Top Things to Do in Denali National Park
1. Ride the Denali Park Road
One of the best ways to experience the stunning beauty of Denali National Park is by taking a bus or shuttle tour along the Denali Park Road. Stretching for 92 miles, the road provides access to breathtaking views of the Alaska Range, as well as opportunities to spot wildlife such as grizzly bears, moose, and wolves.
2. Hike the Savage River Loop Trail
The Savage River Loop Trail is a popular hiking trail in Denali National Park. It offers a moderate, 2-mile loop through rolling tundra and provides fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of Dall sheep or a golden eagle.
3. Take a Flightseeing Tour
To truly appreciate the vastness and grandeur of Denali National Park, consider taking a flightseeing tour. These tours offer a unique perspective from above, allowing you to witness the breathtaking beauty of Mt. McKinley, glaciers, and pristine wilderness that stretch as far as the eye can see.
4. Visit the Denali Visitor Center
The Denali Visitor Center is a must-visit attraction in the park. Here, you can learn about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife through interactive exhibits and informative displays. The center also offers ranger-led programs and hikes, which provide valuable insights into the park’s natural wonders.
5. Go Camping in Denali
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, camping in Denali National Park should be on your itinerary. The park offers various camping options, from developed campgrounds to backcountry camping. Spending a night under the starry Alaskan sky surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature is an experience you’ll cherish forever.
6. Take a Wildlife Safari
Denali National Park is home to a wide array of wildlife. Joining a wildlife safari is an excellent way to increase your chances of spotting animals in their natural habitat. Experienced guides will take you on a tour, sharing their knowledge about the park’s fauna and ensuring you have the best opportunity to see animals such as caribou, wolves, and moose up close.
7. Explore the Wonder Lake
Wonder Lake is a stunning destination within Denali National Park. Situated at the base of Denali (Mt. McKinley), it offers picture-perfect reflections of the mountain on calm days. Hike around the lake, go canoeing, or simply enjoy a peaceful picnic while taking in the majestic scenery.
8. Attend a Sled Dog Demonstration
If you’re curious about the history and tradition of sled dog mushing in Alaska, attending a sled dog demonstration is a must. The park offers regular demonstrations where you can learn about the role of sled dogs in park operations and witness them in action, pulling a cart or sled along a designated trail.
9. Enjoy a Ranger-led Hike
Joining a ranger-led hike is a fantastic way to learn more about the park’s flora, fauna, and geological features. These guided hikes are informative and educational, providing valuable insights into the unique ecosystem of Denali National Park and ensuring you make the most of your visit.
10. Capture the Northern Lights
Denali National Park is a prime location for witnessing the mesmerizing spectacle of the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. Visit during the winter months when the night sky is darkest, and the chances of seeing the lights are higher. Make sure to bring your camera and tripod to capture this natural wonder in all its glory.
Denali National Park is an enchanting destination with endless opportunities for exploration and appreciation of the Alaskan wilderness. Whether you choose to embark on a scenic road trip, hike through the tundra, or witness the wildlife in action, the experiences awaiting you in Denali are sure to leave a lasting impression.