Your Dollars At Work

Denali, like any national park, is funded by a mixture of Congressionally-designated money, campground fees, entrance fees, business partners (both private sector and non-profits) and private donations. Campground and entrance fees are of course paid by immediate park users, while much of the Congressionally-designated money comes from you - the American taxpayer.

Using these funds, managers at Denali National Park and Preserve strive to create a balance between protection of this special place while meeting the needs of the visiting public. Your money can be seen at work in myriad ways, but a few high-profile examples are:

  • Renovation of the Eielson Visitor Center - making it both more sustainable and a more inspirational, educational and comfortable place for park visitors;
  • A portion of mining restoration efforts in the Kantishna area, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA);
  • Projects, funded by ARRA money in 2009 - 2010, for a variety of construction projects, like a building new emergency services building near Park Headquarters; replacing and/or rehabilitating a variety of front country infrastructure (e.g., waste water treatment facility and antiquated fuel, power and water lines); and improving visitor amenities.

Most of these projects put private-sector construction firms to work, though a few - like trail maintenance - are done by government employees.

Yearly reports by the Superintendent's Office detail additional accomplishments by park employees, often thanks to the taxpayer dollars that fund base operations in the park.


Construction Projects

Maintenance and construction projects are often the most-visible evidence of your dollars at work, and are often some of the biggest expenses for a park. A few projects from the past several years include:

  • Rock Creek Bridge replacement: This bridge is around Mile 3 of the Denali Park Road. It was replaced because it was not up to current seismic safety standards for bridges in this area.
  • Two historic restoration projects:In the Headquarters Area; one was the rehabilitation of the exterior of a historic house designed by NPS Architect Cecil Doty and the other was the rehabilitation of the Superintendent's Office (oldest extant building in Park Headquarters, built in 1926).
  • East Fork Bridge rehab: This bridge spans the East Fork River, at approximately Mile 44 on the park road. The project replaced the bearings underneath the bridge, installed bearing seat extensions, constructed concrete shear blocks, repaired spalled concrete on the bridge and place some gabions to control abutment fill erosion.
  • Repair of renewable energy electric systems for the EVC
  • Repairing kennels fencing and concrete
  • Extending McKinley Station Trail to Riley Creek Picnic Area
  • Replace rotting boardwalk on McKinley Bar Trail
  • Replace restroom flooring in two visitor centers

Non-Construction Projects

  • Develop a plant identification key for flora along the park road
  • Several youth internships
  • Artist-in-Residence workshops
  • Inventory arthropods using citizen science
  • Design, and installation of five ADA tactile Interpretive panels
An explanation of FLREA

The Fiscal Year (FY) 1996 Interior Appropriation Bill established the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, which allowed parks to keep monies collected through entrance and campground fees to expend toward specific types of projects.

This program was replaced with the Federal Lands Recreation Enhance Act (FLREA) in FY 2005. As with the Fee Demonstration Program, 80% of the money collected from Denali's visitors through entrance and campground fees is allocated directly to the park, and is used on pre-apprroved projects. The other 20% goes to the NPS Washington office, to be allocated to other parks through a competitive process. Both pots of money can only be allocated for projects that address one or more of the following criteria:

- must be a high priority
- improve the visitor experience
- reduce the deferred maintenance on visitor use assets
- maintain previous investments
- restore habitat directly related to wildlife dependent recreation
- provide law enforcement related to public use and recreation

Examples of FLREA-funded projects:

- construction of a new Teklanika River Rest Area
- study of the impacts of human waste on Denali
- rehabilitate and address safety hazards on the Triple Lakes, Horseshoe Lake and other trails
- develop community based education programs with gateway communities
- create an education network through partnerships and long distance learning
- address park film accessibility issues
- protect Artist-in-Residence artwork

Last updated: December 4, 2021

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.

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