Mount McKinley National Park was established in 1917 to protect the unique and sensitive wildlife that inhabit the area. In 1980 the park boundaries were expanded, more than tripling its size to include the winter grounds of the native Denali caribou and Mt. McKinley, the highest point in North America at 20,320 feet. This expansion led to the renaming of the park, creating Denali National Park and Preserve, as we know it today.
Mt. McKinley is more commonly known to Alaskan Natives and locals as Denali – or less formally, “The Mountain.” The name comes from the Native Athabascans of Interior Alaska and translates to “The Great One.” With Denali’s high peaks and dramatic vertical rise, the weather surrounding the peaks can change quickly. Clouds often hide Denali from view, making North America’s highest point a treasured prize on your Alaskan adventure.
The abundance of untamed wilderness and unique wildlife make Denali one of the greatest natural places in the world. Here, you’ll have a chance to see grizzly bears, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, foxes, and wolves. Many smaller animals also inhabit the park, such as arctic ground squirrels, hoary marmots, pikas, and snowshoe hares. With over 150 species of birds including arctic tern, American golden plover, arctic warbler, willow, ptarmigan, and golden eagles, Denali is a bird-watcher’s paradise.
Park Entrance Fee
Denali National Park & Preserve Entrance Fees: Federal Land pass holders (Senior, Golden Age/Access, Access, IA Annual, Denali Pass holders) have entrance fees waived. If you are not a federal lands pass holder a $10 per person fee (youth 15 years of age and younger are free) for entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve will need to pay when you receive your camping permit upon arival. This fee provides the visitor a 7-day entrance permit. Federal Lands Passes are for sale during the summer season at the Denali Visitor Center.