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


    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Climbing Registration

three men - two climbers and one ranger - sitting at a conference table
Climber briefing at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station
NPS Photo/Neil Blake

Registration Information
Mountaineers attempting a climb of Mt. McKinley or Mt. Foraker must register with the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station at least 60 days prior to their start date. The 60-day pre-registration regulation allows mountaineering rangers to have direct contact with climbers before they arrive in Talkeetna. Rangers are thereby able to suggest appropriate routes for different levels of expertise and offer first-hand knowledge of conditions encountered in the Alaska Range.

Denali's climbing registration process is now conducted online. For the easy electronic form and payment system, go to Pay.Gov's online climbing registration form. Registrants will immediately receive a receipt confirmation from Pay.Gov via email if the forms and payment are submitted correctly. After a team's registration forms are received at the Ranger Station, allow up to several weeks for mountaineering rangers to review the file. Once a team's file is reviewed and approved, the expedition leader will receive an official confirmation letter via email.

Climbers are responsible for ensuring their form(s) have been received in time for their desired start date. There are limited exceptions to the 60-day pre-registration period which are addressed on the Frequently Asked Questions page. For instance, mountaineers that have climbed Mt. McKinley or Mt. Foraker since 1995 can request a "seven-day exception" to the 60-day rule and instead register 7 days in advance of the climb. Additionally, an expedition leader is permitted to add one new member to their team at least 30 days prior to the start date of the expedition.

Additional Information For Solo Climbers
Due to the increased risk associated with solo travel, in addition to the online registration and payment, ALL soloists must complete a solo form (pdf). Soloists will not be considered registered until we also receive this completed solo form via mail, fax, or email.

Climbing Fees
Denali National Park charges a mountaineering special use fee for all climbers attempting Mt. McKinley or Mt. Foraker. This fee directly offsets costs related to mountaineering such as maintaining the high altitude ranger camps, hiring seasonal staff, providing mountaineering information, and keeping the mountain environment clean. The Mountaineering Special Use Fee for the 2015 climbing season (October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015) of $365 U.S. currency is charged in full at the time of registration to each expedition member. A reduced fee of $265 will be charged for climbers aged 24 or younger as of the start date of the climb.

Additionally, climbers must pay the Denali National Park entrance fee of $10 per individual. Payment of this park entrance fee can be paid along with the mountaineering special use fee on Pay.Gov, or a climber can opt to pay the entrance fee upon arrival in Talkeetna. Interagency passes are accepted in lieu of entrance fee payment (actual passes must be presented).

Refund Policy
If the climb is cancelled prior to January 15 of the year in which the climb is scheduled, all but $100 of the fee will be refunded. No refund will be made for cancellations after January 15.


Expedition Orientation
All registered climbers are required to check in and out at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station, including expeditions originating on the north side of the Alaska Range. Once officially registered, a team is required to make an appointment for the expedition orientation. Included in each team's emailed confirmation letter, expedition leaders are provided a link to the orientation scheduling software, along with a login ID and password. Appointments should be made as soon as practical, as times fill up fast.

Notes on Guided Climbing
If you plan to use a guide service, make certain that the service is authorized by Denali National Park and Preserve. Illegal guiding is prohibited and your climb could be canceled at any time.

Required Reading
Climbers are required to read the National Park Service publication, Mountaineering - Denali National Park and Preserve, which covers search and rescue requirements, clean climbing requirements, high altitude medical problems, glacier hazards, and self-sufficiency. Climbers should have a solid understanding of the potentially serious medical problems and the extreme mental and physical stresses associated with high altitude mountaineering. While reading, climbers should take note of the 'registration code' highlighted in the booklet, as that code is necessary to complete online registration.

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