Denali National Park and Preserve encompasses 6 million acres of Alaska’s interior wilderness. Its centerpiece is 20,310-ft.-high Denali (fka Mount McKinley), North America’s tallest peak. With terrain of tundra, spruce forest and glaciers, the park is home to wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou and Dall sheep. Popular activities in summer include biking, backpacking, hiking and mountaineering.
In the summer, most visitors come to Denali, which runs every year from May 20 to the second weekend after Labor Day (so, mid-September). Summer is the only time of year in which the park's buses operate.
However, a spring or fall visit may be rewarding, although there are limited services and activities. Mountains are often snow-capped and dramatic, emphasizing the beautiful and strong wilderness of Denali. Wildlife is either shaking off winter's deep-freeze or cramming in October's last bit of life before the return of winter.
We aim to keep the alerts on our website up-to-date about the park's road conditions; but bear in mind that driving from Anchorage to Denali takes nearly five hours, during which time the weather may turn icy or snowy. Even if the road is closed when you arrive, the park's front-country offers many opportunities to recreate.
The Denali Chamber of Commerce provides information about accommodation in nearby communities throughout the year. Outside the summer season, there is no public transport in the Denali area, so most visitors rent a vehicle in the spring & fall before traveling to the park. During the spring and fall, there are no bus services within the park and no ranger-driven activities.
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