Julie United States 2 Comments

Denali National Park, one of the largest national parks in the USA, is home to millions of acres of remote, rugged wilderness. It is named for Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, and catching a view of this mountain peak is one of the best things to do in Denali National Park.

There are many adventures to be had in Denali. Ride the park shuttle or cycle to end of Denali Park Road, take a flightseeing tour, hike one of many trails throughout the park, see Alaska’s Big Five, or leave the trails behind and venture into the vast wilderness.

In this guide, we cover the best things to do in Denali National Park and Preserve, with tips so you can have the best experience.

 

While in Denali National Park & Preserve, please practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace: plan ahead, stay on the trail, pack out what you bring to the hiking trail, properly dispose of waste, leave areas as you found them, minimize campfire impacts, be considerate of other hikers, and do not approach or feed wildlife.

Interesting Facts about Denali National Park

Denali National Park and Preserve protects the Alaska Range and its highest peak, Denali. This mountain, at 20,310 feet (6,190 meters) is the tallest mountain in North America. It’s vertical relief, which is the visible difference from base to peak, is 18,000 feet (5,500 meters), the highest of any mountain in the world.

The word “Denali” means “The High One” in the native Athabaskan language. In 1897, the mountain was named Mount McKinley by local prospector William A. Dickey, when William McKinley was elected president. This was the official name of the mountain until 2015, when it was renamed to Denali.

Denali National Park and Preserve is over 6 million acres, making it the third largest US national Park (Wrangell – St. Elias and Gates of the Arctic, also in Alaska, are #1 and #2).

Only one road runs into the park. Denali Park Road, just over 92 miles long, is a mostly gravel road that connects the Denali Visitor Center with Kantishna. Taking a the park shuttle on this road is one of the best things to do in Denali National Park. The farther down the road you go, the deeper you head into the park, and the better the view you get of Denali.

In August 2021, Denali Park Road closed at mile 43, roughly the halfway point. A bridge will be constructed around the landslide at this point. Until it is completed, visitors will be limited to the front of the park, although you can still take flightseeing tours or fly to Kantishna by airplane.

While in Denali, you have a chance to see Alaska’s Big Five. Dall sheep, grizzly bears, caribou, moose, and wolves can all be spotted along Denali Park Road.

In 2019, 600,000 people visited Denali National Park & Preserve, making it the second most visited national park in Alaska (there are eight national parks in Alaska). Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve took the #1 spot. For comparison, in 2021, only 230,000 people visited Denali (this year, it took second place in Alaska, behind Kenai Fjords National Park). 

Denali National Park Sign

Overview and Map of Denali National Park

Denali National Park and Preserve is enormous. With a size of 6 million acres, it is larger than the state of New Hampshire. It’s about three times the size of Yellowstone National Park.

Most of this park is designated wilderness area, which means there are no roads, no campsites, and no visitor centers throughout most of the park…just mountains, tundra, rivers, and glaciers.

Only one road heads into the park. Denali Park Road starts at the visitor center and heads west. It travels along the north side of the Alaska Range, crossing numerous rivers along the way. This road ends at Kantishna, where there are several lodges, campgrounds, and one very small airport.

Taking a bus to the end of Denali Park Road is one of the best things to do in Denali. The views of Denali are spectacular (if the weather is cooperating) and to venture into this wilderness is a much different experience than what you get at many national parks.

Many US national parks are located near cities or large towns, or along major highways. Not Denali. It is located several hours away from the major cities in Alaska and the farther you travel down Denali Park Road, the more it begins to feel like you are far away from civilization.

Visitors can drive the first 15 miles of Denali Park Road to the Savage River Area. Beyond this point, the road turns to gravel and you either need to be on a shuttle or a bicycle, or have a special permit.

Below is a map of Denali National Park from the National Park Service. I highlighted the main areas in the park.

Denali Map with Road Closure

The yellow line is the portion of Denali Park Road that is accessible to private cars. The red line is the portion of Denali Park Road that is only accessible by the Denali buses. This map also shows the location of the road closure due to the landslide.

How to Get to Denali National Park

Denali National Park is located roughly halfway between Fairbanks and Anchorage. Both cities have international airports and make good starting points for a trip to Alaska.

To visit Denali, we drove up from Anchorage, stopping at the cool little town of Talkeetna. This is a great place to stop for lunch and many flightseeing tours of Denali start in this town.

