August 21st Conditions Update

August 21, 2017 Posted by: Brian Moe, Backcountry Ranger

A change has come to Denali. Blueberries are ripe, darkness has returned in the evenings, the willow is turning golden yellow, and snow is falling on the ridgelines. Fall has arrived and winter is just around the corner.

a tent set up in an open field with a view of distant mountains, including one massive mountain tinged pink by the setting sun

Denali in the fall. NPS Photo


While the weather can do almost anything at anytime in Denali, for the next couple weeks visitors should expect overnight low temperatures to be near freezing and daytime high temperatures to stay at or below the 50s. Sunset tonight is at 10pm, with true darkness falling by 11pm. We will continue to lose 6 minutes of daylight each day until the winter solstice. The moose rut is underway and visitors are advised to give moose extra space this time of year.


Blueberries and cranberries are ripe throughout the park, so bring an extra container on your upcoming trip and take advantage of nature’s candy all around you. Rivers are often lower this time of year due to the colder temperatures decreasing the glacial melt. Still, be cautious when planning trips that involve crossing major rivers, as heavy rainfall can still cause high water levels.

landscape of shrubs and bushes with red and yellow foliage

Fall colors in Denali National Park and Preserve. NPS Photo.


Fall is a beautiful time in Denali, as the tundra can turn many different autumn colors. However, enjoy it while it’s here. Fall often gives way to winter in just a matter of days.

Last updated: August 21, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


(907) 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am—4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

Contact Us