"Denali National Park - The Great One" Top 5 Page for this destination Denali National Park and Preserve by karenincalifornia

Six Million Acres of Vast Wilderness

Of all the National Parks I have visited, Denali National Park is the most pristine. Its size, location in the Northern latitudes, but most of all, the concerted efforts to protect the Park, have all prevented it from falling prey to over-utilization like so many other national parks in the U.S.

There are several options for exploring the park on the ground. I've ranked them below, which (in my opinion) appear in ascending order from worst to best.

1. Drive into the Park by car as far as private automobiles are permitted (15 miles).

2. Ride on one of the round trip Park bus tours (53-90 miles one way depending on bus).

3. Bicycle (as far as you can go).

4. Take shuttle to one of several destinations and do a day hike.

5. Stay at one of 3 wilderness lodges deep in the Park in the Kantishna area (90 miles into the Park).

6. Backpack into the backcountry.

We picked door number 5. We stayed at a backcountry lodge in the Kantishna area for 4 nights and had 3 full days to explore the interior of the park. It was a wonderful way to spend some time in the park, and I highly recommend this option.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The last vast protected wilderness in the US, stunning sights, few crowds (if you do it right)
  • Cons:Mosquitos, kind of a drag when it rains
  • In a nutshell:This place is big, really, really big.
  • Last visit to Denali National Park and Preserve: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated May 22, 2006
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Reviews (30)

Comments (8)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    I would have expected to see a bit more wildlife than you did, would have been disappointed if we had made it to there.

  • AmazingAdventures's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2007 at 6:59 PM

    Hi Karen! Love your photo of Denali. I wish I'd had a digital camera when I worked there 15 years ago - it's nice to see the photos of this memorable place many years later. thanks for sharing. Smiles from Sydney :)

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2006 at 12:04 PM

    Seems like you had quite an interesting experience at Denali Cabins. The park looks very beautiful, amazing page and photos!

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2006 at 11:19 PM

    Nice stuff, shame we can't blow your pictures up more.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2006 at 9:22 AM

    You saw this beautiful area from all angles, by train, plane, bus, hiking and even cycling. Sounds great! We do have some chemists on VT (JLBG and Trekki come to mind) who might be able to help with those tricky questions.

  • Darby2's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2006 at 5:08 AM

    When I visited the park i 1975, I camped at Wonder Lake...but the mosquitos were fierce!...even so, I'd do it again. ( you could drive all the way at theat time)

  • 850prc's Profile Photo
    May 23, 2006 at 8:30 AM

    Know the record time for a descent of Denali? About 9 seconds. :) Great page, Karen. And since I"m retired, I'll check with a still-licensed lab person on the skeeter question.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2006 at 12:39 PM

    Karen, I LOL at the incident at the cabins..like a horror movie. Travelogue is incredible..stunning photos. Great adventures for you and your family. Just wonderful descriptions of everything.

karenincalifornia

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