Wonder Lake Area

huge snowy mountain reflected in a pond
Denali, seen from Reflection Pond

NPS Photo

Where is Wonder Lake?

Denali has just one road, running east to west. It is 92 miles long, and travels from the park entrance (eastern terminus) to Kantishna (western terminus). Locations on the park road are described by their mile marker, which indicates how far from the park entrance the location is. For example, Wonder Lake Campground is at Mile 85 of the road, meaning it is 85 miles away from the entrance. See our maps to help orient yourself.

Wonder Lake is an iconic part of Denali. Views of the Alaska Range, and Denali in particular, are fantastic when skies are clear. The area can be cloudy, and mosquitoes can be a major nuisance most of the summer, but the beautiful landscape still drawns many visitors each year. This region is much wetter than other parts of the park through which the road passes, providing opportunities for seeing waterfowl.

Due to the Pretty Rocks Landslide, the Denali Park Road is closed at Mile 43 and there is currently no road access to the Wonder Lake area.


  • Hike
    You can hike on-trail or off-trail in most of this area. The main trail in the area is the McKinley Bar Trail, which leads from near Wonder Lake Campground to the gravel-lined shores of the McKinley River. Hikers in Kantishna should be aware that there is private property in the area, so keep an eye out for signs warning away trespassers. Learn more about hiking in Denali.
  • Explore the lake
    If you have a packable raft (or kayak, etc), you can bring it with you to use on the lake. There are no rental services in the area.
  • See Reflection Pond
    Take a classic picture of Denali, reflected in a pond called, fittingly, Reflection Pond. The pond is located at approximately Mile 85.5 of the park road. It is a short distance north of where the Wonder Lake Campground spur departs from the main Denali Park Road.

Where to Stay

  • Wonder Lake Campground is currently closed due to the road closure at Mile 43.
  • Backpacking options
    Although backpackers cannot camp immediately adjacent to the lake, there are several backcountry units in the area that offer great views of the Alaska Range. Backpackers must acquire a free camping permit before traveling into the park. Learn more about backpacking in Denali
  • Lodges in Kantishna
    About seven miles northwest from Wonder Lake is the end of the Denali Park Road, in Kantishna. In that region are numerous in-holdings of private land, some of which have lodges available for guests. Due to the road closure at Mile 43, the only way to access these remote lodges is by air. No NPS services are currently being provided in the Kantishna area. Find a list of lodging options here.


Last updated: March 15, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


907 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am to 4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you reach 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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