Weather

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a cloudburst of rain over a small area in a landscape of mountains
Mountains form their own weather, with sudden showers emerging in some valleys while others remain dry or even sunny. Prepare for extremely variable weather.

NPS Photo / Kent Miller

Climate Overview

Weather in Denali is extremely variable. Changes in weather often occur without warning. Many of our rangers tell visitors to expect sun, wind, rain, and clouds, and expect them all on the same day. Snow can fall any month of the year, particularly in the mountains.

Summer

When talking about weather, "summer" generally means late May through early September.

Average summer temperatures range from 33 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. While rare, it has been known to snow in any summer month, so be prepared for cold weather. Wearing layers of clothing makes it easy to regulate your body temperature.

Also, you'll find that a good waterproof, hooded raincoat is invaluable. June through August are the rainiest months in Denali, although yearly variances sometimes lead to bone dry summers—Denali always keeps you guessing.

Winter

Winters can be extremely cold with temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit and colder, to high 20s on warm days. This kind of extreme cold typically begins by late October or early November, and runs through March.

As mentioned above, snow is possible any month of the year - although snow that falls before mid-September tends to melt quickly. Winter snow levels are not usually sufficient for skiing or other recreation until mid-October or later.

Specialized cold weather gear is necessary for mountaineering and winter visits.

The Other Two Weeks of the Year

Both spring and fall seasons are quite short. Spring weather, which might occur in late April and early May, sees highs into the 40s or 50s F, and lows near or below freezing. In extreme years, however, winter temperatures (below freezing) linger until nearly the start of summer.

Fall weather, generally occurring in September, is similar—highs well above freezing, and lows at or below freezing.

 

Weather Stations


A variety of remote monitoring stations track conditions like stream flow and precipitation.

Stream Gauges

Temperature and Precipitation

Check out an accumulated precipitation graph for a variety of locations in Denali, north of the Alaska Range. Note that you can filter for a variety of stations throughout Alaska, and can look up variables like temperature and wind speed, in addition to precipitation.

For visitors to Denali, key locations to look at are the Denali Visitor Center, Toklat, Eielson Visitor Center, and Wonder Lake.
 
Webcam

Alpine Tundra Webcam

Have you ever wanted to check conditions for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities along the Denali Park Road corridor west of Park Headquarters? A new Alpine Tundra webcam, perched high atop a shoulder of Mount Healy along the park’s Outer Range, offers a westward perspective for several miles beyond the entrance area. Snow and extreme conditions may obscure the view at times. The image is set to refresh several times each minute.

View Webcam
Status: Inactive
 

Science Behind Weather and Climate

Interested in learning more about the weather or climate of the subarctic? Consider reading through the following scientific research papers.

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2505. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Last updated: August 3, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755

Phone:

(907) 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am—4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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