Snowmobiling in Denali
Openings and Closures
As areas open or close to snowmachining, the park issues a news release. Below is a feed of news releases from the recent past. The top release indicates the current status, and any news releases below that are available in case anyone wishes to review the historic trends of when areas open or close.
Where and When You Can Ride
Snowmobile operators must be at least 16 years of age unless accompanied and supervised by a responsible person 21 years of age or older. The supervising rider must keep the other rider in sight and may not supervise more than one person at a time. Alaska State Statutes also require that snowmobiles be registered and numbered. Riders must report accidents resulting in injury to or death of a person, or property damage by the quickest means to park rangers.
Even when areas of the park and preserve are open for use, it is the rider's responsibility to avoid locations where wind or topographic conditions may have reduced snow depth and created situations where damage to vegetation or soils could occur, or where vegetation is taller than the protective snow cover.
Winter weather in the Alaska Range can change very quickly and become severe, with high winds and temperatures well below zero. Park rangers stress the importance of bringing survival gear on all trips into the backcountry and informing friends or relatives of your travel plans. Remember to assess local conditions before venturing into the backcountry.
Riding conditions can also be potentially dangerous due to high winds and warmer than normal temperatures. The avalanche hazard is elevated by wind crusts or ice layers in the snow pack. It is important to avoid steep slopes, narrow valleys, and ravines. Also, the warm winter temperatures this year mean that many waterways could still be dangerous for travel and extreme caution is advised.
For additional information, including current weather and backcountry conditions, contact us. The Murie Science and Learning Center serves as the park's Winter Visitor Center, with daily hours from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Park rangers are available to provide visitor information and backcountry permits.
A map indicating which part of Denali National Park and Preserve is designated as Wilderness. Also shown are the areas designated as National Park or National Preserve. Inholdings and land owned by other entities than the National Park Service have no overlay.