Getting Here and Around
Getting Here and Around
The park is 120 mi south of Fairbanks, or 240 mi north of Anchorage, on the George Parks Highway, which is the most common access route.
There is a second, seldom-used road to the park: the Denali Highway leads from Paxon, which is accessible from the Richardson Highway (which connects Fairbanks and Valdez) to Cantwell, coming out just south of the park entrance. This 134-mi road is mostly unpaved, with few services. Only people with high-clearance cars should try it. The Denali Highway is closed in winter.
For those who don't want to drive, Denali National Park is a regular stop on the Alaska Railroad's Anchorage-Fairbanks route. The railway sells packages that combine train travel with hotels and trips into the park.
Only one road penetrates Denali's expansive wilderness: the 92-mi Denali Park Road, which winds from the park entrance to Wonder Lake (as far as the regular buses go) and on the inholding of Kantishna, the historic mining district in the heart of the park, where there are a couple of private lodges. The first 15 mi of the road are paved and open to all vehicles, but beyond the checkpoint at Savage River access is limited to tour buses, special permit holders, and the community members of Kantishna. To get around the park, you need to get on one of the buses or start hiking.
Campers with permits for the Teklanika campground can drive to and back out from their campsites at Mile 29, but they cannot tour the park road in their vehicles. Mountain bikes are allowed anywhere on the park road, although you should check with officials before pedaling out; you need to know if there has been a wolf kill or a lot of bear sightings by the road that might limit access.
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