Fees & Passes

On This Page Navigation

 
This page explains the costs of visiting Denali. Not included here are the costs of traveling to Denali, nor the cost of lodging (except campgrounds), as there are no NPS-operated lodges in Denali.

Note: If any of your children traveling with you are in fourth-grade this year, consider looking into the Every Kid in a Park program! It is a way for fourth graders and their families to get into any park, including Denali, for free.

Summary of Fees

Visiting Denali entails one or more fees. Each is briefly described here, and then explained in more detail lower on this page.
  1. Entrance fees
    $15/person. There are a variety of passes (Denali specific or nationwide) that will cover your entrance fee. Passes are available for sale at many parks across the country, including Denali, and some passes can be purchased online.
  2. Campground fees
    If you are camping in summer (mid-May through mid-September), there are nightly fees to use park campgrounds. Some park passes (Senior Pass, Access Pass) provide camping fee discounts. 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. The amount varies depending on your age and the type of bus trip. Park passes (e.g., Senior Pass, Annual Pass, etc) do not influence the ticket prices.
  4. Special use fees
    Most visitors don't need to worry about this category. This is for particular types of programs and permits, like mountaineers trying to climb Denali, or professionals selected for our Professional Photography Program.

 

Entrance Fee Details

Denali Entrance Fee—Per Person - $15.00

Youth age 15 years or younger are free. For people age 16 or older: This fee provides the visitor a 7-day entrance permit. It is charged year-round.

 

Where / How to Pay

You can pay the entrance fee before you show up, or once you are in the park.

  • Before you arrive
    The entrance fee is collected when you purchase a tour bus ticket through our concessioner. You can also pre-pay the entrance fee online—but please do not do this if you are also reserving tour bus tickets in advance! That would mean you'll pay the entrance fee twice, which you shouldn't do.

    People purchasing transit bus tickets or making campground reservations online are not charged an entrance fee in advance. You will be asked to pay your entrance fee upon arrival in the park (see "Once you are here," below).
  • Once you are here
    • Unlike many national parks, Denali does not have an entrance station or gate at the park entrance. You'll be asked to pay your entrance fee (or show your entrance pass, if you have one—see the "Park Passes" section below) when you arrive at the Denali Bus Depot or the Denali Visitor Center.
    • If you do not have a nationwide pass, but wish to purchase one while you're here, come to the Denali Visitor Center before going to the Denali Bus Depot. The various annual and lifetime passes are only available at the Denali Visitor Center (which is staffed by National Park Service employees), and not at the bus depot (which is staffed by concessionaire employees).
    • If you pay your fee or buy a pass at the Denali Visitor Center, keep your pass or entrance fee receipt on you at all times, so that if you buy bus tickets while you're here, you won't be charged the entrance fee a second time!
  • What about park passes?
    • Several types of pass exist (see the "Park Passes" section below), which cover your entrance fee at Denali. Because the pass system is not electronic, everyone purchasing a tour bus ticket must pay the entrance fee—even if you have a Denali-specific or nationwide park pass already.
    • Refunds: Passholders are entitled to a refund of the entrance fee upon arriving in Denali. Be ready to show a photo ID, your park pass, and proof of your pre-paid reservation. Present those documents once you are in the park, either at the Denali Bus Depot or Riley Creek Mercantile (which is in Riley Creek Campground).


Passes of all sorts, described below, are also available for purchase from the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station year-round, and at the Denali Visitor Center. Educators, are you bringing a school group to the park? Learn whether or not you qualify for an educational fee waiver.


 

Park Passes (Annual and Lifetime)

You can buy Denali-specific or nationwide park passes while you're here. Some passes are life-long (e.g., Senior Pass, Access Pass) while others are good for a year.

Generally speaking, these passes waive the park entrance fee for the pass-holder and up to three fellow travelers. Senior and Access nationwide passes also offer camping discounts, as described below. Passes do not provide any discount to bus ticket prices. 