Denali National Park is one of the easiest parks to visit in Alaska, since you can drive right to it. Other parks, such as Katmai, Lake Clark, and Gates of the Arctic, all require either an airplane or a boat to enter the park.

Here are driving distances and times to Denali National Park from other destinations in Alaska:

  • Anchorage: 240 miles, 4 hours
  • Talkeetna: 155 miles, 2.5 hours
  • Fairbanks: 125 miles, 2.25 hours
  • Glenallen: 340 miles, 6 hours
  • Tok: 325 miles, 5.5 hours
  • Valdez: 460 miles, 8 hours
  • Seward: 365 miles, 6.25 hours

Best Things to Do in Denali National Park & Preserve

In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Denali National Park and Preserve. This is the full list of things to do in Denali, including those sights that lie beyond the Pretty Rocks road closure. For a list of things to do in Denali while the road is closed, read our post Things to Do while Denali Road is Closed.

#1 Denali Park Road

One of the best things to do in Denali National Park is to venture into the park on Denali Park Road.

There are several different ways to do this, depending on how much time you have and your tolerance for sitting on a bus for long periods of time.

Denali Park Road is 92.5 miles long. This road to leads to numerous hiking trails and campgrounds, scenic lakes, and the best viewpoints of Denali and the Alaska Range.

Visitors can drive along the first 15 miles of Denali Park Road. In this “front country” of Denali National Park, you can visit the visitor center, sled dog kennels, and take your pick from several great hikes.

Beyond mile 15, you either need to be on a bicycle or a park bus.

IMPORTANT: Denali Park Road is closed at mile 43 due to a landslide at Pretty Rocks. This road closed in August 2021, one month after our visit. In 2022, construction will begin on a bridge, which will detour around the landslide. This construction project is proposed to last until 2023. Until it is completed, visitors will not be able to go beyond mile 42 on Denali Park Road, unless you reserve a cabin at Denali Park Lodge. Learn more in our post about the Denali road closure.

Polychrome Pass

Denali Park Road near the road closure (Polychrome Pass)

 

Denali Road Closure

This is the area of the road that is “slumping.” Denali Park Road was built over a rock glacier at this point. This glacier is melting, causing the road to slump. Road crews were adding gravel to this portion of the road on a daily basis, but as of August 2021, they could no longer keep up. The road is now closed at this point and a bridge will detour this section of the road.

Denali Park Buses

The National Park Service offers several day trips by bus on Denali Park Road.

There are two types of buses: transit buses and narrated tour buses.

Transit buses serve as hop-on hop-off buses. If you want to get off somewhere along Denali Park Road, go hiking or exploring, and get back on the bus later in the day to get back to the park entrance, this is the bus that you want. 

The East Fork Transit Bus ($30 per person), which goes to mile 42, is the only transit bus that will be operating in 2022.

On a narrated bus, a trained naturalist drives the bus and points out animals, geologic features, ecosystems, etc. These buses are not hop-on hop-off. They have several stops they make along the drive, each lasting 10 to 30 minutes, but you cannot go off on your own, do a hike, and then later hop back on another narrated bus.

In 2022, according to the National Park Service website, two narrated buses will be operating:

Natural History Tour ($104 per person). This bus goes to Teklanika at mile 27. This tour focuses on the history and cultural background of Denali National Park. This bus tour takes 5 hours round trip.

Tundra Wilderness Tour (only goes to mile 42 in 2022, $128 per person). Usually, this bus goes to Stony Hill Overlook at mile 62 (one of the best viewpoints in Denali). In 2022, it will only go as far as mile 42. This bus tour takes 5.5 hours.

In prior years, and once the bridge is constructed, the Kantishna Experience bus goes to the end of the road at mile 92. It’s a long day (about 12 hours) but if you want to experience all of Denali Park Road, and you are planning your trip for 2023 or later, this is the tour to take.

For more information about the transit and narrated bus tours, a detailed description of things to see and do along Denali Park Road, and lots of photos, click here to read our guide to Denali Park Road.

Denali Park Buses

Denali park buses at Eielson Visitor Center | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

Highlights of Denali Park Road

I know that sitting on a bus for 8 to 12 hours does not sound like fun.

We rode both the transit bus to Eielson and took the narrated bus out and back to Kantishna. Honestly, we weren’t looking forward to it, we were only doing it since it sounded like something you should do when you visit Denali National Park.

Well, this experience blew away our expectations. The views from the drive are incredible. Hiking around Eielson was one of our favorite things to do not only in Denali, but also on our one-month trip to Alaska. And wow, the views are incredible! And to visit Kantishna, which is at the end of Denali Park Road, feels wonderfully remote.

