Denali National Park and Preserve. National Park in Alaska, United States

Denali National Park and Preserve

National Park in Alaska, United States

Denali national park Photo © Domen Jakus

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Denali National Park and Preserve

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Denali National Park -
	Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park - Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo by Salil Wadhavkar
Denali National Park is a national park in the United States where you can find Mt. McKinley, which is the highest point in North America. The mountain is also called ‘Denali’ by the native Athabascan Indians. Aside from the world-renowned mountain, the park also includes a marvelous wilderness area, which serves as home to grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and other wildlife. It is located in Alaska, about 120 miles south of Fairbanks and 240 miles north of Anchorage.

History

Denali National Park was founded as a wildlife refuge in 1917. It was first called Mt. McKinley National Park, but its name was changed and it expanded in 1980 to include 4,000,000 acres in compliance with the Alaska National Lands Conservation Act. For easier management, the huge area of the park is divided into three units:
  • The Denali Wilderness Unit includes the original Mt. McKinley National Park and is taken care of with the purpose of protecting its untouched wilderness, banning any hunting activity.
  • The Denali National Park covers the area included in the 1980 expansions, with subsistence hunting activities.
  • The Denali National Preserve covers two parts of the park where subsistence and sport hunting are allowed, but only those with a hunting permit can participate.


Morning in Denali - Denali
	National Park and Preserve
Morning in Denali - Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo by Mark Stevens

What to See

The national park can only be accessed on foot or by dog sled during winter. The first 15 miles which leads to the national park allows vehicles and even park buses to pass. It is recommended for visitors to take a park bus to reach the Eielson Visitor Center, where they will have a better view of the scenic mountain, provided it’s out. Those who want more adventure may choose to stay at the Wonder Lake campground. For those who want serious outdoor work, backpacking is it!

There are other things that you can enjoy in the park. You may visit the Eielson Visitor Center, Denali Visitor Center, Savage River, Wonder Lake, or Polychrome Pass. Others also choose to visit during winter to watch the sled dog demonstrations.

Top Activities

 - Denali National Park and
	Preserve
Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo by Nic McPhee
Denali visitors can enjoy the following activities:
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Bus tour
  • Photography
  • Backpacking
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Mountaineering
  • Denali Wilderness Safaris
  • How to Reach the Denali National Park

    The closest airports to the national park are Fairbanks International Airport and Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport.

    How to Reach



    By Driving

    You can reach Denali National Park by car if you pass by the George Parks Highway, which goes through Anchorage and Fairbanks. The highway is made accessible all year round, although bad weather conditions may close it down at times.

    By Train

    Alaska Railroad takes visitors to the national park every day during summer. It is scheduled to leave Fairbanks and Anchorage at 8:15 AM. The Fairbank train will reach the park by noon, while the Anchorage train will arrive at the park by 3:45 PM. From the park, the train will reach both Fairbanks and Anchorage by 8:15 PM.
    Train fares change depending on the season, but a one-way ticket to the park from Fairbanks usually ranges from $ 43 USD to $ 54 USD , while fare to the park from Anchorage ranges from $ 103 USD to $ 129 USD .

    By Bus

    Talk to a travel agent about how much it will cost to travel to the park by bus and what tour services are available.

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    Author: epicandrea. Last updated: Feb 09, 2015

    Pictures of Denali National Park and Preserve

    Denali National Park and Preserve
    Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo by Disney Travel Services

    Denali - Mountains - Alaska - Denali National Park and Preserve
    Denali - Mountains - Alaska - Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo by blmiers2

    Fall colors in Denali National Park, Alaska - Denali National Park and Preserve
    Fall colors in Denali National Park, Alaska - Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo by Frank Kovalchek

    Polychrome Basin Glacier, Denali National Park, Alaska - Denali National Park and Preserve
    Polychrome Basin Glacier, Denali National Park, Alaska - Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo by Beau Rogers

    The mountains are calling and I must go. John Muir - Denali National Park and Preserve
    The mountains are calling and I must go. John Muir - Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo by blmiers2

    Mountain - Alaska's Denali - Denali National Park and Preserve
    Mountain - Alaska's Denali - Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo by blmiers2

    Blues, Brown, Green, Whites and Lots of Clouds - Denali National Park and Preserve
    Blues, Brown, Green, Whites and Lots of Clouds - Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo by Mark Stevens

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