AccessYou may tent camp at Tek, or camp with a vehicle / RV. The rules for staying at Tek are a bit more complex than the other park campgrounds, however.
If you do not have a vehicle, you will use a special type of bus called the camper bus to reach the campground. While you are at Teklanika, you can re-use your camper bus ticket to go sight-seeing west-bound (i.e., farther into the park) on any non-narrated transit bus (not just camper buses) during your stay. This is true whether you camp one night or a week (or longer) - your initial camper bus ticket lets you sight-see west of Tek during the entire stay. You cannot go east (i.e., back to the park entrance) until you are finished camping at Tek. This is also how tent-camping works at Wonder Lake, Igloo Creek and Sanctuary River Campgrounds. Unlike vehicle camping at Tek, tent campers at Tek have no minimum number of nights they must stay - you can just camp here one night if you wish.
Staying at Tek with a car or RV requires some extra planning and attention to detail. Normally, park visitors cannot drive more than 15 miles into the park. Camping at Tek with a vehicle lets you break that rule, as you are allowed to drive 29 miles on Denali's only road. You may stop on your way to/from the campground to sight-see (e.g., you can park at a pull-off to take photos or go on a short hike); however, once you reach the campground, your vehicle must remain parked for the duration of your stay. In addition, camping at Tek with a vehicle requires a three-night minimum stay. To sight-see during your time at Tek, you'll be able to use the shuttle bus system, as long as you purchase a special kind of ticket, called the "Tek Pass." The Tek Pass is described in more detail lower on this page.
What to Expect in Tek
Though nearly all private vehicles must turn around at mile 15, Savage River, Tek campers are an exception to that rule. If you wish, you may drive your vehicle / RV to Tek. The road between Savage River and Tek River is gravel.
If you are tent camping, you may wish to use the camper bus to access the campground. If you arrive in Tek via bus, rather than your own vehicle, there is no minimum number of nights you must stay.
No campground in Denali has electrical or water hookups for RVs. Tek does have potable water, but no shower or laundry facilities. The only water fill / dump station for RVs in the park is at Riley Creek Campground. No firewood is available for sale at Teklanika, so be sure to bring any with you before traveling to the campground. Firewood can be purchased in many locations outside of the park, or at the Riley Creek Mercantile.
Tek is a forested campground, with some screening between sites. Much of the surrounding area is brushy and wet, although the Tek River is braided and offers an easy, gravel surface for hiking. Be cautious if you choose to cross the Tek, and keep an eye out for wildlife closures in the area.
Tek is the only campground in Denali where red squirrels live alongside ground squirrels. Other small animals, like snowshoe hares and gray jays, are common. Larger animals, like grizzly bears, moose and caribou are occasionally seen. Such animals are more commonly seen along the Tek River itself, which is both a good wildlife travel corridor and comparatively less brushy.