"Denali: America's Most Accessible True Wilderness" Top 5 Page for this destination Denali National Park and Preserve by Stephen-KarenConn

Denali is unique among the national parks of America. No park in the lower 48 states offers so complete an ecosystem unaltered by man. Grizzlys, moose, caribou, wolves, dall sheep, and numerous other animals find a home here in a vast parkland, as large as the entire state of Massachusetts. There may be other places in Alaska where the scenery is just as spectacular and where there are as many or more animals, but only in Denali does the average visitor have easy access to true wilderness.

Denali is 237 miles north of Anchorage and 120 miles south of Fairbanks, via Alaska Hwy. 3, or the Alaska Railroad.

The crowning jewel of Denali National Park and Preserve is Mount McKinley, named for U.S. Senator William McKinley, who later became president of the United States. At 20,320 feet, Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in North America. If measured from it's base, about 2,000 feet at Wonder Lake, McKinley has a vertical relief even greater than that of Mount Everest. At this far northern latitude it also boasts some of the worst weather in the world. Temperatures at the summit are severe even in July, although the lowlands can be very pleasant during the long daylight hours of mid-summer. Winters are much worse, with lows plummeting to below -95F on the mountain, and during storms the wind can gust to more than 150 mph. But in August at the base of the mountain the weather is (sometimes) absolutely perfect.

Don't rush through Denali. You've traveled far to come here. Take your time to experience this vast land - and you may never be the same.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Utterly Awesome!
  • Cons:Why did they build it way out here in the middle of nowhere?
  • In a nutshell:Don't Die Without Doing Denali!
  • Intro Updated Jul 27, 2005
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Reviews (28)

Comments (22)

  • amandajayne81's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    Wow exciting bear story (but a little frightening) and wonderful pictures. Looks like an amazing place to visit.

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2008 at 11:36 AM

    Nice page. Great story about the Grizzly. Grizzly bears are perhaps the last animal I would want to meet face to face on a trail.

  • DPando's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    wow!! such an encounter.. its like love at first sight with that bear !!! great job !

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2007 at 3:00 AM

    Fantastic story on bear encounter! Interesting behaviour of local policeman :-). I'd love to meet caribou, moose, dall sheep and surely grizzli in the wild.

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2006 at 10:49 AM

    That bear encounter must have been frightening! Great photos... flying over Mt. McKinley must have been quite an experience!

  • tpangelinan's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2005 at 9:12 AM

    Wonderful page on the park! Wow what a story about your bear encounter, great tips on how to scare them off! Leave it to the police to say it was your fault, kind of insulting after what you had just been through. Great job! Thanks :o)

  • miner's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2005 at 6:21 PM

    Fascinating commentary of your adventure with the bear. That is much too close an encounter.

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2005 at 5:10 PM

    Great Denali stuff! Rick

  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2005 at 8:08 AM

    What a thrilling bear adventure you had Stephen, had me on the edge of my seat! And then to go on to be a co pilot too! I loved this page so interesting & your photos are just wonderful. (~_~)

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2005 at 11:07 AM

    Fantastic Bear story!!! I love it!!!

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