Denali National Park and Preserve

Denali is an amazing place. I worked there as a hiking guide during the summer of ’10.

●located in Interior Alaska and contains Denali (Mt. McKinley), the highest mountain in North America
●The word “Denali” means “the high one” in the native Athabascan language and refers to the mountain itself.
●The mountain was named after president William McKinley by a local prospector, although McKinley had no connection with the region. The name is only used by those outside of Alaska.
●Charles Sheldon took an interest in the Dall sheep native to the region, and became concerned that human encroachment might threaten the species. After a visit, he petitioned the people of Alaska and Congress to create a preserve for the sheep.
1. Dall Sheep
2. Moose       

3. Grizzly Bears

4. Gray Wolf
5. Caribou
6. Red Fox
 7. Denali (Mt. McKinley)
A clear view of the mountain is only possible about 20% of the time during the summer. The mountain is 20,320 feet tall.
8. Polychrome Overlook
 9. Sled dog kennel: These are the only sled dogs in the United States that help protect a national park and the wildlife, scenery, and wilderness therein, and it has been this way since the park’s beginning. They do a free dog sled demonstration. Get on a free bus from the visitor center.
 10. Flight seeing tour/glacier landing

11. Horseshoe Lake

 12. Savage River
 13. Alaskan Railroad

Vehicle access:
The park is serviced by a 91-mile road from the George Parks Highway to the mining camp of Kantishna. Only the first 15 miles of the road are available to private vehicles. I recommend taking a bus tour to Wonder Lake which is a 6 hour bus ride from the Wilderness Access Center. The tours travel from boreal forests through tundra. Rivers and glaciers are visible on the bus tour.

Hiking: Trails in Denali are largely centered around the Denali Visitor Center. Here is a list of trails near the visitor center.

1.       Rock Creek Trail
 2.       Mt. Healy Overlook Trail
3.       Triple Lakes Trail
4.       Taiga Trail
5.       Spruce Forest Trail
6.       Morino Trail
7.       McKinley Station Trail
       8.   Horseshoe Lake Trail
9.    Savage River Loop