From our multiple bus trips up and down Denali Park Road, here are what we think are the top experiences:

  • Spot Alaska’s Big 5 (entire drive)
  • Go hiking at Eielson (Mile 66)
  • Stony Hill Overlook (Mile 62)
  • Wonder Lake (Mile 85)
  • Polychrome Pass & Overlook (Miles 44 to 46)
  • Spend the night in Kantishna (Mile 92)
  • Savage Alpine Trail (Mile 15)
  • Go hiking in the front of Denali National Park (Mile 2)

Polychrome Overlook

Polychrome Overlook | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

 When to Go to Denali

Eielson, at mile 66 of Denali Park Road. This photo was taken from the Thorofare Ridge Trail.

 

Caribou in Denali

Caribou | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

#2 Visit the Savage River Area

The Savage River Area of the park is located at mile 15 on Denali Park Road. This is as far as you can go in a private car.

In this area, there are several great hiking trails. On a clear day, you can get a pretty good view of Denali, but it requires hiking the Savage Alpine Trail.

Things to Do in the Savage River Area

Hike the Savage Alpine Trail. This hike is 4 miles long. It can be done either point-to-point or out-and-back. With 1,500 feet of total ascent, it is a challenging hike, but it’s your best way to get a view of Denali without riding a park bus or taking a flightseeing tour. It’s also one of our favorite hikes in the park. Get the full details in our Guide to the Savage Alpine Trail.

Best Hikes in Denali

Savage Alpine Trail | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

Hike the Savage River Loop Trail. This easy, 2-mile trail makes a loop around the Savage River. It’s a very pretty hike but just know that you won’t be able to see Denali from this trail.

Savage River Loop

Savage River Loop | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

Hike the Mountain Vista Trail. This 0.6-mile loop is located at mile 13 of Denali Park Road. It’s an easy hike with views of the surrounding mountains.

HOW TO GET TO THE SAVAGE RIVER AREA: You can drive to the Savage River area. Parking is extremely limited so it’s best to get here before 10 am so you can get a parking space. You can also ride the free Savage River Shuttle from the visitor center. 

US National Parks List

#3 Go Hiking in Denali National Park

In Denali, there are lots of great hiking trails to choose from. Most of these are located near the front of the park, so they are easily accessible, without having to ride one of the park buses.

Below is a list of the 10 best hikes in Denali. Learn more in our Denali Hiking Guide, which has maps, photos, and more information about each of these trails.

Horseshoe Lake Trail. 2 miles round trip, easy, located near the visitor center. This short, sweet trail loops around Horseshoe Lake and beside the Nenana River.

Horseshoe Lake things to do in Denali National Park

Horseshoe Lake | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

Mount Healy Overlook Trail. 4.9 miles out-and-back, strenuous, located near the visitor center. This steep hike offers great views of the front of the park. On a clear day you can see the peak of Denali.

Mount Healy Overlook

Mount Healy Overlook | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

Triple Lakes Trail. 9.25 miles one-way, moderate. This point-to-point hike is located near the park entrance. You hike past several lakes. It’s a nice option if you want to hike a low-traffic trail in Denali.

Triple Lakes Trail things to do in Denali National Park

Triple Lakes Trail | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

McKinley Station Trail. 3.2 miles out-and-back, easy, located near the visitor center. This easy hike wanders along Riley Creek.

Mountain Vista Trail. This 0.6-mile loop is located at mile 13 of Denali Park Road. It’s an easy hike with views of the surrounding mountains.

Savage Alpine Trail. 4 miles, strenuous. This short, tough hike is worth it for awesome views of the Savage River area, and, on a clear day, views of Denali.

Savage River Loop. This easy, 2-mile trail makes a loop around the Savage River. It’s a very pretty hike but just know that you won’t be able to see Denali from this trail.

Thorofare Ridge Trail. 2 miles out-and-back, strenuous, located in Eielson. This is one of our favorite hikes in the park. The views of Denali are spectacular.

Gorge Creek Trail. 2 miles out-and-back, moderate, located in Eielson. As you hike down to Gorge Creek, you have awesome views of Denali.

Hiking in Denali

Gorge Creek Trail | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

McKinley Bar Trail. 4.7 miles out-and-back, easy, located near Wonder Lake. This mostly flat hike takes you to the McKinley River Bar. If the weather is clear, you will have more big views of Denali.

