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Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
DENALI PARK, Alaska: The Denali Park Road is now open as far as the Savage River (Mile 15). The longer days and milder temperatures of early spring provide enjoyable conditions for visiting the park.Mount McKinley, or Denali, is visible from the park road at approximately Mile 10, depending on cloud cover. Due to the mild winter, snow coverage for outdoor activities such as mushing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is variable.
Vault toilets at the Mountain Vista Rest Area and on the east side of the Savage River are open for use. Other facilities west of park headquarters, including the Savage River Campground, remain closed until later this spring.
Visitors should expect to encounter snow and ice on shaded sections of the park road until overnight temperatures remain above freezing. Motorists are also advised to be alert for National Park Service personnel steaming culverts along the side of the road, and for heavy equipment being used in the 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 call ahead for updated road status.Follow the progress of the Denali road crew as they plow westward along the 92 mile park road to Kantishna - updates and a photo gallery are posted at http://www.nps.gov/dena/spring-road-opening.htm and at www.facebook.com/DenaliNPS.
The Bear Loop of the Riley Creek Campground at Mile 0.2 is open for free camping. A vault toilet is provided, and campers can obtain water at the Murie Science and Learning Center.
The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) at Mile 1.3 is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm for visitor information and backcountry permits.
Additional park information is available on the web at www.nps.gov/dena or by calling 907- 683-9532 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. Stay connected with "DenaliNPS" on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and iTunes – links to these social media sites are available at www.nps.gov/dena.