Fees & Passes

Visiting Denali entails one or more fees. Each is briefly described here, and then explained in more detail lower on this page.
  1. Entrance fee
    $15 per person, valid for a week and needed if you are age 16 or older. Alternatively, if plan to visit more federal lands or Denali consistently throughout the year consider one of the variety of annual (or lifetime) passes. For more details, see the "Park Passes" section, below.
  2. Campground fees
    If you are camping in summer (mid-May through mid-September), there are nightly fees to use park campgrounds. If you have a Senior or Access pass (not an “interagency annual”) you are entitled to a 50% discount. Winter camping is free, and so is backpacking (though you need to acquire a free permit before backpacking).
  3. Bus fees
    Summer bus trips (both narrated tour buses and non-narrated transit buses) cost money (though passengers age 15 and younger ride free on transits, and at a 50% discount on narrated tours). None of the various annual or lifetime passes influence the ticket price.
  4. Special use fees
    Most visitors don't need to worry about this category. This is for certain types of programs and permits, like mountaineers trying to climb Denali.


Pay Your Entrance Fees Online

  • $15—Pay the individual entrance fee online (valid for 7 days)
    Unlike some national parks, Denali does not have a per-car price for entry. Youth age 15 years or younger are free. For people age 16 or older, this $15 entrance fee provides a 7-day entrance permit, and is charged year-round. Denali does not have an entrance station, so keep your receipt (digital or physical) on you and be prepared to show your receipt to park rangers throughout the park and at facilities (e.g., the visitor center, the bus depot, etc). To pay your entrance fee while in the park, rather than online, go to the Denali Visitor Center in summer, or the Murie Science & Learning Center the rest of the year.
  • $45—Buy a Denali Annual Pass online (covers up to 4 adults)
    Rather than paying the entrance fee, you can buy an annual pass instead. Be prepared to show your digital pass or receipt at the visitor center, the Denali Bus depot, or if asked by park rangers throughout the park. It’s a good idea to take a screenshot of your pass, since cell service is very limited in much of the park.

Entrance Fee Refunds For Summer Bus Reservations

When you make a reservation for a bus ride in Denali, you're automatically charged the entrance fee. If you have an America the Beautiful Pass or Denali Pass, you are entitled to a refund for that fee. Go to the Denali Bus Depot or Riley Creek Mercantile with the pass, your photo ID, and bus reservation information (printout or digital) to receive a refund.

 

Park Passes

You can buy Denali-specific or nationwide park passes.
 

 

 
  • Annual Pass
    At Denali, this pass waives your entrance fee for the pass holder and 3 others 16 yrs or older (4 total)See the top of this page that fee but have one of these passes! See the top of this page for how you can get an entrance fee refund if you pre-paid that fee but have one of these passes!
  • Senior Pass (lifetime or annual)
    At Denali, this pass waives your entrance fee for the pass holder and 3 others 16 yrs or older (4 total) and gives a 50% reduction in nightly camping fees, if you choose to use our campgrounds. See the top of this page for how you can get an entrance fee refund if you pre-paid that fee but have one of these passes!
  • Military Pass
    At Denali, this pass waives your entrance fee for the pass holder and 3 others 16 yrs or older (4 total). See the top of this page for how you can get an entrance fee refund if you pre-paid that fee but have one of these passes!
  • Access Pass At Denali, this pass waives your entrance fee for the pass holder and 3 others 16 yrs or older (4 total) and gives a 50% reduction in nightly camping fees, if you choose to use our campgrounds. See the top of this page for how you can get an entrance fee refund if you pre-paid that fee but have one of these passes!
  • Fourth Grade Pass—Free
    At Denali, this pass waives your entrance fee for the pass holder and 3 others 16 yrs or older (4 total). See the top of this page for how you can get an entrance fee refund if you pre-paid that fee but have one of these passes! \
  • Volunteer Pass—Free
    At Denali, this pass waives your entrance fee. See the top of this page for how you can get an entrance fee refund if you pre-paid that fee but have one of these passes!

Please note: The United States Geologic Survey (USGS), not the National Park Service (NPS), manages this nationwide, inter-agency pass program.