McKinley Bar Trail

McKinley Bar Trail | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

#4 Backpacking and Off-Trail Hiking

Denali is unlike other national parks. In Denali, you are permitted to hike off-trail.

This can be done throughout the park. You can ride a transit shuttle bus, getting off at an area that looks appealing. Spend some time hiking in the wilderness, and then board another transit bus at the end of the day, to take you back to the park entrance.

If you really want to venture into the wilderness, you can also go backpacking. This requires that you get a permit. Learn more about off-trail hiking and backpacking on the National Park Service website.

#5 Visit Eielson

Eielson is located on mile 66 of Denali Park Road. Riding a transit or narrated bus to this point is one of the best things to do in Denali National Park. Eielson is closed in 2022 due to the road closure.

Why is Eielson so great?

For one thing, the views of Denali are unbeatable. From the Eielson Visitor Center, the views of Denali and the Alaska Range are some of the best in the park.

Eielson Visitor Center

Eielson Visitor Center | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

For an even better view, hike the Thorofare Ridge Trail, which takes you up to a stunning viewpoint. On a clear day, it’s hard to beat this view of Denali.

Denali National Park

View from the Thorofare Ridge Trail | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

And the ride to get to Eielson is awesome. We spotted all of Alaska’s Big 5 and had lots of great views of the Alaska Range and Denali on the drive.

Once Denali Park Road reopens beyond mile 42, this is one of top things to do in the park. In the meantime, consider saving your visit to Denali to 2023 or later, so that you can have this experience.

#6 Visit Wonder Lake

Wonder Lake sits at mile 85 on Denali Park Road. Along Denali Park Road, this is about as close as you can get to Denali. From the Wonder Lake Campground, you are only 26 miles away from Denali.

On a clear day, the views of Denali are spectacular. We weren’t so lucky on our visit, with overcast skies, but it is still a beautiful place to visit.

Wonder Lake Cloudy Day

Wonder Lake on a cloudy day

 

Wonder Lake

Wonder Lake on a clear day. JacobLoyacano/shutterstock.com

In the Wonder Lake area, you can bike along Denali Park Road, hike the McKinley Bar Trail, and see Reflection Pond. If skies are clear and it isn’t windy, you can photograph Denali’s reflection in this pond.

Reflection Pond things to do in Denali National Park

Reflection Pond on a cloudy day

#7 Spend Some Time in Kantishna

Kantishna is a small cluster of lodges, campgrounds, and private properties, all located at the very end of Denali Park Road.

Biking on Denali Road

End of Denali Park Road | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

To get here, ride a transit or narrated park bus (about 6 to 7 hours one way), or fly into Kantishna Airport.

Spend the night at the Backcountry Lodge, Kantishna Roadhouse, Skyline Lodge, or the Wonder Lake Campground. We stayed at the Denali Backcountry Lodge. Using the free bikes provided by the lodge, we cycled out past Wonder Lake and hiked the McKinley Bar Trail.

In 2022, you can visit Kantishna by flying in by helicopter and staying three to four nights at the Denali Backcountry Lodge. Learn more in our post about things to do during the Denali road closure.

#8 Stony Hill Overlook

This is one of the best viewpoints of Denali along Denali Park Road. Stony Hill Overlook is located at mile 62, which is just before you get to Eielson.

Stony Hill Overlook

Stony Hill Overlook | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

#9 Spot Alaska’s Big Five

Alaska’s Big Five are caribou, moose, Dall sheep, bear, and wolf.

The best way to see all Big Five is on a bus ride on Denali Park Road. Each of these animals live in different parts of the park. Moose are usually spotted near the park entrance. Caribou and Dall sheep are usually spotted on Denali Park Road past mile 30. Bear can be seen almost anywhere. And we saw a wolf at Eielson.

Denali Moose things to do in Denali National Park

#10 Go White Water Rafting on the Nenana River

The Nenana River forms part of the eastern boundary of Denali National Park. Several river outfitters run half and full-day white water rafting trips during the summer months. Take your pick from easy, float trips to more adventurous rafting trips through the rapids.

Learn more here.

Whitewater Rafting things to do in Denali National Park

Whitewater rafting on the Nenana River | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

#11 Take a Flightseeing Tour

One of the best ways to see Denali is on a flightseeing tour. Many flightseeing trips circle around Denali and the Alaska Range and you also have the option to add on a glacier landing tour.

