The Denali National Park & Preserve is a beautiful national park located in Alaska on 6 million acres of wilderness. The park encompasses Mount McKinley, which is the highest mountain in North America. It was originally dedicated as a wildlife preserve. The park is the home of 39 species of mammals as well as numerous species of birds, plants and fish. For outdoor enthusiasts, the park offers activities such as hiking, mountaineering, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and simply taking in the beautiful views.
While Denali National Park does not offer an extensive network of trails, shorter trails are available for hiking located near the park's entrance. Ask at the Denali Visitor Center about ranger-guided tours, an ideal option for learning about the beauty and history of the park without worrying about getting lost. Select from a few different tour options, with varying degrees of difficulty and length. For the outdoor adventurist looking for a more strenuous hike, there is also the Discovery Hike. For the Discovery Hike, rangers reserve the right to turn away ill-prepared visitors.
Mountaineering should only be attempted by well-prepared, experienced visitors. You will need to register to climb Mount McKinley 60 days in advance. You will also need to pay a $200 fee per climber. The park's rangers will assist you in selecting an appropriate route for your level of experience and offer you advice about the likely conditions. If you plan to climb with a guide, ask about the park's list of authorized guides. Unauthorized guides are illegal.
While most visitors enter Denali National Park in the summer months, there is also plenty to do and see during the winter. Just be prepared for harsher conditions. Snowshoeing is a popular activity, as is cross-country skiing and dog mushing. If you wish to try dog mushing but do not own your own team, ask at the visitor's center about guided mushing trips. The park also permits winter camping and snowmobiling (in limited areas), but be sure to check with the rangers about the conditions before planning your trip.
There is only one road inside the park and private cars are not allowed. Denali National Park offers bus services. For visitors who wish to camp inside the park, reserve a slot on a camper bus. There are also shuttle buses available to move you about within the park. There are three different guided tour buses to choose from: the Tundra Wilderness Tour, the Kantishna Experience and the Denali Natural History Tour.