There are both permanent and temporary wildlife closures every year in Denali. These areas are restricted to all entry and exist for the mutual protection of humans and wildlife. Because these closures may change throughout the season, it is important to ask a ranger at the Backcountry Information Center for recent closure information before each trip.
Many closures are not marked with signs around their entire perimeter. The best way to avoid them is to obtain a detailed topographic map and mark the closures before your trip. It is your responsibility to know your location at all times and avoid closed areas. Failure to avoid closures may result in a citation.
Please note that a closure is not just to hiking, but is to all entry. When a closure spans or encompasses a river, you cannot float that river. If the closure spans the Denali Park Road, please check with a ranger - you may be able to hike/bike the road, or it may be limited just to vehicle traffic.
In summer, you can purchase or at least refer to topographic maps from the Backcountry Information Center, located adjacent to the Wilderness Access Center.
Closures may also be in effect for non-wildlife reasons. A few reasons an area may be closed:
- Sensitive denning or nesting habitat
- A predator protecting a kill site, or some other wildlife-related reason
- Wildland fires
- An active search and rescue mission in the area
- Flooding or rockfall / landslides
- Construction or re-vegetation