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Contact: Sharon Stiteler, (907) 683-9583
Denali National Park and Preserve will officially open the Park Road to private vehicle traffic to mile 30, the Teklanika Rest Area, on September 15, 2023. The road will remain open, weather permitting until snow or ice closes the road at park headquarters (Mile 3.4) to vehicles for the winter.
Limited restroom facilities are available for visitor use at the Teklanika Rest Area (Mile 30), the parking area on the east side of the Savage River (Mile 15), and at the Mountain Vista Trailhead. Other park facilities west of headquarters, including the campgrounds, remain closed.
Beginning Sunday, September 17, the Bear Loop of Riley Creek Campground will be open and free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. No water will be available, and visitors should plan to pack out their own trash. A minimum of five sites will remain open over winter. As part of the long-term No Traffic/Traffic Bear Study, park biologists will begin a capture effort starting September 23. Associated with this work will be the closure of the Park Road and adjacent backcountry units from the Teklanika River (Mile 31) to roughly the Y in the road near Wonder Lake (Mile 84). The closure will apply to all pedestrians, bicyclists, and backcountry users. The plan for this capture is to deploy six collars on bears east of Polychrome and replace collars on six bears to the west. The closure will begin on September 23 and be in effect until 3 days post-capture of the last bear. The park plans five days of capture work to allow for any weather delays so the closure could be in effect through September 30. The area will be opened earlier if the captures are completed before September 27.
The road will remain open to Teklanika, weather permitting, until October 15 or when snow or ice closes the road at park headquarters Mile 3.4 to vehicles. Weather conditions can change rapidly at this time of year, and the road may open and close with short notice. Visitors are encouraged to contact the park or use the National Park Service app for updated road and weather information.
Visitors should expect to encounter snow, ice, and mud on some portions of the road, particularly in shaded sections. Motorists are advised to be alert for wildlife, National Park Service personnel, and heavy equipment construction equipment on the road.
Last updated: September 20, 2023