Denali is not closed in winter!
Winter is an amazing and powerful season in Denali. For much of the year, Denali's landscape is blanketed in snow, its rivers and lakes locked in thick ice, its animals in hibernation, long-since migrated, or making the best existence they can in temperatures that routinely reach -40 F (-40 C).
Please be prepared for all conditions and call the park with any questions you may have about trail conditions and winter recreation in Denali (907-683-2294 daily, 9 am - 4 pm). Snow cover in Denali can range from excellent to nonexistent and temperatures can range from 40 F to -40 F.
While the park does offer free snowshoe rentals, there are no ski rentals - so be prepared to bring your own equipment to Denali. Fairbanks and Anchorage are the closest areas to buy/rent skis and other gear.
Different lengths of snowshoes serve different purposes. On occasion, you may encounter very deep snow, where long, wide snowshoes are quite effective. Or, you may find yourself traveling along an existing trail, across rougher terrain, or through brushy areas. In these cases, a shorter shoe with an up-turned toe is better for quick traveling.
At Denali, we have a limited number of snowshoes for visitors to borrow. There is no charge to use the shoes. You may check out a pair from the Winter Visitor Center.
A variety of other activities are possible in winter.
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.