Are you in love with snow and mountains? Yes? Then Denali National Park can be the perfect place for you. Mountains and forest, you will get both the views in this amazing place. One of the best things about this place is you can enjoy snowfall in any season.
Though that is a bit unpredictable, here is some information about this national park that will help you a lot to plan your next trip here. From weather to lodging, from the best time to visit things to do, every piece of information is provided here.
Denali National Park
Denali National Park is an integral part of one of the most beautiful regions of North America. The park covers almost 325,000 acres (equals to half of Rhodes Island).
The landscape of Denali is a mix of glaciers, bare rock, and snow at the highest elevations, deciduous taiga and tundra at the middle elevations, and lastly, forest at the lowest elevations. Kahiltna Glacier is the longest glacier here.
Denali National Park weather varies extremely. Without any warning, changes in the weather often occur. The visitors can expect clouds, sun, rain, wind, and even all of them on the very same day. This place does not need any specific months for snow falling, especially in the mountains.
Summer in this place generally means late May through the early of September. The average temperature during the summer days ranges between 33 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Though the incident is a bit rare, Denali National Park has been known to snow in any of the summer months. So, always be prepared for the cold.
From June to August are generally the rainiest months of Denali. At the same time, yearly variances sometimes can lead to bone dry summers. As I have already mentioned, the weather of Denali will always keep you guessing.
Its very location tells the tale of wintery days. Right? It becomes extremely cold, and the temperature can vary from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to colder than that. During the warm days, it can reach the 20s.
This type of extreme cold weather usually begins from late October or sometimes early November and stays through March. As mentioned earlier, snow is totally possible throughout the year, but snow that falls before the middle of September usually melts quickly.
Until the middle of October or later than that, winter snow levels are not generally sufficient for skiing and any other recreation. For winter visits and mountaineering, specialized cold-weather gear is necessary.
Other Two Seasons Of The Year
Spring and Fall both the seasons are quite short. In late April or early May, spring weather might occur. The highest temperature during this time is around 40 or 50 degrees F, while the lowest can be near or even below freezing.
Lodging Best Places To Stay
Other than campgrounds, you will not get any National Park Service (NPS) operated accommodations. Within the boundaries of the park, some lodgings are also situated. But they are not directly affiliated with the NPS and sit on privately-owned lands.
You will get two types of accommodations here, and they are described as follows.
Lodging Inside Of The Park
Inside the park, the lodging options are limited only to a handful of privately owned properties and remote wilderness lodges. All these are located at the end of the park road, in the Kantishna area.
As I have mentioned earlier, none of them are regulated by the NPS., and all of them sit on lands, which are privately owned. Here are the names of those lodges.
- Skyline Lodge.
- Denali Backcountry Lodge.
- Kantishna Roadhouse.
- Camp Denali.
Lodging Outside Of The Park
Most of the park visitors usually stay somewhere outside the park boundaries. The nearest communities are Cantwell that is located around 30 miles away in the southern direction of the sole park entrance, and Healy, which is located around 11 miles north of the park entrance.
In those communities, and also along the highway between them, a number of motels, hotels, B&Bs, and many more options you will get here for your pleasant staying.
Map: Geographical Location
Denali National Park is located at Parks Hwy, Alaska. The north side of this park encompasses the valleys of Toklat, McKinley, and Foraker rivers. It is also surrounded by the Wyoming and Kantishna hills.
Along the easter edge of the park, the George Park Highway runs. The actual entrance of the park is around 11 miles south of Healy.
Things To Do In Denali National Park
Denali National park is known worldwide for its amazing scenery and obviously wildlife. For travelers, this is a place of exploration, inspiration, and excitement. You can try activities of different levels of difficulty throughout the year.
Most of the visitors prefer the summer visits due to the access by the bus into the park. Those, who prefer the hardy winters, can expect tranquility, solace along with other extreme weather challenges.
Here is the list of activities in the Denali National park and Preserve.
- Camping in Denali.
- Search for wildlife.
- Bike the Denali Park Road.
- Meet Denali’s Sled Dog.
- Explore Savage river and Mountain Vista.
- Go fly-seeing.
- Birding in Denali.
- Backpack in Denali.
- Join the Grizzly bear DNA project.
- Join the Denali Alpine Wildlife Project.
Best Time To Visit Denali National Park
As I have just mentioned that in case you want to access by bus into the park, summers are a perfect time. But there are also a lot of mosquitoes during the summer days. The best time to visit Denali National Park is either middle or late May or early September.
The time of fall, which is September, is full of colors and also a lot fewer people. Usually, the Fall comes early, by the middle to late August, when the tundra turns brilliant, red, yellow, and orange.
What Makes This Place To At Least Visit Once In Your Lifetime?
Denali National Park is an amazing place to witness the mixed landscapes of nature. Here you will get every face of mother nature, the snow, the mountains, the glaciers, forests, rivers, and everything. In addition to this, the place has a lot of adventurous activities for you to enjoy with your friends and families.