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Contact: Kathleen Kelly, (907) 683-9504
Mild weather and one of Interior Alaska’s warmest winters on record have aided the park’s spring road crew in their efforts to open the Denali Park Road. Park staff officially opened the road to private vehicle traffic as far as mile 30, the Teklanika Rest Area, at noon today.
The road will remain open, weather permitting, until May 20 when transit buses start running for the season.
Park visitors continue to enjoy winter recreation activities like mushing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, but warm weather and longer days are changing conditions rapidly from winter to spring.
The spring road opening crew reported 6-8 foot drifts of snow in the Highway Pass area (mile 57.5), but for the most part, this year’s mild winter has meant limited snow, but areas of thick ice on the road. The crew reported sightings of moose, caribou, Dall sheep, ptarmigans, hawks, golden and eagles, and a brown bear on April 15.
Limited restroom facilities are available for visitor use at the Teklanika Rest Area, the parking area on the east side of the Savage River and the Mountain Vista Trailhead (rest area) east of the Savage River Campground. Other park facilities west of headquarters, including the campgrounds, remain closed until later in May.
Visitors should expect to encounter snow, ice and mud on some portions of the road, particularly in shaded sections. Motorists are also advised to be alert for National Park Service personnel along the sides of the road and for heavy equipment being used to continue road opening operations.
Weather conditions can change rapidly at this time of the year, and the road may open and close several times. Visitors are encouraged to contact the park for updated road and weather information.
Follow periodic updates from Denali road crew as they plow the park road each spring.
The Murie Science and Learning Center serves as the winter visitor center and is open daily from 9:30 am–5 pm for visitor information and backcountry permits until May 15, when the Denali Visitor Center opens for the 2019 season. The Denali Visitor Center will be open 8 am—6 pm daily.
Last updated: April 25, 2019