Ranger Hikes and Other Winter Recreation Opportunities
Park rangers at Denali National Park and Preserve invite the public to join them in exploring the park on weekend hikes this winter. The hikes will be done on snowshoes when snow conditions are favorable, and will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, beginning on Saturday, January 31, 2009. Hikers will meet at 1:00 p.m. at the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC), located at Mile 1.3 on the Park Road just west of the traffic circle.
The hikes will take place on trails in the park’s entrance area, providing opportunities to experience and learn about the winter environment of the park and interior Alaska. A limited number of snowshoes are available at the MSLC for use on the hike, and those interested in participating are encouraged to bring their own equipment. The programs will last for 2 to 3 hours. Participants are advised to dress warmly and bring lunch or snacks. The hikes will not take place if temperatures are colder than -10ºF.
Besides the ranger-led weekend hikes, winter visitors have several recreation and learning opportunities in the entrance area of Denali National Park and Preserve. A new winter trails map is available at the MSLC showing ski and snowshoe routes of varying difficulties and lengths. Inside the MSLC, visitors can view exhibits on winter ecology, wildlife and park research, watch documentary videos about Denali, and warm up after a ski or hike. Visitors may plug in vehicles during the day at the MSLC parking lot.
Denali National Park and Preserve collects an entrance fee year-round. The entrance fee of $10 per person or $20 per vehicle is good for seven days. The majority of the money collected remains in the park to be used for projects to improve visitor services and facilities. Interagency Federal Recreation Passes such as the Annual, Senior, and Access Pass, and the Denali Annual Pass are also valid for entry into the park and can be purchased at the MSLC.
Additional information on winter activities is available at the Murie Science and Learning Center from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, by calling (907) 683-9532, or on the park website at www.nps.gov/dena. Near the park entrance, drivers may listen to visitor information on the radio at 1610 AM.
Did You Know?
Warmer average temperatures over several decades have resulted in expansion of woody vegetation. If this warming trend continues, it will change Alaska's ecosystems and drastically alter the physical appearance of Denali's landscape, as treeline marches higher up the mountains.