Southern Areas of Denali National Park and Preserve Closed to Snowmobile Use Due to Inadequate Snow Cover
Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
Due to a deteriorating snowpack, Denali National Park and Preserve Superintendent Paul Anderson 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 south 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 vegetation and soils.
All lands within the former Mount McKinley National Park on both the north and the south sides of the Alaska Range remain closed to all snowmobile use by federal regulation.
The Denali Park Road is currently open for park visitors to the Teklanika River Rest Area at Mile 30. The road will be open for travel to that point through Friday, May 18. The shuttle bus system will begin its seasonal operations on Saturday, May 19 to provide access beyond the Savage River to destinations further west on the park road. The first fifteen miles of the park road will continue to be open for travel by park visitors in private vehicles throughout the summer season.
Visitor information and backcountry permits are available at the Murie Science and Learning Center (Mile 1.3) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. The Riley Creek Campground is open for free camping until mid-May, but water and sewer services are currently not available. A vault toilet is provided for campers in the open loop, and water can be obtained at the Murie Science and Learning Center. Additional campgrounds are scheduled to open on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19.
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 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.