Things to do in Denali Flightseeing

Denali Flightseeing

We took a flightseeing trip with K2 Aviation. Originally, we booked a flightseeing tour with a glacier landing, but the weather wasn’t clear enough for a glacier landing. Instead, we took a standard flightseeing tour, which was still a great experience. But from those that we talked to who have done it, a flightseeing tour + glacier landing combo sounds awesome!

 

#12 Visit the Sled Dog Kennels

Sled dogs have been used for 100 years to patrol Denali National Park. Once the park becomes snow covered, these sled dogs are used by park rangers to travel through and patrol the park.

Denali Sled Dogs things to do in Denali National Park

Sled Dog Kennels | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

Visitors to the park can attend sled dog demonstrations at the kennels. These demonstrations are typically held June through August several times a day (10 am, 2 pm, and 4 pm). The sled dogs are open to visitors from 9 am to 4:30 pm. You can get here by car, but parking is extremely limited. There is also a free park shuttle that leaves from the visitor center about 40 minutes before the scheduled sled dog demonstration.

Learn more and get updated hours on the National Park Service website.

#13 Go Camping

There are numerous campgrounds located throughout Denali National Park. These are located either near the park entrance or along Denali Park Road.

Campsite fees range from $20 to $40 per night. Reservations are recommended but not absolutely necessary. However, if you wait to the last minute, you might have limited options inside of Denali National Park. Most campgrounds are open from mid-May to mid-September.

Here is a list of campgrounds in Denali National Park:

  • Riley Creek Campground: Near the front entrance of Denali National Park. Open all year for tent camping and RV’s.
  • Savage River Campground: Mile 14. Open to RV’s and tent camping.
  • Sanctuary River Campground: Mile 22. Tent only camping and accessible by park bus. This campground is first-come first-serve and only has 7 sites.
  • Teklanika River Campground: Mile 29. Open to RV’s and tent camping. You can drive your vehicle here, but if you do so, you will use the park buses to get around and you will have a 3-night minimum stay.
  • Igloo Creek Campground: Mile 35. Tent camping only with 7 sites. This campground is closed in 2022.
  • Wonder Lake Campground: Mile 85. This is as close as you can get to Denali from a campsite. This campground is closed in 2022.

For more information about camping in Denali National Park, visit the National Park Service website. 

#14 Climb Denali

For the ultimate experience, climb to the summit of Denali. To do this, a high level of physical fitness, prior mountaineering experience, and experience hiking and ice climbing on glacier are a necessity.

The average climbing trip takes 17 to 21 days and it is best to do this with an experienced guide. 

Learn more on the National Park Service website.

#15 Viewpoints of Denali Outside of the National Park

On AK-3, between Talkeetna and the entrance to Denali National Park, are two viewpoints of Denali and the Alaska Range.

Denali Viewpoint South. Park in the parking lot and it is short walk to the viewpoint. We liked the view from here better than the North viewpoint. Here is the view.

Denali Viewpoint South

Denali Viewpoint South

Denali Viewpoint North. From here, you can see the Alaska Range right from the parking lot, no extra walking necessary. But the view isn’t quite as good as what you get from the south viewpoint, in my opinion.

Denali Viewpoint North

Denali Viewpoint North

#16 Denali Park Road Lottery

For four days in September, the entire length of Denali Park Road opens to private vehicles, with two conditions. #1, you must have a lottery ticket. And #2, you can only drive as far as the weather allows. During years of early snow or ice, you might not be able to travel past mile 15 (Savage River).

Lottery tickets go on sale in May. If you win the lottery, you will be charged $25 (this is in addition to the park entrance fee). Dates that the road lottery event vary by year but typically it takes place in mid-September.

Learn more on recreation.gov.

IMPORTANT: The Denali Park Road Lottery is not being offered in 2022 because of the landslide at Pretty Rocks.

How Much Time Do You Need in Denali National Park?

There is a statistic that only 30% of people who visit Denali National Park, actually get to see Denali. This mountain is so large that it creates its own weather and it is frequently hidden behinds the clouds. In order to increase your chances to see Denali, plan on spending several days here.

We spent 6 days here in July. Three days we had clear skies and could see Denali. On the other three days, the mountain was completely hidden behind the clouds.

I recommend spending three days in Denali National Park, especially for those who want to do some hiking and travel along Denali Park Road.

With three days in Denali, spend one day on Denali Park Road, one day hiking the trails in the front of the park, and one day on a flightseeing tour.

With more time, you can hike more trails at the front of the park, go whitewater rafting, or spend a night or two in Kantishna or Wonder Lake.

