Northern Areas of Denali National Park and Preserve Closed April 8, 2008 to Snowmobile Use Due to Inadequate Snow Cover
Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
Due to recent warming temperatures and wind during the past week, Denali National Park and Preserve Acting Superintendent Philip Hooge has determined that there is no longer adequate snow cover for the use of snowmobiles for traditional activities in the 1980 additions to Denali National Park and Preserve that are north of the Alaska Range. Those park lands that were open for snowmobile use are now closed for the season. Snowcover in the area is broken up with large areas of exposed vegetation, and the remaining areas of snow are less than 6 inches deep. “At this time the snow depth and structure of the snowpack are no longer adequate to protect vegetation and soils from damage by snowmachine use” stated Hooge.
The snow cover south of the Alaska Range is still adequate for the use of snowmobiles for traditional activities in the 1980 additions to Denali National Park and Preserve, but riders should anticipate a closure in this area soon. River corridors have open water and the snowpack is diminishing quickly.
Riders are reminded that all lands within the former Mount McKinley National Park on both the north and the south sides of the Alaska Range are closed to all snowmobile use by federal regulation. Snowmobile users wishing to access lands adjacent to this area should become familiar with the location of park boundaries prior to their trip.
The Denali Park Road is currently open for travel by private vehicles to the Savage River at Mile 15. The Murie Science and Learning Center at Mile 1.3 on the park road is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for visitor information and backcountry permits. The Riley Creek Campground at Mile 0.2 is open for free camping until mid-May, but water and sewer services are not yet available. A vault toilet is provided for campers in the loop that is kept open year-round, and water can be obtained at the Murie Science and Learning Center.
Visitors can obtain information by calling park headquarters at (907) 683-2294 from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Trip planning information is also available on the park website at www.nps.gov/dena.
Did You Know?
The vast landscapes of interior Alaska are changing. Large glaciers are receding, permafrost is melting and woody plants are spreading. Comparison of "then-and-now" photographs and data from major vegetation monitoring should allow detection, understanding and potential management of these changes.