Operating Hours & Seasons
Dates to Know
Spring - the spring shoulder season in any year is dictated by weather. Road plowing will begin sometime in March, ideally offering access by private vehicle into the park by mid April. Contact us in late winter to learn more or follow our spring road opening updates.
Summer - Bus service begins May 20 each year, although the entire road is not accessible by bus until June 8. Shuttle buses operate through the second Thursday after Labor Day each year. Thus, shuttle bus service ends:
September 12, 2013
September 11, 2014
September 17, 2015, etc.
Most visitor services and activities are available between late May and early September. During this time, the park's main visitor center is open daily, 8 am - 6 pm.
Fall - The annual Road Lottery always occurs the weekend (Friday through Monday) after shuttle buses conclude. Reference the above shuttle season end dates to calculate lottery dates for the next few years. Applications to the lottery are accepted in the month of June each year, for that season's lottery.
The fall shoulder season, when all private vehicles may drive up to 30 miles into the park - weather permitting - begins the day after the Denali Road Lottery each year. The fall driving season will last until snow closes the road. It is always a good idea to contact us in fall to get an update on conditions before traveling to the park.
Winter - Once significant snow falls, the road is plowed only from the entrance to mile 3, Park Headquarters. At that time, winter, as it pertains to visitor services and activities, has begun. The winter visitor center is open daily, except major holidays, 9 am - 4 pm.
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What to Expect
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.