Drive to Denali this summer to bask in Alaska’s natural beauty. The National Park has announced a phased reopening starting in June. Private vehicles can enjoy campground access and traverse the Denali Park Road. However, social distancing rules mean spots are limited.
Beginning June 1st, all visitors must pay an entrance fee. You can reserve your camping spot and pay admission on Denali’s website. The park will not accept in-person payments for the month of June. Limiting in-person transactions allows visitors and park employees to enjoy nature while staying safe. Fees can also be paid before or after your visit.
The Drive to Denali: Open Campgrounds
The Denali and Eielson Visitor Centers will open July 1st with restricted hours. But the Murie Science and Learning Center and the sled dog kennels will both stay closed. Campgrounds have staggered opening schedules and all areas are subject to changes based on CDC guidelines.
Riley Creek Campground
The Bear and Wolf Loops opened May 22. Riley Creek Mercantile opened June 16. And the Caribou Loop will stay closed, likely through mid-July.
Savage River Campground
Savage River opened June 16. This includes access to private vehicles.
Teklanika River Campground
Teklanika opened 54 sites on June 16. Private vehicles must make a reservation of at least 3 nights. Those who do not wish to stay for three nights can wait until bus access returns on July 1.
Sanctuary and Igloo Campgrounds
Sanctuary and Igloo will resume bus services July 1. Each campground has 7 sites. Private vehicles do not have access here.
Wonder Lake Campground
Wonder Lake’s reopening has not yet been decided. It may remain closed through the end of 2020.
Denali Park Road Restrictions
Covid-19 restrictions have heavily impacted narrated tours and bus access. However, private vehicles can still access the Denali Park Road through timed reservations. Be warned that the road is narrow and often steep. There will be no cell signal in many places so plan accordingly.
All personal vehicles can access the Savage River stretch without a reservation. The park projects that it will stay open all summer. The Teklanika River and Eielson Visitor Center both require permits and are operating under new hours. To enter the Denali Park Road Lottery, visit the Denali National Park website and apply between June 1 and June 30.
You can stay safe and still enjoy your summer vacation. Denali National Park is roughly the size of the state of Massachusetts. So there’s plenty of room for social distancing.