Snowmobiling in Denali
Download a free site bulletin that outlines important Snowmobile Regulations and safety information for park and preserve areas that surround the boundaries of the former Mount McKinley National Park. A map that lists eight GPS boundary coordinates and five GPS reference points will help snowmobile operators steer clear of designated wilderness areas.
Where and When is Snowmachine (Snowmobile) Use Prohibited or Allowed in Denali National Park and Preserve?
Area of the Former Mount McKinley National Park
Other Areas of Denali National Park and Preserve
Snowmachine use is prohibited until the park superintendent has made a determination that there is adequate snow cover. Adequate snow cover is determined by evaluating the ability of the snow pack to support snowmachine use in a manner that does not damage resource values such as vegetation and soils. A combination of factors such as snow depth, snow structure, and the characteristics of the vegetation in the area are considered in this evaluation.
Follow the links shown below to find both current information on the areas of Denali National Park and Preserve that are currently closed or open for snowmachine use as well as maps and GPS coordinates of the park boundaries.
Are There Other Operating Requirements That Apply to Riding a Snowmachine in Denali National Park and Preserve?
Riders are reminded that federal regulations require that riders do not:
Snowmobile operators must be at least 16 years of age unless accompanied and supervised by a responsible person 21 years of age or older. The supervising rider must keep the other rider in sight and may not supervise more than one person at a time. Alaska State Statutes also require that snowmobiles be registered and numbered. Riders must report accidents resulting in injury to or death of a person, or property damage by the quickest means to park rangers.
Even when areas of the park and preserve are open for use, it is the rider's responsibility to avoid locations where wind or topographic conditions may have reduced snow depth and created situations where damage to vegetation or soils could occur, or where vegetation is taller than the protective snow cover.
What Are Some of the Safety Concerns I Should be Aware of While Riding a Snowmachine in Denali National Park and Preserve?
Winter weather in the Alaska Range can change very quickly and become severe, with high winds and temperatures well below zero. Park rangers stress the importance of bringing survival gear on all trips into the backcountry and informing friends or relatives of your travel plans. Remember to assess local conditions before venturing into the backcountry.
Riding conditions can also be potentially dangerous due to high winds and warmer than normal temperatures. The avalanche hazard is elevated by wind crusts or ice layers in the snow pack. It is important to avoid steep slopes, narrow valleys, and ravines. Also, the warm winter temperatures this year mean that many waterways could still be dangerous for travel and extreme caution is advised.
How Can I get More Information?
For additional information, including current weather and backcountry conditions, contact us. The Murie Science and Learning Center serves as the park's winter visitor center, with daily hours from 9:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m.. Park rangers are available to provide visitor information and backcountry permits.
Did You Know?
Did you know that in the summer of 2005 a footprint of a dinosaur was found in Denali National Park? The print has been identified as belonging to a three toed foot of a Cretaceous Theropod.