How to Visit the Kennels
You can reach the kennels any of the following ways:
- By car
If you have a vehicle, you may drive here. There is a parking lot at Mile 3 on the Denali Park Road. Signs indicate that it is the Headquarters area; park anywhere near that sign and the flagpole, and take a short walk (< 200 yards) to the kennels. Please note that parking in summer is very limited, and we encourage you to use the bus system described below.
- By bus
In summer (May 15—mid-September), you can use a free bus to travel here. The bus will drop you off at the Headquarters parking lot, a short walk from the kennels. You can also use a bus to attend a sled dog demonstration in summer
- On foot
From the Denali Visitor Center, you can hike either the Roadside or Rock Creek Trail to reach the kennels. The hike is mainly uphill from the visitor center to the kennels, ~1.5 miles. You could also ride a bus here in summer, visit the kennels, and then walk (downhill!) back to the visitor center. Please note that there is no food or water for sale here, but we are happy to refill your water bottle from our tap.
- Summer: May 15 to mid-September
9 am to 4:30 pm
- Fall: September 19 to October 21
10 am to 4 pm
- Winter: October 22 to February 15
Noon to 4 pm
- Spring: February 16 to May 14
10 am to 4 pm
Note on Visiting in Winter
Do not enter dog pens. This is their home. If a dog seems unsure, do not approach.
Keep young children by your side or in your arms.
Leave your pet behind, for your dog’s safety and the safety of the park dogs. See below for more details.
Note on Pets and Service Animals
To keep the Denali sled dogs, your pets and all of our visitors happy and healthy, pets are prohibited from the kennels at all times.
During ranger demonstrations in the summer, an unknown pet in the area will trigger a pack response in our kennel that causes all the dogs to lunge, bark and jump in an attempt to scare the unknown animal from their home. This creates a very dangerous environment for the hundreds of people hoping to pet and visit with the Denali NPS sled dogs before and after the program. It would also make it impossible for attendees to hear the ranger and we cannot be able to safely hook up and run a demonstration team for the crowd if outside pets are in the area. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to leave a pet unattended in the Headquarters area, either.
During the winter months it is just as dangerous for an outside pet to be brought into the kennels area. Kennels staff may be harnessing dogs or driving teams in and out of the kennels at any time and an unknown pet in the area could cause serious safety hazards for everyone.
If you wish to visit the kennels with a qualified service animal, we ask that you notify the kennels staff in advance, by calling 907-683-9586. Ideally, we can assist you during your visit in a way that lets you leave your service animal in capable hands outside the kennels area while you meet our NPS sled dogs and/or attend the ranger program. We know your service animal is exceptionally well trained, but our dogs do not differentiate their response from any other outside pet, so the same safety concerns apply.
Learn more about visiting Denali with a pet