• pond surrounded by green brush, reflecting a distant range of snow-covered mountains that are dominated by one massive mountain

    Denali

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

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  • Road Open to: Mile 30 (Teklanika River)

    The Denali Park Road is currently open to Mile 30, Teklanika River. If wintry conditions occur, the road may close at some point closer to the park entrance. More »

Discovery Hikes

 
Experience Your America
A ranger speaks with his well-prepared hikers at the Park Road, before setting off into the trail-less wilderness.
nps photo / neil blake
 
Be prepared for the experience of a lifetime

Discovery Hikes are a great way for the adventurous and well-prepared to explore the heart of Denali.

These ranger-led hikes travel everywhere, so expect uneven terrain, small stream crossings, close encounters with dense vegetation and unpredictable weather. Along the way, you can engage the park with all your senses and build memories of this special kind of "walk in the park."

Signing up

"Disco" hikes are offered daily during the summer, and are limited to 11 people. This limit exists because discovery hikes take place in the wilderness, where there are no trails - the limited number helps reduce human impacts on vegetation and facilitates a small-group experience.

You may sign up for a hike one to two days in advance, and you can only sign up in person at the Denali Visitor Center. There are no exceptions to this rule. For safety concerns, rangers may turn away unprepared hikers. Please read our preparation guide for more details on how to ready yourself for this specialized program.

Where you'll go

All disco hikes begin with a bus ride into the park, originating from the Wilderness Access Center. Plan on a bus ride lasting anywhere from one to four hours, to hike for three to five hours, and then a similar-length bus ride back to the park entrance. The disco bus leaves at 8 am every morning.

These ranger-led adventures vary from moderate (elevation gain less than 1,000 feet) to strenuous (elevation gain more than 1,000 feet, or will involve large river crossings). They may start from just about anywhere on the Park Road, which is why the bus ride has such a wide range of duration (i.e., the closer to the park entrance your hike begins, the shorter your bus ride will be).

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Availability

Discovery Hikes start around June 8 each summer, and last into late August or early September.

Hike descriptions are available in one week increments.

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eDiscovery Hike

This application is an interactive exploration of Discovery Hikes, explaining what they are; what to expect on one; and how to sign up for one once you arrive in Denali.

Throughout the application, you'll see forward and backward arrows - click them to progress through the app.

Launch the application by clicking on the image below, or click here.

If necessary, download Adobe Flash Player.

 
A ranger leading a Discovery Hike
Click the image above to launch the "eDisco" interactive feature
nps photo / neil blake
 

* We apologize if your web device cannot use Adobe Flash Player, but Flash is currently the only multimedia platform compatible with our website content management system.

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Did You Know?

a thermometer with the mercury indicating -40 degrees C

The coldest recorded temperature at Denali National Park & Preserve headquarters is -55° Fahrenheit (-48° C).