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Contact: G.W. Hitchcock, Public Information Officer, 907-683-9583
Park staff briefly closed the Denali Park Road to all traffic at mile 48, just west of Polychrome Pass. The closure was due to a large mudslide that covered the area in debris flow. At approximately 1:50 p.m. the Alaska Region Communication Center received a call from a Joint Venture bus driver stating the road at mile 48 was impassable. A road crew from the West District was quickly dispatched from Toklat, accompanied by park rangers. The road was cleared and reopened for travel by 2:40 p.m. The park expects no further impact to traffic, but does advise drivers to be aware that heavy equipment will continue to operate in the area until this evening.
The park experienced two smaller debris flows on August 3, but these had no impact on traffic. This is the first closure of the park road due to a landslide this summer season. Landslide and debris flow events increase in likelihood during periods of prolonged rain or moisture. The regional weather service predicts rain to continue throughout today and tomorrow, so park staff will remain on alert.
Last updated: August 5, 2019