If you only have a day or two, consider taking a transit or narrated bus as far as you can go (in 2022, this will be to mile 42) or hiking the trails in the Savage River area and near the park entrance.

Denali

Denali, seen from Eielson | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

How to Plan Your Time

Here is a sample 3-day itinerary that starts and ends in Anchorage.

Day 1: Drive from Anchorage to Denali. On the drive, visit Talkeetna, have lunch, take a flightseeing tour (optional), and check into your hotel. If the skies are clear and you still have energy and daylight left, hike the Mount Healy Overlook Trail.

Day 2: Transit or narrated bus tour of Denali Park Road. Ideally, do this early in the morning. In 2022, since these are 5-hour tours, you will have the afternoon to visit the sled dog kennels, the visitor center, and/or go hiking.

Day 3: Go hiking in the Savage River area. In the evening, drive to Anchorage.

With More Time: Each day that you add on to your trip gives you a better chance to see Denali with clear skies. There are enough hikes to do in front of the park to keep you busy for several days, plus you have the option to go whitewater rafting. Once Denali Park Road reopens past mile 42, taking the park bus to Kantishna and spending one or two nights here is a great experience.

McKinley Station Trail things to do in Denali National Park

View from the McKinley Station Trail | Best Things to Do in Denali National Park

Best Time to Visit Denali National Park

The best time to visit Denali National Park is from June through early to mid-September. During this time, Denali Park Road is open, as are the campgrounds and lodges in Kantishna.

We visited Denali National Park in early July 2021.

Snow starts to fall between mid-September and early October. Once the snow accumulates enough, Denali Park Road closes for the year. This can happen as early as mid-September.

In general, the earliest Denali Park Road reopens is sometime in April, although this really depends on snowfall amounts during the winter, and any spring snowstorms that might come along. The later you plan your trip, the more likely you can see more of the sights along Denali Park Road.

Where to Stay

Inside of Denali National Park, you can stay at one of several campgrounds (see our section on camping above) or at one of the lodges in Kantishna (Denali Backcountry Lodge, Skyline Lodge, and Kantishna Roadhouse).

Outside of Denali National Park, there are many hotels, cabins, and motels to choose from.

We stayed at the Denali Cabins but the Denali Lakeview Inn, the Denali Tri-Valley Cabins, the Denali Park Hotel, and Grande Denali Lodge get good reviews.

Important Planning Information

Entrance Fee: $15 per person, valid for 7 days. Those 15 years and younger are free. The America the Beautiful Pass is accepted and will cover up to four adults. There is no entrance booth, so purchase your entrance permit in advance and be prepared to show your receipt to park rangers should they ask to see it.

Hours of Operation: Open all year, although most roads and facilities will be closed from October until May.

Pets: Pets are permitted in Denali National Park with limited access to many areas. They must be on a leash at all times. Pets are not permitted on buses or the majority of the hiking trails.

Cellular Service: Cellular service is only available at the front of the park, near the visitor center. We did not have cellular service beyond mile 5 of Denali Park Road.

Get updates on road conditions and trail closures, as you plan your trip and just before your visit, on the National Park Service website.


If you have any questions about the best things to do in Denali National Park, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Alaska:

EIELSON: 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Eielson Visitor Center
BEST DENALI HIKES: Top 10 Hikes in Denali National Park
DENALI PARK ROAD: Guide to Denali Park Road: Things to Do, Map, Photos, Travel Itineraries
DENALI: Denali Flightseeing Tour: Photos, Tour Options & is It Worth It?
ALASKA ITINERARY: 10 Days in Alaska: 3 Epic Road Trip Ideas
KATMAI: 8 Amazing Things to Do in Katmai National Park
KENAI FJORDS: 9 Amazing Things to Do in Kenai Fjords National Park
WRANGELL – ST. ELIAS: 10 Best Things to Do in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park & Preserve
COLUMBIA GLACIER: Columbia Glacier Kayaking Tour: The Ultimate Guide
ANCHORAGE TO VALDEZ: Driving Anchorage to Valdez: Best Things to Do, Map & Photos

US National Parks Guide

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Things to Do in Denali NP

 

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Comments 2

  1. Avatar for Lori Bailey
    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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      Julie

      Yes, you can ride a park shuttle bus (either a transit or narrated tour bus) beyond the 15 mile mark. This year, buses are only going to mile 42 because of the road closure. Learn more in this post. Cheers, Julie

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