Denali National Park and Preserve
Famous for its spectacular mountain vistas, abundant wildlife, glaciers, vast expanses of sub-arctic tundra, and North America's highest mountain, Mt McKinley, Denali National Park and Preserve is a real wilderness area that attracts millions of visitors a year. More than six million acres encompass grizzly bears, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, wolves and numerous species of birds. The main attraction is the snow-covered massif of Mt McKinley, towering 20,320ft (6,096m) above the peaks of the Alaska Range, the definitive symbol of untamed Alaska. On a clear day its twin peaks can be seen from Anchorage, 149 miles (240km) away. The Alaska Range divides the park into north and south sides, the majority of visitors accessing the north where the main visitors centre is located. Mountaineers seeking out the challenges of Mt McKinley need to access the park from the south side, and other peaks offer excellent climbing opportunities for those not wishing to risk the mountain that affords one of the world's most difficult climbs. The park region also offers a wide variety of activities including day hikes or backcountry hiking, camping, mountain biking, white-water rafting and ice climbing. Early June or late September is the best time to avoid the crowds.
Telephone: (907) 683 2294 (park headquarters)
Transport: Denali is five hours by road from Anchorage; several buses and vans run a daily service to Fairbanks via Denali from Anchorage. Parks Highway Express leaves from the Anchorage Youth Hostel. The Alaska Railroad train leaves daily at 8:15am.
Opening times: The winter visitor centre is open 9am-4pm daily (17 September to mid-May); The summer visitor centre is open 8am-6pm daily (15 May to 22 September)
Admission: $10, valid for seven days.