Set in the vast Alaskan wilderness, Denali National Park and Preserve enjoys a top position among the many national parks of America. Covering over 6 million acres of land and encompassing the summit of Mount Denali or Mount McKinley, and its surrounding foothills, forests and glaciers, it is undoubtedly the crown jewel of Alaska. Hence, no matter what time of the year you visit Denali National Park, stay assured to be awestruck by the beauty that this national park will thrill you with.
About Denali National Park
- State: Alaska, USA
- Location: Parks Highway, the central area of the Alaska Range
- Area: 9,492 square miles.
- Distance from City Center: 11.5 miles from Healy, the closest town
- Spread Across: 6 million acres
- Established in: 1917
- Average Footfall: Over 600,000 per year
- Must-Visit: Mount Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley
- Famous For: Mountain climbing, camping
Best Time To Visit Denali National Park
Denali National Park is open throughout the year. However, main tours and activities are offered in summer only. The majority of Alaska tours operate mid-May to mid-September. The tours into Denali operate mid-June to the end of August as this is the peak season for the park.
Visiting the park in early June to mid-June is ideal as it is not yet crowded with tourists that come from cruise ships and other places. The only drawback is that you have to deal with mosquitoes from June until the end of July. Whereas from the late October to March, winter hits the national park and the temperature comes down -40 degrees F and colder to 20 degrees-plus on warm days. This is also the time when Winter Activities, including skiing, snowshoeing and winter biking begin.
Top Attractions In Denali National Park
Take a look at some of the best attractions in Denali National Park.
1. Mount McKinley
Denali National Park’s most recognizable and famous landmark is perhaps Denali itself. It is also known as Mount McKinley. You might not be able to climb the peak, but you can see the mountain from different vantage points throughout the park. If you want an up-close view of McKinley, you can take a trip on a plane from one of the towns that surround the park, like Talkeetna, Healy or Denali Park.
2. Visitor Centers
The visitor centers in Denali offer in-depth information and experiences, complementing your Alaskan adventure. At mile 1.5 on the park access road, the Denali Visitor Center is the park’s main center and serves as a combination information center and museum. At mile 66, the Eielson Center offers breathtaking views of Mount McKinley and includes a gallery.
3. Wildlife Biodiversity
One of the things that Denali is famous for is wildlife. The park has 39 mammal species, 167 bird species, 10 fish species, and over 650 different types of flowering plants as well as algae, fungi, lichens and mosses. For unforgettable wildlife encounters, you should head to the Wilderness Access Center at mile 1 on the Denali Road as most of the guided Denali National Park tours leave from here.
4. Nenana River
If you are looking for adventure and excitement or simply want to see breathtaking scenery, you should make your way to the Nenana River. Running through the park, the river offers an opportunity for a guided whitewater rafting trips through rapids that range from Class 1 to 4. If you want something tamer, you can go on a canoeing or paddling adventure on the Nenana River and explore the park by water.
5. Lake Wonder
One of the park’s most popular attractions, Lake Wonder is a beautiful body of water surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop as the lake shimmers in the sun. If you are lucky, you can see the reflection of the natural wonders around the lake, giving you a magical sight you will never forget.
Best Things To Do In Denali National Park
There are many Denali National Park activities that you can enjoy on your visit to this amazing slice of the Last Frontier. Here is a look at some of the best things to do when you are in Denali.
1. See North America’s Tallest Summit
Mount Denali does not only hold the title of being the highest peak in the United States, but in the entire North American continent. The summit, which is 20,310 feet above sea level, is what attracts mountaineers from across the world to Alaska. The good news is that you do not have to be a mountaineer and climb all the way to the top to take in vistas of the mountain. Mount Denali looms high in the horizon at nearly every turn all through the park.
2. Go Hiking
Denali National Park hiking is one of the most popular activities for visitors. You can experience hiking here in two ways. One is following any of the few short trails that are marked. You can take many of these trails all in one day. Or if you are looking for an adventure and equipped and ready to explore the wilderness, you can go on your own off-trail hiking adventure in almost any direction you would like.