 
Please note: Because the buses are operated by a private company (and not the National Park Service), the ticket price does not change if you have an Access or Senior pass. Those passes do alter nightly campground fees, however, as described above in the passes section.

Sightseeing by bus is the primary way to experience Denali. There are types of buses:
  • non-narrated transit buses, which are generally cheaper and on which kids age 15 and younger ride free
  • narrated tour buses, which are more expensive but feature a professional driver/naturalist who will talk about the cultural and natural history of the park


Are Reservations Necessary?
  • Transit buses
    The answer varies. If you're here for several days and have a flexible schedule, you can wait until you arrive to buy shuttle tickets. This can be useful if you want to gauge the weather forecast, for example. However, visitors with very limited schedules (e.g., only one free day for a bus trip) or particularly large groups (e.g., 6 or more people) should reserve tickets in advance.
  • Tour buses
    Yes, advance reservations are strongly suggested.

There are three ways to buy bus tickets:
  1. Make bus and campground reservations online. This is the fastest way to make reservations.
  2. Call 1-800 622-7275 (U.S. and Canada) or 907 272-7275 (international and Anchorage local)
  3. In person at the Denali Bus Depot

Note: Reservations for bus trips and campground stays in a given summer are possible as early as December 1 of the year before your trip.

 

This information is for camping in established campgrounds. Backcountry camping is described elsewhere, and is free (though you must still acquire a permit to backpack).

Within Denali National Park and Preserve there are six campgrounds of varying size and distance from the developed area at the entrance to the park. You may camp a total of 14 days per year in Denali's campgrounds. Site sizes vary, however, and there are a limited number of sites that may accommodate recreational vehicles (RV's) up to 40' in length.

Summer (mid-May through mid-September) reservations can be made for four of these campgrounds via www.reservedenali.com. Sanctuary River and Igloo Creek are open to tent campers only (no RVs or cars), and can only be booked upon arriving in the park. Reservations are for a site type (i.e., size), not a specific campsite in the campground; once you arrive at your campground, you'll pick your specific campsite. Check out campground descriptions for more details on what each campground is like.

Campground

Number of sites

Fees (Nightly)

Max RV length

Notes

Riley Creek

147

  • A sites: $34

  • B sites: $27

  • C sites:$17

  • Group sites: $49

  • A sites: up to 40'

  • B sites: up to 30'

  • C sites: Tent only

  • Group sites: Tent only

Free in winter (mid-Sep through early May). No RV hookups. RV fill/dump station available in summer.

Savage River

33

  • A sites: $34

  • B sites: $27

  • Group sites: $49

  • A sites: up to 40'

  • B sites: up to 30'

  • Group sites: Tent only

No hookups. No dump/fill station (use Riley)

Sanctuary River

7

$17

Tent-only

Access only by camper bus.

Teklanika River

53

$29

< 40'

No hookups. No dump/fill station (use Riley). 3-night minimum stay if driving car/RV to Tek.

Igloo Creek

7

$17

Tent-only

Access only by camper bus

Wonder Lake

28

$16*

Tent-only

Access only by camper bus. Be prepared for lots of mosquitoes!


*There is also a one-time $6.50 reservation fee, no matter how many nights you stay at Wonder Lake.
 

In addition to camping and bus trips, some other activities require reservations and cost money.
  • Mountaineering
    Climbing Denali or Mount Foraker requires advance registration and a pre-paid mountaineering fee.
  • Road Lottery
    The public may apply to a lottery system, wherein winners may buy a permit to drive the park road in the fall. Fees are charged to enter the lottery, and winners pay a fee for their driving permit.
  • Commercial filming
    Commercial entities wishing to film in the park must pay certain fees.
  • Professional Photography Program
    Professional photographers must pay a fee when applying to participate in the park's Professional Photography Program

 
Denali's year-round entrance fee is occasionally waived. In fact, a variety of holidays, as well part of the annual "National Park Week" each spring, see entrance fees waived at all national parks. Learn more about upcoming fee-free days.

Generally speaking, a fee-free day just waives the park entrance fee. Costs for other activities, like bus trips or campground stays, will remain in effect during fee-free days.

Do you still have questions after reading the information above? Feel free to call us 907-683-9532 (9am-4pm AK time daily) or send us an email

Last updated: November 9, 2020

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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