Basic Information

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This page mainly pertains to trip planning. Check out our park statistics if you're looking for info like budget, park acreage, etc.
 

The Basics of Planning a Denali Visit

  • Where you can go by car
    Denali National Park and Preserve has just one road, called the Denali Park Road, and it is the main avenue for visitors to see and experience Denali.

    The road is 92 miles long, and only the first 15 miles of it are paved. That paved portion, leading from the park entrance to Savage River, is open during the summer for public (non-commercial) vehicles to drive.

    Getting to the park is fairly easy, as there is only one highway (Alaska State Route 3, also called the "George Parks Highway"), connecting Anchorage—Denali—Fairbanks.
  • When to visit
    The summer season in Denali is May 20—mid-September. Travel beyond mile 15 is limited to buses (or under human power, hiking, biking, etc). Please note that some children will require car seats on the park buses. Learn more about bus trips in Denali.

    Visitors coming in spring or fall (so, before May 20 or after the second full week of September) should prepare for the unexpected. It can snow heavily almost any month of the year, so the road in spring or fall may be open or closed depending on conditions. Learn more about visiting in spring or fall.

Popular Things to Do


In 1917, Congress created this park for one main reason: to protect Dall sheep. Over time, Congress expanded the park boundaries and added other reasons for its existence, including protection of North America's tallest mountain (also called Denali) and to provide a place for wilderness recreation.
  • Hiking (on and off trail)
    Denali is a huge park (> 6 million acres), but has very few trails. This is intentional; as mentioned above, one reason this park exists is to preserve wilderness recreation, which includes hiking and backpacking in a trail-less landscape. Some marked trails exist, mainly around the two visitor centers.
  • Looking for Wildlife
    Most Denali visitors say they came for the scenery and/or wildlife. In either case, the best way to sightsee is by bus in summer.
Check out a full list of things to do or check out our suggested trip itineraries, based on how long you'll be here.
 
 

Denali Details

 

Many rural locations in Alaska use a mile marker on a road to denote their physical address (as opposed to a traditional street number).

For people who wish to use a GPS device to navigate their way here, you may need to input the latitude and longitude of the park entrance: 63.728443, -148.886572.

Many rural locations in Alaska use a mile marker on a road to denote their physical address (as opposed to a traditional street number).

For people who wish to use a GPS device to navigate their way here, you may need to input the latitude and longitude of the park entrance: 63.728443, -148.886572. 

 

The main season for visitors is May 20 through the second or third week in September, though there is plenty to see and do outside of the summer. There is just one road in Denali and it is closed for most of the winter, though the park remains open for winter recreation. 

There is no gate at the park entrance, so you are technically able to visit any time of the day or night (which, in summer, is quite bright thanks to how long the sun is up!). You can recreate (hike, bike, etc) any time, but camping can only occur in designated campgrounds or with a backpacking permit. 

To plan a trip effectively, however, you may need to learn more about:

Denali charges an entrance fee year-round. More details can be found below.

Please note that some activities, like summer bus trips or staying in park campgrounds, have additional costs. Find those specific amounts on our fees and passes page.

Holders of the nationwide America the Beautiful Annual PassSenior Pass or Access Pass do not need to pay the park entrance fee. The Senior Pass and Access Pass also provide a 50% nightly discount on camping in Denali. None of these passes influence bus ticket prices, however. Learn more about the America the Beautiful nationwide pass program.

Entrance Fees:

Entrance Passes:

Most visitor centers in Denali are open in summer only (roughly mid-May through mid-September). The Murie Science & Learning Center acts as the winter visitor center, and is open nearly every day of the year.

Last updated: November 14, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755

Phone:

(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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