Denali National Park is located in the vastness of central Alaska, and is one of the most popular outdoors destinations in the state. Every year, it attracts nature lovers, hikers, anglers and climbers in the summer, and skiers and dog-sledders in the winter. Denali is a true wilderness, for while there is plenty to do in the park, much of its is in the form of backcountry adventure as there is only a single paved road in the entire enclosure. A little planning is necessary to make the most of a visit to the park.
The basic seven-day entrance pass for Denali National Park in 2009 was $10 per person or $20 per vehicle. Those planning a longer stay should consider getting the annual pass, which covers one year from the date of purchase. These passes were $40 in 2009.
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AL 99755
The park has six campgrounds. Campers are permitted to camp in the park for no more than two weeks at a time; fires are permitted only in designated areas; and campers are expected to abide by "leave no trace" standards of behavior. In terms of facilities, the best-furnished of these campsites has running water, dumps stations and flush toilets. Some of the campgrounds do accept RVs, but none of them have electrical or water hook-ups. Backcountry camping requires registration, but is otherwise free. These are the only accommodations available inside Denali itself, but there are a number of cabins and backcountry lodges available in the surrounding area, and outside the park entrance are a handful of hotels and resorts.
One of the main attractions of the park is Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America at 20,320 feet. In addition, there are a number of other world-class peaks located inside the park's enclosure. Those intending to climb either McKinley or Mount Foraker are required to register at the park 60 days in advance of their planned climbing attempt. In 2009, there was a $200 special use fee for these climbers, in addition to any other fees that were already appropriate (such as basic admission). Other climbing destinations in the park do not require advance registration, but they almost invariably require some backcountry camping and the necessary registration.
Among the best ways to see the Dall sheep, caribou, wolves and bears--among other wildlife--that live in Denali National Park is to go hiking. There are both day hike trails, as well as multi-day, backcountry hiking opportunities. Other summer activities include fishing and cycling. The park is also home to an array of winter activities, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and dog mushing.