Denali National Park
|Fairbanks||2.5 - 3.5||4||3|
How Long to Spend
Denali National Park is Alaska’s most popular land attraction—and with good reason. You can see some of Alaska’s most famous sights:
- Denali (Mt. McKinley) and the continent’s highest peaks.
- A vast, unspoiled wilderness of braided glacial rivers, massive peaks, and tundra.
- Lots of wildlife: Moose, caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, and wolves.
How Long To Stay?
You can’t really do Denali in a day. We recommend staying 2 nights, if you stay near the Park entrance or camp, and 3 or 4 nights if you stay in Kantishna, deep inside the park.
Most independent travelers explore Denali by taking one of the bus tours, each of which covers varying lengths of the Park Road. You can compare different Park Road tours to see which is best for you, but keep in mind that you don’t have to stick with a bus. Rent bicycles and go solo—or use the hop-on, hop-off Park Shuttle to hike sections of the Park on your own. Go rafting, flightseeing, take a rowdy ATV tour, or tour the kennel of an Iditarod Musher. Book a stay at one of the lodges deep inside Denali, where you can hike, bicycle, canoe and experience the Park in comfort—but still largely off the grid. For a local perspective on the park, check out Denali Education Center, which holds local community events.
While in Denali, practice Leave No Trace ethics. More than 2.7 million visitors explore Alaska’s incredible national parks each year and they leave behind more than footprints. Choosing reusable bags, water bottles, and recycling are easy ways to reduce waste while you travel. Check out these sustainable travel tips from the Denali Zero-Landfill Project.
Denali is 5½ hours from Anchorage by car and 8 hours by the Alaska Railroad. From Fairbanks, it’s just 3 hours by car, and 4 hours by train. For more information, see Anchorage to Denali, Seward to Denali, or Fairbanks to Denali.
If you arrive by train or motorcoach, Sheep Shuttle can help you reach lodging areas south of the Denali Park entrance.
Over the past several years, an ongoing landslide has intermittently closed part of the Denali Park Road, requiring a massive effort by the National Park Service to keep the area safely maintained for visitors and staff. In the summer of 2023, construction will continue for a bridge bypassing the landslide. During construction, visitors will have access to the first 43 scenic miles of the park road.