PRIVATE & SMALL GROUP TOURS TO THE WORLD'S BEST DESTINATIONS
Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour
Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights
Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure
Get Ready For Adventure At Denali!
Denali National Park is a vast, untouched wilderness with limited tourist amenities. How vast, you ask? Well, the park is larger than the state of New Jersey! Denali is known for legendary wildlife and big adventures, from backcountry camping and mountaineering to the more laidback Alaska tours in Denali National Park that cruise the park road by bus with stops at scenic overlooks.
Five Fun Facts About Denali National Park
Denali National Park and Preserve is home to the central, highest portion of the Alaska Range, together with many of the glaciers and glacial valleys running southwards out of the range. Alaska Denali National Park tours are one of the most popular attractions for visitors to this great state. Here are five fun facts to know about the park before you visit!
- Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley) is the highest point on the North American continent, with its peak rising to 20,320 feet.
- During the summer tourist season, the Denali Park Road is only open to private vehicles for the first 15 miles. The remaining 75 miles of road is unpaved, mostly one lane, and accessible only by shuttle buses (except for those camping at Teklanika).
- The park was established as Mt. McKinley National Park on Feb. 26, 1917. The original park was designated a wilderness area, the first national park created specifically to protect wildlife, and incorporated into Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980.
- Scientists in Denali have documented 39 species of mammals that range in size from tiny shrews (weighing as little as a penny) to enormous moose (weighing more than 1,200 pounds).
- Denali attracts more than 1,000 climbers from around the world each year, who attempt to summit its formidable slopes!
What Is The Best Time To Visit Denali?
If your bucket list itinerary includes an Alaska tour at Denali National Park, you are probably wondering when you should visit. The easy answer is that Denali is a great place to visit any time of year! However, the best time to visit depends on what you want to see!
If you are interested in seeing the park’s wildlife, the best time to visit is during the summer months. This is when the animals are most active and when the park’s shuttle service is running. It’s also the easiest time of year to find lodging near the park’s entrance and to reserve a spot with a reputable Alaska Denali National Park tour.
But if you’re interested in mountaineering, the best time to visit is in the spring or fall. These two seasons are the best for climbing, and they are also less crowded than the summer months – making it easier to find accommodations and enjoy the remote wilderness without running into crowds of tourists. But no matter when you decide to visit, Denali National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Getting To Denali From Fairbanks And Anchorage
The closest city to Denali is Fairbanks, which is located approximately 125 miles northeast from the park’s entrance. Fairbanks is often considered a good basecamp for a day trip to Denali or for longer, multi-day adventures at the park. Visitors can rent a car and drive from Fairbanks to Denali, or fly in by air taxi – or even take the train!
But if you’ve started your Alaska Denali National Park tour in Anchorage, getting there can be a bit tricky. The park is located roughly 225 miles from Anchorage, which makes it a little more difficult to access. The best way to get to the park from Anchorage is to rent a car and drive. The drive takes at least four and a half hours but is very scenic. You can also reach Denali by bus or by train. Many day tours leave Anchorage by bus each day, but if you want a more relaxed experience, an overland train adventure on the Alaska Railroad can be fun for the whole family!
Finding Adventure In Denali’s Wilderness
If you are arriving at Denali by car, the main entrance is located at Mile 237 of Highway 3, also known as the George Parks Highway. Believe it or not, you don’t have to go deep into the park’s wilderness to experience Denali’s Wilderness! Below are listed a few things to do on your Alaska tour in Denali National Park, even if you choose to stay near the entrance.
- Explore the Denali Visitor Center – The visitor center is open during the summer months only. This is the main visitor center near the park entrance. During the summer, you can explore exhibits, watch the park film, pay the park entrance fee, and talk with a ranger.
- Visit the Murie Science and Learning Center - In fall, winter, and spring, the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) acts as the park's Winter Visitor Center. The Murie Science and Learning Center encourages the public to understand and care about science and stewardship in Denali and other Alaskan national parks by providing high-quality educational programs and products, with an emphasis on serving youth.
- Drop into the Wilderness Access Center – this site is the place to visit if you want to reserve a campsite, obtain a backcountry permit, hop a shuttle bus, or purchase tickets for the park’s bus tours.
- Hike the Triple Lake Loop or explore the Mount Healy Overlook – these popular trails are located near the Denali National Park Visitors who want to explore the park on a solo tour can easily access these trails from the park’s entrance. Each trail is relatively easy, with varying distances for all fitness levels and ages.
- Visit the Denali Sled Dog Kennels – located in the park, this popular kennel offers visitors daily demonstrations of how the dogs help patrol the park in the winter. If you want to see an example of how these well-trained dogs have helped make life in the Arctic a little easier for humans, this is a great place to do so!
The easiest way to explore Denali’s interior is to hop a shuttle bus and take a drive down Denali Park Road. This road travels 92 miles through the heart of the park to scenic spots. Along the way, visitors can spot wildlife and enjoy Alaska’s beautiful scenery. Riders routinely spot bears, wolves, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, and a variety of birds along the route. But if you are interested in heading out on your own to hike or camp, don’t forget to stop at the Wilderness Access Center to get your permit and catch a shuttle bus into the wilderness.
The Park That Is More Than A Mountain
Denali National Park contains six million acres of wild land that is cut through by only one solitary road. While many people flock to the park to see Mount Denali, others know that Denali is so much more than a mountain! Wild animals roam the wild, unfenced land, while low-elevation taiga forest gives way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains. Solitude, tranquility, and wilderness await – all you have to do is book an Alaska tour in Denali National Park to appreciate all it has to offer!