You can purchase passes at:

  • the Denali Visitor Center during the summer season (May 15 - mid-September)—all passes are available
  • the Murie Science and Learning Center during the fall, winter or spring—all passes are available
  • the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station year-round—all passes are available
  • online via the USGS store—nationwide annual, senior, and access passes are available. (Please note, free annual passes for active-duty military or for fourth-grade kids can only be acquired in person at a park, like Denali.)
 
  • Annual Pass
    At Denali, this pass waives your entrance fee. See the entrance fees section, above, for how to get a refund if you pre-paid that fee but have one of these passes!
  • Senior Pass
    At Denali, this pass waives your entrance fee and gives a 50% reduction in nightly camping fees, if you choose to use our campgrounds. See the entrance fees section, above, 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. See the entrance fees section, above, for how to get a refund if you pre-paid that fee but have one of these passes!
  • Access Pass
    At Denali, this pass waives your entrance fee and gives a 50% reduction in nightly camping fees, if you choose to use our campgrounds. See the entrance fees section, above, 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 entrance fees section, above, for how to get a 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.

 

Fee-Free Days

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.
 

Bus Fees

Buses are the main way to sight-see in Denali in summer (mid-May through mid-September).

If you haven't already, read a description of non-narrated buses and a description of narrated tour buses to understand the differences between these two types of experiences.

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.


Below are the base ticket prices for non-narrated buses. These prices do not include the park entrance fee ($10 / person).

2019 Prices

Destination/Service Adult (16 and older) Children (15 and under)
Toklat River (Mile 53, May 20—Sept 13) $33.50 free
Eielson Visitor Center (Mile 66, June 1—Sept 13) $42.75 free
Wonder Lake (Mile 85, June 8—Sept 13) $58.75 free
Kantishna (Mile 92, June 8—Sept 13) $64.00 free
Camper Bus (Variable, June 1—Sept 12) $42.75 free


As the table above indicates, children (15 and younger) ride free on all non-narrated buses. They do still need a format ticket, however, when you are booking over the phone, online or in person at the park.

Tek Bus Pass
This is only available to people staying in Teklanika ("Tek") Campground. The Tek Pass costs $40.00. Learn more about Teklanika Campground and the Tek Pass.
Note: The prices below for narrated tour buses do not include the $10 park entrance fee. If you have an entrance pass already (e.g., a Senior Pass), see the entrance fee section higher on this page to learn how you can get your entrance fee refunded.
Destination/Service Adult (16 and older) Children (15 and younger)
Natural History Tour (May 9—Sept 19) $85.50 $40.00
Tundra Wilderness Tour* (Mile 53 or May 20—Sept 13) $145.25* $68.00*
Kantishna Experience (Mile 92, June 8—Sept 13) $222.25 $104.00

*Note: In the early season (May 20—31 each year), the Tundra Wilderness Tour travels a slightly shorter distance, because the Denali Park Road doesn't open fully til early June. This early-season tour is 1 hour shorter and is $124.00 for ages 16+ (and $62.00 for ages 15 and younger).
Do you need to make reservations?
  • 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
  2. Call:
    1 800 622-7275 (U.S. and Canada)
    1 907 272-7275 (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.

 

Fees for Other Activities


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
 

Campground Fees

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.

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).

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: $30
  • B sites: $24
  • C sites:$15
  • Group sites: $46
  • 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: $30
  • B sites: $24
  • Group sites: $46
  • 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 $15 Tent-only Access only by camper bus.
Teklanika River 53 $25 < 40' No hookups. No dump/fill station (use Riley). 3-night minimum stay if driving car/RV to Tek.
Igloo Creek 7 $15 Tent-only Access only by camper bus
Wonder Lake 28 $16* Tent-only Access only by camper bus. Be prepared for lots of mosquitoes!

 

Campground Details


Last updated: May 21, 2019

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.

Contact Us