
Address: PO Box 9, Denali Park 99755 Phone: (907) 683-2294

READ UP ON DENALI

The Alpenglow

DENALI SIGHTSEEING

Denali Visitor Center
Address: Mile 1.5 Park Rd. Phone: (907) 683-9532

Eielson Visitor Center
Address: Mile 66 Park Rd., Denali

Wonder Lake
Address: Mile 86 Park Rd.

DENALI HOTELS AND LODGING

Denali Bluffs Hotel
Address: Mile 238.3 Parks Hwy. Phone: 907-683-7000

Grande Denali Lodge (business office)
Address: 241 W Ship Creek Ave., Anchorage Phone: (907) 264-4600

McKinley Village Lodge
Address: Milepost 231, George Parks Hwy. Phone: (406) 862-8190

Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge
Address: Mile 238.5 George Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-2282

McKinley Creekside Cabins
Address: Mile 224 George Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-2277

Denali Park Hotel
Address: Mile Post 1.5 Denali Park Rd. Phone: (907) 683-1800

McKinley Chalet Resort
Address: Mile Post 238 George Parks Hwy. Phone: (406) 862-8190

Denali RV Park & Motel
Address: Mile 245.1 George Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-1500

Denali Backcountry Lodge
Address: 1301 Parks Hwy. #5, Wasilla 99654 Phone: (907) 376-1992

There is also a Denali State Park next to the National Park that is administered by the State of Alaska.

DENALI FOOD AND DRINK

229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern
Address: Mile 229.7 Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-2567

McKinley Creekside Cafe
Address: Mile 224 George Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-2277

The Perch Restaurant, Bar and Cabins
Phone: (907) 683-2523

Bubba's Baja
Address: Mile 238.6 Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-7827

Denali Park Salmon Bake Restaurant
Address: Mile 238.5 Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-2733

The Summit Restaurant
Phone: (907) 683-2282

Panorama Pizza
Address: Mile 224 Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-2523

Black Diamond Grill
Address: Mile 247 George Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-4653

Lynx Creek Pub
Address: Mile 238.6 Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-2547

Black Bear Coffee House
Address: Mile 238.5 Parks Hwy. Phone: (907) 683-1656

Denali Roadhouse Restaurant
Address: Mile 231.1 Oarks Hwy. Phone: (800) 230-7275

The Great Alaska Fish & Chip Company
Address: Mile 238.9 Parks Hwy. Phone: 907-683-3474

Overlook Bar & Grill
Address: Crow's Nest Rd. Phone: 907-683-2641

DENALI TRANSPORTATION

Denali Park Tours
Bus, Fixed Wing, Helicopter, Dog Sled, and Rafting

DENALI AIRPORT

Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage

Fairbanks International Airport

In the summer of 2005, a dinosaur foot print was found at Denali. It was identified as a three-toed Cretaceous Theropod.

FISH & GAME

Alaska Dept of Fish & Game
Address: 1255 W 8th St., Juneau 99811 Phone: (907) 465-4100

HOSPITALS

Canyon Health Clinic Urgent Care Center
Address: At the Park Entrance (Seasonal facility) Phone: (907) 455-4567

Community Interior Health Center
Address: 1606 23rd Ave., Fairbanks Phone: (907) 455-4567

Tri-Valley Community Center
Address: Usibelli Spur Rd., Healy 99743 Phone: (907) 683-2211

 

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