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.
In a typical year, most visitors will only be able to tour the Denali Park Road by shuttle bus or attend the daily ranger-naturalist programs. However, in 2021, Denali National Park has created a special permit program that will allow visitors to purchase a special Park Permit ($25), which will allow private vehicles to drive to the Teklanika rest stop at mile 30. Private vehicles are not usually allowed past Savage Creek at mile 15 (Read the Press Release here). Reservations can be made at recreation.gov
While in Denali, you can also choose to go mountaineering (advanced registration required), hiking, year-round backcountry camping (permit required), as well as skiing and dog mushing in the winter.
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.
Helpful links for visiting Denali National Park: