National Park and Preserve
1917: Mt. McKinley National Park
Rating (1-5): Unrated
About the SiteMt. McKinley, at 20,320 feet, is the highest mountain in North America and the crowning peak of the 600-mile Alaska Range. Denali, the "High One", is the name the Athabascan people used for this monster, and Denali National Park and Preserve's 6.1 million acres includes countless other spectacular mountains and glaciers. Denali contains a complete subarctic ecosystem, populated with wolves, Dall sheep, grizzly bears, moose and caribou.
Visitors will enjoy the mountains, alpine glaciers, and rolling lowlands with wide rivers. Most of Denali is covered with alpine tundra, rock, and ice. Wet tundra contains dense brush and shrubs, while dry tundra along slopes and hills is made of small plants and wildflowers.
What You're Going to SeeFor best weather, visit during late May through early September. There's plenty to do in Denali, including backpacking, cross-country skiing, hiking, bicycling, dog mushing, bus touring, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, mountaineering, stargazing, and of course wildlife viewing.
Personal ObservationsHa. Like I can drag my family up here! But I'd love to, one summer.
Getting ThereIn the summer, the Alaska Railroad provides daily service to the Park from both Anchorage and Fairbanks. If you are driving from Anchorage, take Highway 1 north about 202 miles to Park Headquarters. From Fairbanks, you can drive south on Highway 1 for about 126 miles to Park Headquarters.
Nearby AttractionsThere are several excellent parks in Alaska. But because of the state's huge size, only Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, about 80 miles southwest of Denali's border, can be called "nearby".