Mid-May through mid-September
Anchorage, AK, is four hours away by car
Wow. One road, 6 million acres, and America’s tallest mountain
That’s right. There’s one road that services the park’s six million acres and that road is only 91 miles long. To put it into perspective: the park’s larger than the state of New Hampshire. So no matter how you decide to tour the park’s taiga, tundra, and glaciers, you can count on all of it being big. Epically big. While the park has plenty of trails ranging from super-short (Meadow View Trail, 0.3 mile) to much, much longer (Triple Lakes Trail, 9.5 miles), what appeals to most visitors are the off-trail options. The only way to tour the park in a car is via the lone Denali Park Road, which has various drop-off and stopping points throughout its route in the park. Many hikers will hop off at one of the stops, venture out for a hike of their choosing, and then return to the road where they can catch a shuttle back to the various parts of Denali — remember that only the private vehicle access is only allowed up to the Savage River Bridge.
For those of you who want a little more in-depth tour of this already remote national park, there are bookable helicopter drop-off hikes as well. Either way, enjoy the magnificence of this remote Alaskan wonder, and get your grizzly bear whooping voice ready to go!
Most popular packages and classes in Denali
Denali Wilderness Hiking Tour
This is a perfect tour for haler travelers looking to tackle Denali’s glacier topology in depth. This is a guided, narrated tour that will teach you about the extensive flora and fauna throughout the park while discovering the Nenana River, sub-alpine tundra and the gorgeous vegetation of the taiga.
Bypass the park’s Denali Pass Road and fly right from Talkeetna’s boreal forest into the mountains above. Once there, hike through alpine tundra and enjoy views of Denali and the Alaska Range. This is an exceptional way to discover Denali’s backcountry.
Explore the less-visited south side of Denali National Park, complete with a bush plane drop off at the stunning Ruth Glacier. Here, you’ll spend three days camping and basecamp-hiking in this Alaskan wonderland where the shadow of Denali’s summit is 17 miles away. With basecamp hiking, you can leave the heavy pack and home and see Denali the way few people do.
Things you need to know
When is the best time to go?
Denali is open from mid-May through mid-September. Because Alaska isn’t the easiest place to get to, it’s never too crowded.
What's a typical itinerary?
Depending on the type of trip you sign up for, plan on meeting your guide at a location within the park or at a hotel for shuttle service to get to the trailhead. Basic hiking questions will, of course, be addressed prior to starting out, especially any concerns regarding contact with larger species of fauna within the area.
What about group sizes?
Group sizes are usually between 2 – 12 people.
What about bad weather?
Inclement weather can be very disruptive when hiking in Denali. Afternoon showers are the norm, and sometimes there’s even snowfall to consider. Check with your guiding service about their policies regarding rain and other weather concerns.
Most travelers typically fly into Anchorage and then rent a car, or hire a bus or shuttle to get to the park.
Guides we recommend
Denali Backcountry GuidesDenali Backcountry Guides
Alaska Nature GuidesAlaska Nature Guides
Alaska Alpine AdventuresAlaska Alpine Adventures
Who should hike in Denali?
Because of how park access is structured — with entrance mainly via the Denali Park Road — all levels of hiker can have a wonderful time during their visit. The only real barrier for entry to the park is getting there! But after you do make the visit, you’ll be happy you went the extra distance.