There are over 600,000 visitors (642,809 in 2017) that venture to Denali every year. At many national parks, there is an entrance station where visitors can be counted. But at Denali, visitors access the park in numerous ways and in many locations. Many arrive at the front entrance by car, train, or bus while others may travel into the park by plane or even dog team. Since there is no entrance station into the park it is difficult to estimate the number of visitors coming to the park each year. So how do social scientists estimate the total number of visitors to Denali? And how is park visitation different by month? Why do they use visits rather than visitors? How is a visit defined?
Learn more by explore a science summary concerning visitor estimation or read the Estimating Visits to Denali National Park and Preserve report (PDF, 2.03 MB).
Is there an 'Average' Visitor?
An "average" visitor really does not exist, but based on social science research, a typical visitor might be a 63-year-old Californian traveling with one other family member on a commercial tour that arrived by train as part of a trip to Alaska.
To learn about visitor characteristics, in 2011, social scientists and NPS staff conducted the the Visitor Services Project (VSP). The researchers handed out 1031 surveys to visitors to complete after their visit (735 surveys were mailed back). The survey gathered lots of information about a Denali park visitor--including age, group size, group type, country or state of residency, and how the visitor arrived at the park.
Last updated: July 2, 2018