Ready to test your mountaineering and wilderness skills on North America's highest peak? Or maybe you are eyeing the vertical rock and ice walls that line the Ruth Gorge. World class mountaineering and climbing options abound in Denali National Park and Preserve. Let us help you plan for a safe and successful journey in the Alaska Range.
Steps to Planning a Climb on Denali or Mount Foraker
The four-page Expedition Planning Tools section is required reading for all climbers attempting Denali or Mount Foraker.
Registration for the 2023 mountaineering season for climbs of Denali or Mount Foraker opens January 1, 2023. Registration is now a two-step process involving (1) fee payment at the Pay.gov site and (2) email submission of the Application for Special Use Permit form linked below. Climbers attempting Denali or Mount Foraker with one of the seven authorized guide concessions should consult their guide company for payment and application guidance.
Climbers attempting Denali or Mount Foraker must register at least 60 days prior to their start date.
This 60-day pre-registration period allows mountaineering rangers to have direct contact with climbers before they arrive in Talkeetna. Rangers can answer questions, suggest appropriate routes for different levels of expertise, and offer first-hand knowledge of conditions encountered in the Alaska Range.
There are two exceptions to the 60-day pre-registration period: (For more information, go to the Frequently Asked Questions page).
If the climb is cancelled prior to February 15 of the year in which the climb is scheduled, all but $100 of the fee will be refunded (i.e. $320 for adults; $220 for youth in 2023). No refunds will be issued for cancellations after February 15, including COVID-related reasons, nor can the registration fee be applied to a future season. Be advised that if either the climber or the park cancels due to pandemic complications or travel restrictions, refunds will not be issued. We highly suggest trip insurance to cover any potential cancellations.
In addition to the special use fee, climbers must pay the Denali National Park entrance fee of $15 per individual. This park entrance fee should be paid prior to the team's arrival in Talkeetna using the Pay.Gov form Denali NPP Weekly Entrance Fee. Teams are encouraged to bring their Pay.Gov receipts or email confirmation for proof of purchase. Interagency passes are accepted in lieu of entrance fee payment (actual passes must be presented).
All climbers are required to attend an in-person climber orientation at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station, including those teams beginning their climb on the north side of the Alaska Range. Expedition members must check in and attend the orientation together. Expedition members will be required to provide government issued photo identification, such as a driver's license or passport.
In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all climber orientations during the 2023 season will be conducted at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station. Four orientation times will be available each day (9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM), with a limited number of climbing teams in attendance. Orientation times will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis by ranger station staff, and teams are advised to remain flexible. When a Team Leader has paid their registration fee at Pay.gov AND submitted a signed Application for Special Use Permit, they will receive an email with their assigned orientation date and time based on the preferred start date listed on the Application for Special Use Permit. Other team members do not need to wait until the leader receives this email notification to register.
Expedition Registration is considered COMPLETE when:
COVID testing is NOT required for a Denali, Mount Foraker, or backcountry expedition, however it is encouraged for your team's health and safety. Click here for location, hours of operation, scheduling, and other information our park partner Denali Education Center who provides rapid COVID-19 testing in downtown Talkeetna.
Climbers with a permit for either Denali or Mount Foraker are subject to the current Terms and Conditions. Denali National Park and Preserve reserves the right to revoke a climbing permit in the event of a violation of these terms.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) About Mountaineering
Denali climbing rangers have created a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions to use as a resource in planning your expedition.
Backcountry Climbing and Mountaineering
The Alaska Range offers an amazing variety of remote climbing and backcountry skiing opportunities. The Backcountry Climbing and Mountaineering section currently offers basic trip planning information.
Denali Weather Links
Historical Mountaineering Information
Other Helpful Reading
Registration and mountaineering ranger staff are available year-round at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station to answer your questions. Contact ranger staff by e-mail, or:
Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station
PO Box 588
Talkeetna, AK 99676
(907) 733-2231 (phone)
(907) 733-1465 (fax)
Last updated: March 7, 2023