March 23, 2015
Contact: Kris Fister
, (907) 683-9583
The National Park Service spring road opening crew has begun the annual operations to clear and prepare the Denali Park Road for vehicle access. They expect to encounter less than usual amounts of snow and more overflow ice, due to the lack of insulating snow cover. The remote weather stations at Toklat and Kantishna are reporting approximately 3 and 24 inches of snow, respectively.
In addition to removing the winter accumulation of snow and ice, the road crew personnel must steam open ice-clogged culverts to prevent road damage caused by runoff from melting snow and ice. They will also repair any damage that occurred over the winter before opening the road for use by the public. Visitors should expect to encounter snow removal equipment on any portion of the road during working hours. Please stay 50 feet or more from any heavy equipment on the road and make certain the equipment operator is aware of your presence before attempting to pass.
Updates and pictures of the spring road opening operation will be posted regularly on the Spring Road Opening webpage.
The Denali Park Road is currently open as far as the Mountain Vista Rest Area at Mile 12, which provides access for snowshoeing, mushing, cross-country skiing, and other seasonal recreational activities. The rest area has vault toilets and picnic shelters. Park facilities further west, including the Savage River Campground, remain closed until later in the spring.
Depending on weather and road conditions, the park road could open for travel to the Savage River (Mile 15) by early April. The road could be open for travel to the Teklanika River Rest Area (Mile 30) by mid to late April. Visitors are advised to contact the park before their trip for updates on the tentative opening dates.
The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) at Mile 1.3 is open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm daily as the winter visitor center, providing information and backcountry permits. The Bear Loop of the Riley Creek Campground at Mile 0.2 is open, but water and sewer services will not be available until later in the spring. A vault toilet is provided for campers, and water can be obtained at the MSLC.
Denali National Park and Preserve collects an entrance fee year-round. The entrance fee of $10 per person (for visitors age 16 and older) is good for seven days. The majority of the money collected remains in the park to be used for projects to improve visitor services and facilities. Interagency Federal Recreation Passes such as the Annual, Senior, and Access Pass, and the Denali Annual Pass are valid for entry into the park and are available at the MSLC. The free annual U.S. Military Pass, which is for U.S. military members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Reserve and National Guard (and their dependents), is also available. Please have a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID (Form 1173).
Additional park information can be obtained by calling (907) 683-9532 from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm daily.