Rules of Driving the Denali Park Road

This video explains the procedures and rules required of people who drive on the Denali Park Road, beyond Savage River (Mile 15). Employees of the National Park Service and holders of Denali Park Road passes (e.g., through programs such as the Professional Photography Program) must watch this video before driving the park road.

Please note that private vehicle traffic is generally restricted at Mile 15; most park visitors will not drive beyond this point, and do not need to watch either of these videos. Visitors are encouraged to sight-see along the park road via one of the many bus services offered.

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4 minutes, 6 seconds

This video introduces you to the character of the Denali Park Road and looks at the challenges and conditions you'll face if you drive beyond the paved portion (i.e., the first 15 of the road's 92 miles).


Authorized Parking Areas Along the Denali Park Road

During the summer season, there are certain areas approved by the Denali National Park and Preserve management team for bus or single vehicle parking in pull outs found along the road.

Definition of Parking:

A vehicle is considered parked when: the engine is off; and/or any passenger or the driver has temporarily disembarked; and/or is unable to immediately comply with the “first in, first out” standard for vehicles stopping at a wildlife stop.

Who Can Park:

Official National Park Service (NPS) vehicles; NPS authorized concession operators (Denali National Park Wilderness Center Ltd.); NPS authorized partners’ (e.g., the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC), the Denali Education Center (DEC), etc.) vehicles; commercial filming permit holders; research permit holders; and vehicles used to access inholdings accessible by the park road.

Where Can I Park:

The map below identifies permissible parking locations. Additional authorizations (permits, contracts, etc.) that allow road use contain additional stipulations for some user groups. For example:
  • The Stony Overlook is generally restricted to the NPS transportation concession operator
  • Commercial Day Tours to inholdings are restricted to Teklanika, Polychrome, Toklat, Stony switchback, and Eielson
  • Other inholders are limited to Teklanika, Toklat and Eielson

How Many Vehicles May I Park:

NPS and NPS’ transportation concession operator is limited only to the number of available spots at any given time. For all other users, in addition to the physical limitation of number of spaces available at a given spot, no one company/partner entity may have more than three vehicles parked simultaneously between the Toklat turnoff and the Eielson Visitor Center.

Note: These rules do not apply during the annual Denali Road Lottery, which occurs in the fall after bus season has ended. Therefore, this information is mainly used by commercial businesses operating buses or rare individuals with a summer-time permit to drive some of the Denali Park Road (e.g., professional photographers), as most general public traffic on the road is prohibited in summer.

A key purpose of these rules is to avoid heavy concentrations of parked vehicles in any given pull out, which detracts from the wilderness experience that so many visitors seek during their summer visit. The approved pull outs are generally a certain distance from each other, and out of view of another approved pull out.

Proposed Parking Areas Along the Denali Road for 2018

Illustration of a proposal for what areas would be approved by Denali's management team for bus or single vehicle pull-out parking. This information is mainly used by commercial businesses or individuals with a permit to drive the Denali Park Road; most general public traffic on the road is prohibited in summer.
The map above is centered on the Denali Park Road. Black parking dots illustrate acceptable areas for parking*, while red areas are closed to parking. Like with any interactive map, you can zoom in to see more detail for a given area. You can change basemaps with the selector in the upper right.

*Please read the notes above the map on this page for details on who can drive the Denali Park Road in summer, as public traffic is restricted in summer.

Last updated: January 24, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


(907) 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am - 4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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