Locations in Interior Alaska
Denali National Park | Interior Alaska
Denali, the “High One”, is the name the Koyukon Athabaskan people gave the massive peak that crowns the 600-mile-long Alaska Range. At 20,310 feet, Denali is the highest peak in North America and the number one visitor attraction in the State.
The mountain was named Mount McKinley by a prospector in 1897 in honor of soon to be President William McKinley. Congress officially confirmed the name in 1917, however, this peak’s name has remained controversial. In 1975 the Alaska Board of Geographic names officially changed the name of the mountain to “Denali.” Ever since it has petitioned for the federal government to do the same. Finally, in 2015 the U.S. Department of the interior officially changed the name from Mt. McKinley to Denali.
Mount McKinley National Park became Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980 and was tripled in size to six million acres, which is larger than New Hampshire.
Denali exemplifies interior Alaska’s character as one of the world’s last great frontiers for wilderness adventure and remains largely wild, unspoiled and beautiful. Denali is readily accessible by car or RV on the Parks Highway or on the Alaska Railroad from either Anchorage or Fairbanks. In summer a number of private bus and van services operate daily from Anchorage and Fairbanks.
You can tour the Denali Park Road by bus or attend the daily ranger-naturalist programs. You can go mountaineering (advanced registration required) or day hike. There is backcountry camping (permit required) year-round, and skiing and dog mushing in the winter.
There are four Visitor Centers in the Park.
Denali National Park & Preserve Information Center is at mile 1.5 of the Denali Park Road and provides natural and cultural history exhibits, ranger programs, and screenings of the award-winning park film “Heartbeats of Denali.” 907-683-2294
The Wilderness Access Center & Backcountry Information Center, is located at mile one of the Denali Park Road. It provides information, reservations, and permits for park campgrounds, tour & shuttle buses, and overnight backcountry trips.
The Murie Science and Learning Center is run by National Park Service in partnership with Alaska Geographic and other organizations. It’s goal is to increase scientific literacy by showcasing research from living laboratories like Denali National Park.
Eielson Visitor Center, Mile 66 on the Park road. You can reach Eielson Visitor Center by shuttle bus. The center has incredible views of Denali on a clear day. It has artistic and interactive exhibits. Rangers are on hand to answer questions.
Call toll free at 1-888-303-1925 or locally at 907-683-1925. Mile 1/2 Otto Lake Road (turn west at Mile 247 Parks Highway).
near the park entrance is a self-registration walk-in camping area for bikers and backpackers arriving without vehicles.