Crews Ready to Begin Plowing Denali Park Road
Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
On Sunday, March 9 the National Park Service road crew will begin the annual operations to clear and prepare the Denali Park Road beyond park headquarters (Mile 3) for vehicle access by park visitors. This year they expect to encounter moderate amounts of snow, along with significant amounts of overflow ice on portions of the road. In addition to removing the winter accumulation of snow and ice, another important task is to steam open culverts clogged with ice to prevent road damage caused by the runoff from melting snow and rain. Crew members will also make repairs prior to opening the road for use by the public.
Access to park areas west of headquarters for snowshoeing, mushing, cross-country skiing and other seasonal recreational activities is available on the Spring Trail, which runs south and parallel to the park road. The trailhead is located near the entrance to the park’s sled dog kennels. Visitors using the road should expect to encounter snow removal equipment. Please make certain the equipment operator is aware of your presence before attempting to go by.
Depending on the weather and road conditions, the park road could open for travel to the Savage River (Mile 15) by late March to early April, and to the Teklanika Rest Stop (Mile 31) by mid to late April. Visitors are advised to call before their trip to confirm opening dates.
The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) at Mile 1.3 is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily as the winter visitor center, providing information and backcountry permits. Ranger-led snowshoe hikes are taking place on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. through Sunday, March 30, conditions permitting.
The Riley Creek Campground at Mile 0.2 is open year-round, but water and sewer services will not be available until later in the spring. A vault toilet is provided for campers in the loop that is currently open, and water can be obtained at the MSLC.
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. Additional park information can be obtained by calling (907) 683-2294 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily or on the web at www.nps.gov/dena.
Did You Know?
Mount McKinley, located within Denali National Park and Preserve, is the highest mountain on the North American continent. Measured from the 2,000 foot lowlands to its snowy summit at 20,320 feet, the mountain’s vertical relief of 18,000 feet is greater than that of Mount Everest.