Trailer Camping Near Denali National Park
November 29, 2011
Filed under National Parks
Anyone looking for a rugged campsite or some serious mountaineering should pack plenty of warm clothes and point their rig north to Denali National Park.
Denali became an official national park in 1980, it combined the smaller Mount McKinley National Park — established first in 1917 — and another park named Denali National Monument — established in 1978.
The park is best known for a variety of wildlife and the 20,320-foot tall Mount McKinley, named after President McKinley.
The park’s remote location and beautiful scenery make it an excellent Alaska camping destination.
Denali National Park has only one road in and out, appropriately dubbed Denali Park Road. It is 92 miles long, and only the first 15 miles are paved.
Shuttle and tour bus rides embark from Savage River; where the pavement ends. Rides are available in the summer season for the rest of the unpaved road. This creates an excellent opportunity to see the wildlife and scenery offered by Denali National park without crashing the car. The buses and shuttles sit higher than the average car, making it easier to see over the brush along the road. Also, the road is windy, unpaved and travels along cliffs and through mountain passes. By traveling with a professional driver, you are able to sit back, relax and soak in the beauty of the park.
Denali’s entrance fee is $10 per person or $20 per vehicle and is good for seven days. Those making an attempt at Mt. McKinley or Mt. Foraker must pay a special use fee of $200 per person. Bus and shuttle fees range between $24 and $155. The most popular time to visit is during the summer season, which is late May through early September. The weather, however, is very unpredictable year round, sometimes even snowing in August. The rainiest months tend to be June through August, although there have been instances of bone dry summers. Winter begins in late October and stretches into March. The temperature can get as low as -40 degrees, with the higher end barely reaching the high 20s. Specialized winter gear is needed for winter Alaska camping and visits, and is best left to the more extreme campers. Spring is a short season, April through early May, with temperatures ranging between freezing and the 40s and 50s. Fall season, in September, is similar.
Beyond mountain climbing, the park offers plenty year round. During the summer season, there is hiking, camping, wild life viewing, fishing, hunting. And winter campers can partake in country skiing, snowmobiling, dog mushing, snowshoeing.
To find other spots to park the trailer in the far north, visit Alaska Campgrounds.