The sled dogs of Denali have been important to the park for so long that they have become a part of the resource, and a cultural tradition worthy of protection. The dogs, and the kennels where they live, represent important pieces of the American story. They have cultural significance, representing both the Native Alaskan and the pioneer experience in the far north; and have a role in the history of Alaska's first national park.
These are the only sled dogs in the United States that help protect a national park and the wildlife, scenery, and wilderness therein, and it has been this way nearly as long as there has been a park here.
Tune into the Denali Puppy Cam! Mounted above the puppy pen, the camera lets you see what this year's pups are up to.
About the Sled Dog Puppies
Annie and Lucor's pups were born early in the morning on Saturday July 23, 2016. There are five healthy pups, three boys and two girls.
In honor of the NPS Centennial this year and the upcoming Centennial for Denali in 2017, we felt it was the perfect year for the "Birthday" themed litter.
We hope that these names remind you to celebrate our 100 year milestones the same way that our sled dogs approach every day - with boundless enthusiasm and passion for the work and play that they get to do in our parks every day.
Located about 3 miles inside the park, the kennels are open year-round to visitors, generally from 8 am - 5 pm. In winter, the dogs and rangers are frequently in the park rather than at the kennels, so you may wish to inquire at the visitor center before coming to see if the dogs are around.
You can reach the kennels any of the following ways:
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.
In summer (May 15 - mid-September), you can use a free courtesy 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
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. You could also ride a bus here, 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.
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.
In winter, you can use the map below to follow the progress of the dogs as they mush through the park. On occasion, they may not be using their SPOT device, and the map will be blank. It will also be blank in summer, when the teams are not out in the park.
The map also shows conditions on various trails. Click on a trail segment to see if we have any important additional info to offer for that section.
Yellow: Indicates a route our teams have traveled recently (in the past two weeks). Only minor hazards or difficulties should be expected.
Orange: Also a route our teams traveled recently, but with more significant hazards or challenges
Red: Either a route we have not traveled recently, or a route with extremely difficult hazards or challenges.
Download the trail routes: KML trail routes (for use in programs like Google Earth) | GPX trail routes (for use in a GPS device)
(Note: These files are general routes; there is no current status information associated with them, and the actual trail you find in the park may deviate slightly in course and location).
Denali Sled Dogs & Winter Trails
Track the movements of the Denali sled dogs in winter as they patrol the wilderness of the park. Common routes are shown on the map. Red routes are unbroken and/or hazardous. Orange and yellow trails are routes our teams have traveled in the past two weeks. Orange indicates a number of hazards exist. Yellow indicates only minor hazards or difficulties should be expected.
(907) 683-9532 General park information. The phone is answered 9 am - 4 pm daily, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. If you reach the voicemail, please leave a message with your number and we'll call you back as soon as we finish helping the visitor on the line ahead of you.