3. Camp In The Wild
For the ultimate adventure in Alaska, you should definitely make Denali National Park camping or RVing one of the top things to do during your trip. You can go on hiking excursions and explore the trails and attractions of this amazing park. One of the best things about camping in Denali is that it is just as breathtaking at night as it is during the day. For most of the year, the pitch-black night sky of Alaska provides the perfect backdrop for stargazing and getting a close-up look of the Northern Lights.
4. Stay At The Village
The “village” referred to here is the historic Denali Park Village. You can stay at The Lodge, which provides visitors a relaxing and comfortable place to return to after a day of touring the park, hiking, white water rafting, etc. While there are standard rooms at The Lodge, you should choose its River View Rooms, which give you spectacular views of the Nenana River. The Village Lodge offers tours, recreational activities and special events like the Cabin Nite Dinner Theater. When it comes to Denali National Park lodging, nothing beats The Village Lodge.
5. See The Alpine Lakes
Another thing you should not miss on your visit to Denali is seeing the beautiful alpine lakes that this area is famous for. At 268 feet deep, Wonder Lake is the most famous lake in Denali National Park and it is easy to see why. It looks absolutely incredibly with the majestic mountain and forests in the background. The story is that the lake was named Wonder Lake after a miner said, “I wonder why we didn’t notice this lake before?” back in the early 1900s.
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Best Accommodation Options At Denali National Park
1. The Cabins At Denali Park Village
If you are in Denali National Park in September, then you should choose The Cabins at Denali Park Village for accommodations. You get an intimate setting with 52 individual rustic cabins on the banks of the Nenana River. This is the perfect place to avoid the tourist crowds and experience the wilderness in the best way possible.
Location: Mile 231.1 Parks Highway, Denali Park, AK 99755
Price Per Night: INR 20,280 to 27,747 (based on average rates for a standard room)
TripAdvisor Ratings: 2/5
Suggested Read: 10 Most Luxurious Villas in USA For Your Next Family Vacation
2. Denali Backcountry Lodge
From June to September , Denali Backcountry Lodge is the perfect place to stay. It offers you an accommodation to experience the park’s best without having to rough it out in the wilderness. The lodge is surrounded by majestic natural beauty, giving you an ideal place to spend your days at the park.
Location: Mile 92, Denali Park Road, Denali National Park, AK 99755
Price Per Night: From INR 1,31,279 per night + all-inclusive packages
TripAdvisor Ratings: 4/5
3. North Face Lodge
Located in a remote and peaceful location deep inside Denali, North Face Lodge offers you a destination with amazing mountain views. It is far from the trappings of resort-living and a haven to enjoy a true Denali experience. It is a casual country inn with well-appointed guest rooms and private baths. North Face Lodge has central heating so you will always be warm and cozy during your stay.
Location: Mile 89.1, Denali Park Road, Denali National park, AK 99755
Price Per Night: INR 7,000 to INR 8,402 per night
TripAdvisor Ratings: 4/5
4. Camp Denali
This is one of the most popular places to stay among visitors to Denali. If you are here between June and September, then you can immerse yourself in a remote country while settling into each night in a cozy bed at Camp Denali. This is where you will find some of the best Denali National Park cabins, which are rustic yet refined. Each cabin gives you a superb view of McKinley, ensuring you have the best experience during your stay.
Location: Mile 89.1, Denali Park Road, Denali National Park, AK 99755
Price Per Night: INR 44,000 per night
TripAdvisor Ratings: 5/5
5. Kantishna Roadhouse
From June to September, you can stay at a historic gold mining district in Denali National Park’s backcountry, Kantishna. You can stay in a cozy cabin at Kantishna Roadhouse in one of the most remote areas of the park. This is the ideal place to return to after a day of exploring, playing, and enjoying everything that that wilderness has to offer.
Location: Mile 90.8, Denali Park Road, Denali National Park, AK 99755
Price Per Night: INR 37,808 per night + all-inclusive packages
TripAdvisor Ratings: 4/5
If you’re soon planning a vacation at Alaska, then keep Denali National Park on the top of your bucket list. And before anything else, book your USA tour package with TravelTriangle and let us make the best off your Alaskan holiday!
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