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


    National Park & Preserve Alaska

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  • Road Open to: Mile 30 (Teklanika River)

    The Denali Park Road is currently open to Mile 30, Teklanika River. If wintry conditions occur, the road may close at some point closer to the park entrance. More »

Research Results and Resource Information

woman kneels in spongy tundra, measuring a plug of soil while another person handles an auger.

A 2008 Discover Denali Research Fellow collects soil samples to study impacts of melting permafrost on plants.

Jessie Cable

Research in Denali

Researchers and resource specialists study everything imaginable in Denali from why glaciers surge, to the population dynamics of wolves and their prey, to the physiological effects to humans of climbing Denali. Research on subarctic ecosystems and studies of culture, history, and place have been an integral part of understanding and protecting Denali’s natural and cultural resources since the park’s inception.

Be sure to check out our research fact sheets to get the latest information on research results and findings.

a moose cow and tiny calf cross a wet road
Visitors might spot a radio-collared moose along the Denali Park Road.
Kent Miller

More than 800 scientific and scholarly studies have taken place in the park since the early 1900’s. In 2009, there were 61 active Research and Collecting Permits for studies in Denali. Some researchers are conducting more than one study. These scientific studies are conducted by Denali staff, park cooperators (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey or Alaska State Department of Fish and Game), and investigators from universities, institutions, and other agencies. Appropriate research for Denali is that which gathers information while making minimal impacts to park resources and visitor experience.

Ree Nancarrow's Seasons of Denali quilt at the Eielson Visitor Center colorfully illustrates some of the plants and animals that researchers study in Denali.

Close-up of Quilt Displayed
at Eielson Visitor Center

Lucy Tyrrell

Research Results and Resource Management

On the web pages linked below are highlights of selected research studies and resource activities. These materials may help you learn more about what you saw or experienced during your recent trip to Denali, or may enhance your future visit.

a hammer next to a fossilized, three-toed dinosaur footprint

Dinosaur fossil footprint found in Denali

David Sunderlin

Investigator Annual Reports

Each year researchers at all national parks submit an Investigator Annual Report (IAR) summarizing their findings to the National Park Service’s Research Permit and Reporting System (RPRS) website. You can search IAR’s by park, investigator name, year, or general subject heading.

Researchers may apply online for a research and collecting permit.

cover of "Current Resource Projects," with a montage of five animal images depicting a brown spruce grouse, a grizzly bear, a wolf, a snowshoe hair and a mew gull

Extensive information about Denali's cultural and nNatural resources

Current Projects

Denali publishes Current Resource Projects annually to summarize results of resource studies from the previous year, and describe what resource projects are planned for the next field season.

[Caution: These are large documents. Please be patient when opening the links.]

Current Resource Projects 2013

Current Resource Projects 2012
Current Resource Projects 2011
Current Resource Projects 2010
Current Resource Projects 2009
Current Resource Projects 2008
Current Resource Projects 2007
Current Resource Projects 2006
Current Resource Projects 2005

two people in heavy coats sit on a rocky field, snowy mountains in the background

Researchers near the Middle Fork (Toklat) Glacier

Barbara-Lynn Concienne

Science at Denali

Our Science at Denali publication provides an overview of park science, describes early science at Denali, gives examples of current or recent projects (inventory, monitoring, and research), and tells how science has been useful to management of Denali resources.

[Suggestion: For best results, print this document on 11" x 17" paper (double-sided) and fold to produce a 12-page booklet.]

Did You Know?

grizzly bear silhouetted against sky

Denali is home to both black bears and grizzly (brown) bears. Black bears inhabit the forested areas of the park, while grizzly bears mainly live on the open tundra. Almost all bears seen by visitors along the Park Road are grizzlies.