Denali National Park, Alaska
Mount Mckinley, North America's Tallest Mountain
The mountain was named after the 25th president-elect William Mckinley. Mount McKinley is the centerpiece of Denali National Park. The Ahabaskan word denali means "the great one", or "the high one".
Mount McKinley commonly called Denali is North America's tallest mountain and largest land mass mountain in the world. Rising to 20,320 feet it is even taller than Mount Everest. Mount Everest rises only 11,000 feet above the Tibetan Platue. On the south side of Moun McKinley is "Great Gorge" measuring nearly 9,000 feet deep. That is deeper than the Grand canyon.
This wildlife refuge is six million acres. That makes it larger than the state of Massachusetts.
Anchorage to Denali by Road or Train
Denali is 240 miles of road north of Anchorage, plan about six hours if you intend of driving. Alaska road construction is always a possibility during the summer months so you might pad your travel time a bit more. If coming from Fairbanks it is a 120 mile roadtrip.
The Alaska Railroad has daily passenger service connecting Fairbanks and Anchorage by the way of Denali Park. Operating season is late May to early September.
If going by air, private pilots and air charters from Anchorage and Fairbanks are available. The Denali Park airstrip is within walking distance to the visitorís center.
There is a small fee for entrance to the park and an addition shuttle service fee for traveling within the park that starts at 12 dollars and goes up.
Mountain Climbing and Hiking in Alaska Denali National Park
In 1913 is when the first party is recorded to reach the peak of McKinley. The party of four men was led by Episcopal Archdeacon Hudson Stuck. The first woman to the reach the peak was Barbara Washburn from Boston, Massachusetts on June 6, 1947.
All Mount McKinley and Mount Foraker climbers must register with the National park service before beginning their ascent.
The best hiking is along river sandbars or along ridge-tops. Ranger naturalists conduct informational walks and hikes in the park.
Wildlife in Denali National Park
The park has 37 known mammal species and 161 species of birds.
Large mammals include:
Caribou, Moose, Grizzly Bears, Dall Sheep, Wolves
Smaller animals include:
Beavers, Martens , Snowshoe hares, Foxes, Shrews, Hoary Marmots, Lemmings, Voles, Red Squirrels, Porcupines, Lynxes, Wolverines
Get Ready for your Alaska Adventure in Denali
Weather can vary between 35 to 75 degrees, so bring your gloves and dress in layers so you're prepared. And don't forget the camera.
Jewel Lake Bed and Breakfast is a great place to stay in Anchorage, before and after your tirp to Denali.