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 passengers and/or driver have disembarked for an off-vehicle activity other than a temporary stop or wildlife viewing stop; typically this is for a walk or hike lasting for a few minutes to several hours. Unless specifically permitted, vehicles which receive authorization to park may not be parked for more than 12 consecutive hours.

Definition of a temporary stop
A vehicle is considered temporarily stopped if it is in a designated rest stop (Teklanika, Polychrome, Toklat, Eielson) or if stopped in a designated pull out with the passengers and driver remaining in or in close enough proximity to the vehicle such that the driver and all passengers are capable of quickly entering the vehicle. Temporary stops are for breaks while transiting the Park Road and for drop-off/pick-up of passengers accessing the park. Temporary stops are not for parking while hiking, engaging in extended wildlife photography, etc.

Definition of a wildlife viewing stop
A brief stop for wildlife viewing, photo opportunity or other reasons; however, all occupants must remain in the vehicle and be able to depart quickly.

Who can park
National Park Service (NPS) vehicles and other vehicles specifically authorized by the Superintendent.

Where parking is allowed
Parking is prohibited on the Denali Park Road, except as specifically authorized by the Superintendent. Authorized parking locations will be designated via the specific authorizations (permits, contracts, etc.) that allow road use.

Where temporary stops are allowed
All road users may make temporary stops in designated locations. The map below on this page identifies the location of designated rest stops and pull-outs.

Where wildlife viewing stops are allowed
Wildlife viewing stops may occur anywhere along the Denali Park Road, provided that the driver exercises due caution and observes other applicable traffic rules.

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.

Parking Areas Along the Denali Road for 2018

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: September 14, 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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