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    Denali National Park Summer Scene - Park Overview
    - Extreme Landscapes
    - Extreme Wildlife
    - Mt Denali - elev. 20,320 ft
    - High Adventure Tours
    - Winter Activities


    Park Overview

    Denali National Park & Preserve consists of over 6 million acres of prime central Alaska wilderness (larger than the entire state of Massachusetts). It is home to Mt Denali, the tallest point in all of North America. Primary tour season is between late May and early September.

    Most of the roughly 400,000 annual visitors take the easy cross park tour bus ride that follows along highway SR-3. But the real adventure is in exploring the backcountry. Many extreme adventures include mountaineering, white-water rafting or wintersports.
    Great nearby recreational activities include famous ski resorts, fishing, whitewater rafting, hunting, sightseeing at national parks, hiking, biking, snowmobiling and horseback riding.

    There are over 1,000 miles of safe, well-marked backcountry trails in the park. Many ranger/naturalist conducted hikes help you to enjoy these.

    Extreme Landscape

    Denali's landscape is a big mix of different eco-systems.

    Lower Level - Taiga
    The forest at the lowest elevations, including deciduous taiga.

    Mid-Level - Tundra
    The preserve is also home to tundra at middle elevations.

    High Level -Mountain
    The preserve at higher levels feature glaciers, rock, and snow at the highest elevations.

    Kahiltna Glacier

    The longest glacier in the park is the Kahiltna Glacier. Over 44 miles long, it starts at 10,320 foot elevation near Kahiltna Pass, running almost due southwards from Denali. It is also called Kagheltnu. The glacier ends at about 1,000 ft elevation where feeds the Kahiltna River.

    Next to the glacier is Mount Hunter, and south of there is a series of small but steep rock peeks, popular with climbers, known as Little Switzerland.

    Extreme Wildlife

    Wild animals large and small roam un-fenced lands, living as they have for ages. Solitude, tranquility and wilderness await.

    Mount Denali

    Denali (also known as Mount McKinley, its former official name) is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet. The Koyukon people who inhabit the area around the mountain have referred to the peak as "Denali" for centuries.

    Denali is the third most prominent and third most isolated peak after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. It is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.

    The first verifiable ascent to Denali's summit was achieved on June 7, 1913, by climbers Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum, who went by the South Summit. In 1951, Bradford Washburn pioneered the West Buttress route, considered to be the safest and easiest route, and therefore the most popular currently in use.

    The mountain is characterized by extremely cold weather. The coldest temperature ever recorded here was about ?100 °F .

    Besides the North Summit mentioned above, other features on the massif which are sometimes included as separate peaks are:

    • South Buttress, 15,885 feet (4,842 m); mean prominence: 335 feet (102 m)
    • East Buttress high point, 14,730 feet (4,490 m); mean prominence: 380 feet (120 m)
    • East Buttress, most topographically prominent point, 14,650 feet (4,470 m); mean prominence: 600 feet (180 m)
    • Browne Tower, 14,530 feet (4,430 m); mean prominence: 75 feet (23 m)
    • Mount Foraker
    • Mount Silverthrone
    • Mount Hunter
    • Mount Huntington
    • Mount Dickey
    • The Moose's Tooth

    Denali Mountaineering
    [ NPS Mountaineering Guide]
    World class mountaineering opportunities abound in Denali National Park and Preserve. Climbers from all over the globe come to test their mountaineering and wilderness survival skills, from the high altitude challenges of Mt. McKinley, the continent’s highest peak, to the vertical rock and ice walls that line the Ruth Gorge.

    High Adventure Scout Base

    Denali High Adventure Base can help your scout troop or family plan and execute a once in a lifetime one or two week Alaskan adventure. Sample adventure activities include the following, and many troops do a variety sample tour spending one day on each activity while others go for the long cross-park backpacking expedition. Some of these activities are coordinated from the council's other high adventure base in Kenai Peninsula.

    Winter Activities

    Winter High Adventure

    No bugs, no bears, lots of snow and stunning displays of the Aurora Borelis. To help withstand the cold weather, ask about the camp's heated cabins. Wintertime activities includes dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowmachining.

    A good time to visit Alaska in the wintertime is the latter part of February and the first part of March. Anchorage hosts the annual Fur Rendezvous festival the last week of February through the first week of March. Daily events include a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities. The renowned Iditarod sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome begins on the first Saturday in March. Watching 75 dog teams take off from 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage is quite a sight to see!
    Winter is an amazing and powerful season in Denali when for much of the year, Denali's landscape is blanketed in snow,

    Its rivers and lakes locked in thick ice, its animals in hibernation, long-since migrated.

    Winter is outside the "normal" season for travelers, but that perhaps increases the rewards of a visit. For someone seeking natural beauty, tranquility, stillness and a challenge, winter in Denali can be a wonderful time. Snow can begin accumulating as early as mid-September each year and typically sticks around through April.

    Alaska Adventure Tours
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    Park Activities:

    • Dog sled demonstrations - Summer
    • Ranger Discovery Hikes - Summer
    • Hunting - Summer
    • Camping - Summer
    • Summer Scenic Bus Tours
    • Visitor Center Theater Program - Year Round
    • Bicycle Tours - Summer
    • Wildlife Viewing
    • Fishing
    • Cross Country Ski - Winter
    • Dog Mushing - Winter
    • Snowmobiling - Winter
    • Night Sky - Winter

    Denali Park Tours
    There are exciting several options available to explore the wonders of this area.

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    Denali Adventure Tour
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    Discover Denali's natural wonders when you explore to a scenic backdrop of amazing urban, wilderness, mountain, islands and coastal terrain. Find many exciting high wilderness adventures opportunities for rock climbing, mountaineering, boating, camping, hiking, weekend retreats and more.

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