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


    National Park & Preserve Alaska

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • 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 »

Road Lottery

Jump to ...
Frequently Asked Questions
Road Lottery Photo Gallery

2014 Lottery Information

The application period for the 2014 lottery will be May 1 - May 31, 2014. Winners of the lottery will be listed on this webpage, and will receive a separate notification.

The lottery dates each year are the second Friday-Monday weekend after Labor Day -- thus, the dates of this year's lottery will be September 12 - 15, 2014. Below, you can find instructions on how to apply to the lottery.

This year’s annual Denali Road Lottery is taking place on September 12, 13, 14, and 15 (Fri – Mon).

  • Only one entry per person will be accepted. Duplicate entries will be disqualified.
  • Entries can be submitted electronically at www.recreation.gov between 12:01 am May 1, 2014 until midnight (Alaska time) on May 31, 2014.
  • Entries will also be accepted by phone from May 1 through May 31, 2014 at (877) 444-6777 between the hours of 6:00 am – 8:00 pm (Alaska time).
  • Entries are no longer accepted by regular mail.
  • The non-refundable entry fee payment of $10 will be charged to a credit or debit card during the online or phone application process. In addition, the credit or debit card holder will be automatically charged the $25 Road Lottery Fee if drawn in the lottery.
  • If the Denali Park Road does not open on the day of your permit due to inclement weather, the $25 Road Lottery Fee will not be refunded.
  • Those who are drawn in the lottery will also receive an email confirming the day of their permit, with additional information on how to obtain the road permit and how to prepare for their visit to the park.
  • Those who are drawn in the lottery will also receive a letter confirming the day of their permit, with additional information on how to obtain the road permit and how to prepare for their visit to the park.
  • The names of the individuals who are selected for permits will be posted on this page, by June 15.
  • Permit holders must pay the park entrance fee of $10 per person (for visitors age 16 and older) unless they have a federal recreation pass such as the Denali Annual Pass or the America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Lands Recreational Lands Pass (Annual, Senior, Access, or Volunteer).
What is the Road Lottery?

Each September the park hosts a four-day event called "Road Lottery." During these four days, winners of a lottery drawing are given a chance to purchase a single, day-long permit, allowing them to drive as much of the Denali Park Road as weather allows. In years with early snow, the Park Road might open no farther than Savage River (mile 15); in milder years, lottery winners are able to enjoy a trip out to Wonder Lake (mile 85).
Frequently Asked Questions

How does the road travel permit work?
If you are drawn in the lottery, you'll be charged $25 for a one-day road travel permit. The day will be assigned to you in the drawing - that is why you should specify the dates in your order of preference when applying (see the application guidelines above).

On the day for which you were drawn, the road travel permit will let you drive the entire park road, weather permitting, between 6:00 am and midnight. The road between the entrance and Savage River has no hour restriction - you simply must be east of Savage River by midnight. If staying at Tek Campground, you may begin driving west, into the park, at 7:00 am and must be in your campground by 11:00 pm.

Are there vehicle size restrictions?
The Park Road beyond Teklanika Campground narrows significantly. Therefore, vehicles traveling the Park Road during Road Lottery must be within the following maximum dimensions: 22' long x 8' wide x 12' high. This is inclusive of side mirrors and bumpers, and is strictly enforced at the Savage River Checkstation (mile 15) - oversize traffic (i.e., RVs larger than those dimensions) must be bound for Teklanika Campground, and have their campground permit in hand, to travel beyond Savage River.

Where can I camp?
Riley Creek, Savage River and Teklanika River Campgrounds are all open during Road Lottery. You may camp with both an RV and a smaller vehicle to use during Road Lottery - but to fit in a single campsite, the combined vehicle length should not exceed 40'. If your two vehicles exceed 40', consider paying for two sites or look into campgrounds outside the park.

Being drawn in the lottery does not guarantee you a campsite in the park - you should consider booking ahead through our reservation concessioner.

Can I trade or transfer my winning permit?
If you are drawn in the lottery, you will be automatically charged for your road travel permit, a $25 fee. You may trade or transfer that road permit to another person. Provide the new person with your original notification of being a winner with a short note attached specifying that you are giving that person your road travel permit.

When is the actual drawing?
The drawing is held by July 15, with winners' names posted on this webpage as soon as possible thereafter. All applicants will be notified of whether or not they were drawn, by email.

Can I bring my pet dog, cat, goat, etc?
Pets (that fit inside your vehicle) are welcome. However, please note that a pet that impacts wildlife behavior - like a dog barking at a moose as you pause to view it from the road - is unacceptable. If your pet disturbs wildlife when you pause to view said animal(s), you must continue driving to prevent your pet from harassing wildlife. More pet info

Can I hike or backpack during Road Lottery?
Dayhiking in conjunction with a trip down the Park Road is possible - just be sure to leave your vehicle in an actual parking lot or pull-off along the road. More dayhiking info

Backpacking during Road Lottery is a somewhat more logistically complicated than in the summer. Hitch-hiking is not permitted along the Denali Park Road, so most backpacking itineraries must begin and end somewhere along the first 15 miles of the road, which is still serviced by the free Savage River Shuttle through lottery weekend. More backpacking info

What if the weather is bad?
The possibility of inclement weather in September is always a factor. Some years the road has only been partially opened because of snow. Lottery participants are encouraged to contact the park or follow our forecast for the latest weather info.
Is there a minimum-length stay at Teklanika?
Unlike the main summer season, there is no minimum-length stay at Teklanika Campground during Road Lottery. Also, you may camp at Tek with an RV and a tow vehicle, only during the four days of Road Lottery, so long as the combined length of RV and tow vehicle is less than 40'. This allows folks to camp with a large RV and still bring a smaller vehicle out with which to drive the road (note vehicle size limits above).

Where do I check in for Road Lottery?
Check-in is at the Denali Visitor Center, at Mile 1.5 on the park road. You may check in upon arriving in the park, as early as the day before Road Lottery begins. This is a particularly good idea if you stay at Savage or Tek Campgrounds. Lottery winners should remember that they'll need to pay the park entrance fee ($10 per person age 16 or older, unless in possession of a park pass already).

How many people may travel with me?
If you are drawn in the lottery, you may bring as many people with you as will (legally) fit in your non-commercial vehicle (note vehicle size limits above).

May I drive a motorcycle during the lottery?
Absolutely, if you're drawn in the lottery you can drive any non-commercial, street-legal vehicle which is smaller than the aforementioned maximum size dimensions.

Did You Know?

a man holding a phone to his ear at a visitor center exhibit labelled

Denali pays close attention to visitor comments. Please tell us: Were your expectations satisfied by your experience? What worked, and what didn't work during your visit? Do you have suggestions for improvement? More...