All Areas of Denali National Park and Preserve 1980 Additions Closed to Snowmobile Use Due to Inadequate Snow Cover & Cantwell Area Trails Temporarily Closed to ORV Use as of May 4, 2009
Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
Due to the deterioration of the snowpack, 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 on both sides of the Alaska Range. All park lands that were open for traditional snowmobile use are now closed for the season. Even in areas such as Broad Pass and near Cantwell, the warmer temperatures and long days have reduced snow depths to a level that is no longer adequate to protect the vegetation and soils.
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.
Effective immediately, the Windy Creek Trail, Cantwell Airstrip Trail, Pyramid Trail, Cantwell Creek Floodplain Trail/Corridor, and the Bull River Floodplain Trail/Route are temporarily closed by regulation (36 CFR 13.903 and 13.460) to the use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) by authorized subsistence users until further notice in order to protect vegetation and soils from damage. These trails will be opened when they have dried enough to sustain ORV traffic.
The Denali Park Road is currently open for travel by private vehicles to the Teklanika River Rest Area at Mile 30. The road will be open for travel to that point through Tuesday, May 19. The shuttle bus system will begin its seasonal operations on Wednesday, May 20 to provide access beyond the Savage River to destinations further west on the park road. The first fifteen miles of the park road will remain open for travel by park visitors in private vehicles throughout the summer season.
Trip planning and other park information is available on the park website at www.nps.gov/dena. Visitors can also obtain information by calling park headquarters at (907) 683-2294 from 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. daily.
Did You Know?
Warmer temperatures have led to dramatic thawing of permafrost. Thaw releases carbon, as once-frozen materials decompose, but allows increased plant growth. Researchers in Denali are studying whether thawing permafrost will increase or decrease world-wide carbon emissions.