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Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
The National Park Service road crew has been assisted in their work to open the park to visitors by recent warm temperatures and lower than average levels of snow and ice on some sections of the road. The portion of the Denali Park Road between the Savage River (Mile 15) and the Teklanika River Rest Area at Mile 30 opened Sunday, April 15 for travel by private vehicles. Motorists should expect to encounter snow, ice, and mud on some portions of the road, particularly shaded areas. Please be alert for heavy equipment being used in road opening operations and park personnel working on the edges of the road.
Snow conditions for skiing and mushing have deteriorated, but hardy skiers can still find good snow on north-facing slopes. Visitors have reported numerous wildlife sightings along the first fifteen miles of the road, including caribou, moose, wolves, ptarmigan and snowshoe hare. There have been no reports of bears.
Weather conditions can change rapidly at this time of the year, and the road could open and close several times in the next few weeks. Call park headquarters for updated road and weather conditions.
The road will be open for travel to Mile 30 through Friday, May 18. Beginning Saturday, May 19 the shuttle bus system will begin its seasonal operations to provide access beyond the Savage River to destinations further west on the park road. The first fifteen miles of the park road will continue to be open for travel by park visitors in private vehicles throughout the summer season.
There are vault toilets at the Savage River parking areas and chemical toilets at the Teklanika River Rest Area for visitor use. Other facilities west of the park headquarters (Mile 3), including campgrounds, are scheduled to open later in May.
Visitor information and backcountry permits are available at the Murie Science and Learning Center (Mile 1.3) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. The Riley Creek Campground is open for free camping until mid-May, but water and sewer services are currently not available. A vault toilet is provided for campers in the open loop, and water can be obtained at the Murie Science and Learning Center.
Additional information can be obtained by calling the park at (907) 683-2294 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily or on the web at www.nps.gov/dena.