May 4, 2015
Contact: Kris Fister
, (907) 683-9583
Lengthening days, milder overnight temperatures, sightings of migrant bird species, and the arrival of summer employees are all signs that the seasonal facilities and services that enhance the park experience for Denali National Park and Preserve visitors will open soon.
The Denali Bookstore, operated by park partner Alaska Geographic, will open on Wednesday, May 13. Many other facilities will open on Friday, May 15, including the Wilderness Access Center, Morino Grill, Backcountry Information Center, and the Denali Visitor Center, the park’s main visitor center. This environmentally sustainable facility features stunning exhibits on Denali’s natural history and cultural heritage, screenings of the award winning, high definition feature film, “Heartbeats of Denali”, and friendly rangers who answer questions and help visitors plan how to spend their time in the park. It is open daily from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.
The season’s first interpretive offerings, including the daily 2:00 pm sled dog demonstration, commence on Friday, May 15. Free buses to the park kennels depart from the Denali Visitor Center shuttle stop at 1:20 p.m. The 10:00 am sled dog demonstration begins Tuesday, May 20. Weekend campground programs will also begin on May 15th at the Riley Creek Campground. Daily campground programs begin at the Teklanika River Campground on May 20th. The full range of interpretive programs will be available in June.
Denali Natural History Tours start on Wednesday, May 13, and the shoulder season Tundra Wilderness Tour (TWT) to the Teklanika Rest Area will be available May 13 - 19. The regular TWT begins on May 20th.
The park road is open for travel by private vehicles to the Teklanika River Rest Area (Mile 30) through Tuesday, May 19. Weather and road conditions permitting, on Wednesday, May 20 the park’s shuttle bus system starts providing visitor access beyond the Savage River (Mile 15) as far west as the Toklat River (Mile 53). Buses will begin running to the Eielson Visitor Center (Mile 66) on Monday, June 1. The entire 92-mile length of the park road will open for buses, including those to Wonder Lake and Kantishna, on Monday, June 8.
The first fifteen miles of the park road will remain open for travel by private vehicles throughout the summer season.
Camping is free at the Riley Creek Campground until fee collection begins on May 15th. Water and sewer services may be available by that date, depending on weather conditions. The Savage River Campground will open on Tuesday, May 19 and the Sanctuary River, Teklanika River, and Igloo Creek Campgrounds all open on Wednesday, May 20. The Wonder Lake Campground opens on Monday, June 8.
Denali National Park and Preserve entrance fee of $10 per person (for visitors age 16 and older) is good for seven days. Visitors can pay the entrance fee at the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) through May 14th, and at the Denali Visitor Center (DVC) beginning May 15th. The majority of the money collected remains in the park to be used for projects to improve visitor services and facilities. Interagency Federal Recreation Passes such as the Annual, Senior, and Access Pass, Denali Annual Pass, and the free annual U.S. Military Pass are also valid for entry into the park and can be obtained at the MSLC or DVC.