Denali charges an entrance fee
. In addition, there are sometimes other costs associated with certain types of reservations or permits (although some activities which require a permit, like backpacking, are free).
What Do I Need to Reserve in Denali?
Before most people visit Denali in the summer, reservations are recommended for just two specific activities:
All other activities in the park either do not require reservations of any kind, or can only be reserved once you are physically here. Bus and campground reservations are explained in more detail, below.
What Activities Require a Permit?
Another heading here could be "What is a permit, anyway?"
Permits are not quite the same thing as reservations, although there are similarities. A permit in Denali is for some kind of very specific activity, like mountaineering or backpacking. Getting a permit for a specific activity usually involves talking to a ranger, too, either because the activity is inherently dangerous or because it's really complex and there is information you need from us, and that we need from you, before you visit.
Most Denali visitors do not do these complicated or dangerous activities -most park visitors do not need to worry about "permits." Just focus on bus tickets and campgrounds (if you're camping - if you are looking for lodgings, you must look outside the park
, as there are no NPS-run accommodations, just campgrounds).
Some permitted activities have a fee involved, while other permits are free. More details are lower on this page, broken out by activity.
Bus Tickets & Campgrounds
Advance reservations are recommended for bus trips and campground stays in Denali. Make reservations through our concessionaire.
The National Park Service does not handle bus or campground reservations, though we're happy to answer questions about the bus systems or campgrounds.
- Two campgrounds - Igloo Creek and Sanctuary River - cannot be reserved in advance, only once you arrive in the park. The other four campgrounds can be reserved in advance.
- Senior and Access pass holders will receive a discount on nightly campground fees. These passes do not modify bus ticket prices.
- Most lodging choices (as opposed to campgrounds) are outside of the park. There are no NPS-operated hotels or lodges. We suggest you visit the local Denali Chamber of Commerce's website to research your options.
- Bus and campground reservations can be made as early as December 1 of the year before you plan to visit (e.g., Dec 1, 2016 for a 2017 visit).