December 8, 2011
Contact: Kris Fister
, (907) 683-9583
The Superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve has determined that there is adequate snow cover for the use of snowmobiles for traditional activities in areas of the 1980 park additions that are south of the crest of the Alaska Range.
All areas of the 1980 park additions north of the crest of the Alaska Range remain closed to snowmobile use for traditional activities due to inadequate snow cover.
Riders are reminded that all lands within the former Mount McKinley National Park on both the north and the south sides of the Alaska Range are closed to all snowmobile use by federal regulation. Maps with GPS coordinates for the park and preserve boundary are available on the park website at www.nps.gov/dena/parkmgmt/park-boundary-info.htm.
Overall, riding conditions are variable. It is the rider's responsibility to avoid locations where damage to vegetation or soils could occur, or where vegetation is taller than the protective snow cover.
Riding conditions are potentially very dangerous due to recent snowfall and high winds. There are many areas of thin ice or open water and avalanche hazard could be high due to wind crusts and layers in the snow pack. It is important to avoid steep slopes, narrow valleys, and ravines.
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.
Snowmobile operators must be at least 16 years of age unless accompanied and supervised by a responsible person 21 years of age or older. Riders must report accidents resulting in injury to or death of a person, or property damage, to park rangers by the quickest means. Learn more about snowmobiling regulations and other information.
The Murie Science and Learning Center is open daily from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm as the winter visitor center, providing visitor information and backcountry permits. Additional information is available on the park website or by calling (907) 683-9532 between 9:00 am - 4:00 pm daily.