Moose taking a morning dip near Wonder Lake campground in Denali.

Denali National Park

Adjectives used to describe Denali National Park: Jaw-dropping, breathtaking, untamed.

Aerial shot of a river of ice taken from a flightseeing trip in Denali National Park.

Denali National Park

Adjectives used to describe Denali National Park: Jaw-dropping, breathtaking, untamed.

Lone grizzly bear traveling through brush in Denali National Park.

Denali National Park

Adjectives used to describe Denali National Park: Jaw-dropping, breathtaking, untamed.

Denali National Park

A trip to Alaska is simply incomplete without experiencing Denali National Park. At its core rises North America's tallest mountain, the beautiful 20,310-foot Denali. Countless other peaks of the greater Alaska Range arch across the park lands. This forms a natural barrier between the huge glaciers and silty rivers to the south, and the rolling hills and drier taiga of the north.

The park's six million acres encompass a complete sub-arctic ecosystem that's home to large mammals like grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep, caribou, and moose. In fact, it was the desire to protect area wildlife, specifically Dall sheep, that led to the creation of what was then called Mount McKinley National Park in 1917.

Keep reading for expert Denali National Park advice on where to stay, things to do, and how to get around.

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There is only one road into the Denali National Park. It runs 92 miles through the park's north country, but only the first 14 miles are accessible by private vehicle. After the Savage River Bridge, only shuttles and tour buses (and the occasional stalwart cyclist) traverse the Park Road. Destinations in the park include the Stony Hill Overlook, Polychrome Pass, Eielson Visitor Center, Wonder Lake, and the historic Kantishna townsite.

Of the many things to do in the Denali area, the very best way to experience the park is on a narrated bus tour. The National Park Service will begin construction of a bridge to bypass an ongoing landslide on the Denali Park Road in the summer of 2022. The project is expected to take two years. During construction visitors will have access to 43 scenic miles of the Park Road. For more information, please check the Park Road page.

The greater Denali Park area offers a slew of activities, too. Flightsee by winged plane or helicopter, take a guided naturalist hike, ATV, or zipline. There's something for every traveler. Please visit our Things to Do in Denali National Park page for more ideas.

Due to its location in the interior of the state and the time required to take in this expansive park, we recommend spending two or three nights in the Denali National Park area. Nearly all lodging options are located outside the park entrance. We recommend the Denali Bluffs Hotel, the Grande Denali Lodge, and the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. If you prefer a unique wilderness experience, a stay at a backcountry lodge inside the park is sure to fulfill all your expectations. A local favorite is the historic Kantishna Roadhouse, an all-inclusive backcountry property 90 miles within the park and accessible via guided bus tour.

Located along the Parks Highway, the entrance to Denali National Park is approximately 240 miles north of Anchorage and 125 miles south of Fairbanks. Denali National Park is accessible by car or via the Alaska Railroad from either Anchorage or Fairbanks. Another great option is the Park Connection Motorcoach, which offers daily summer service between the park and Seward, Whittier, Anchorage, and Talkeetna. See our Denali National Park Transportation page for a complete list of options.

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Denali National Park