• pond surrounded by green brush, reflecting a distant range of snow-covered mountains that are dominated by one massive mountain

    Denali

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

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  • Road Open To: Mile 3 (Park Headquarters)

    The Park Road is currently open to Mile 3, Park Headquarters. Wintry conditions beyond that point prevent vehicle travel, though pedestrian travel is permitted. More »

Top 10 Fun Activities in Denali

Top Ten Fun Summer Activities for Kids in Denali

1. Ride the free shuttle bus to the Sled Dog Demonstration. You can ride the bus back or hike the Roadside Trail back to the Visitor Center. Stop at the Morino Grill for a snack.

2. Tour the Denali Visitor Center, which includes kid-friendly exhibits. While at the Visitor Center, take advantage of one of the scenic short hikes that starts immediately from the area.DVC trail

3. Beginning from the Denali Visitor Center, take the McKinley Station Trail to Riley Creek. At the Creek, enjoy a picnic lunch before heading on to the Riley Creek Campground and finally back to the Visitor Center.

4. Pack a snack and some water and enjoy a hike with a ranger or on your own to Horseshoe Lake. Watch for wildlife on this 1 ½-mile round-trip hike.

5. Grab a refreshing drink at the Morino Grill and head on over to the Alaska Geographic Bookstore. There are many great books (for kids and adults) to browse through.

6. Drive or ride the free shuttle bus to Savage River (mile 15). Take the time to hike the Savage River Loop. Watch for wildlife, including ground squirrels, ptarmigan, and hoary marmots. Enjoy a picnic lunch before catching the free shuttle back.savage shuttle

7. Pack a lunch and some water and drive or ride the free shuttle bus to Savage River. Hike up Savage Rock and enjoy the view. Bring a camera!

8. Pick up a free Denali Discovery Pack and/or Junior Ranger Activity Guide at the Denali Visitor Center. Enjoy the activities and be sure to participate in a ranger led hike. Junior Ranger Guides are available for ages 4 and older.

9. Attend one of the evening campground programs. Check at the Denali Visitor Center for location, topics, and times.

10. Enjoy the exhibits and Kid's Cabinet at the Murie Science and Learning Center. Then take a quick hike from the MSLC Backtrail to the Taiga Trail. Stop for an ice cream cone at the Morino Grill before heading home.

Notes Especially for Families

Thinking about taking a shuttle into the park?
Any child under the age of 4 years is required to be in a car safety seat while on shuttle buses.

Thinking about taking a family camping trip into the park?
Consider packing up the family and driving to Riley Creek, Savage River, or Teklanika Campground (Teklanika requires a 3-night minimum if you plan on driving). All of these campgrounds are accessible by shuttle bus or personal vehicle. Please check the current Alpenglow for more information.

Related Books

Sharing Nature with Children, Joseph Cornell

Janice VanCleave's Play and Find Out about Nature: Easy Experiments for Young Children, Janice VanCleave

Teaching Kids to Love the Earth, Marina Lachecki

More Teaching Kids to Love the Earth, James Kasperson

Did You Know?

eight caribou grazing on a hillside

Denali provides a special opportunity to study a large, intact and naturally-functioning ecosystem. Researchers can monitor climate change in Denali and contribute to larger-scale climate monitoring and management efforts.