Take a trip to Denali State Park with over 325,000 acres of Alaskan expanse to explore. Denali State Park shares its western boundary with Denali National Park system where you can view the soaring heights of Denali - formerly known as Mt. McKinley - at heights over 20,000 ft. You can park your RV and see the open tundra, dense forests and even glaciers, all while seeing various wildlife such as moose, caribou, and the occasional bear.
There's plenty to do for the outdoorsy person, From hiking and biking to bird watching, Denali State Park is perfect for your next adventurous getaway. The park system is open year round, but peak season is May - September, so be sure to lock in your stay in advance. You will have plenty of options to explore on self-guided tours, or on a guided bus tour along the Denali Park Road. You will want to be sure to tow a vehicle or schedule a rental, as there is only one road leading up to the highest peaks. If you have a young adventurer with you, they can become a Junior Ranger by completing various tasks on your trip. Your Alaskan retreat is within reach at Denali State Park.
RV Rentals in Denali State Park
Transportation in Denali State Park
Park your RV at your campsite and tour the Denali Park Road on one of the various bus tours. This is the only access to the center of the park. RV access is limited so it is recommended to find alternate transportation while in the state and national park systems if you are wishing to view the highest peaks. This road is also only available during a small segment in the summer, so be sure to check out the status before planning your trip.
There is parking available at various places within the park system, but it is recommended to park your RV at your campsite to prevent access limitations.
There are bus tours available to access points within the park.
Campgrounds and parking in Denali State Park
Campsites in Denali State Park
Byers Lake Campground
There are multiple options to park your RV during your trip to Denali State Park. Located at milepost 147 on Route 3, Byers Lake Campground is ideal for your RV needs. This is the only campground that has a dump station in the area. For electric hook-ups, you must call at least four days in advance and up to seven months in advance.
There are no water hook-ups on the campgrounds and electric hook-up sites are limited. Reservations are highly recommended as the season can fill up quickly.
Seasonal activities in Denali State Park
You can choose from trail hiking to off-trail hiking based on the kind of experience you are looking for. If you are not an experienced off-trail hiker, you will be able to speak with a park ranger to answer any questions you might have. At the end of your off-trail experience, you can find a shuttle to take you back to your original start.
The trails range from a half mile to upwards of four miles one-way. There are trail guides with descriptions available to make sure that you get the experience of a lifetime. Not every trailhead is located at a parking area, so there are many that stem off of another to create a more customized retreat.
Have you ever wanted to view the Northern Lights? While there is no guarantee, Denali State and National Parks are a great place to view. However, if you are planning your trip six weeks before or after mid-June (summer solstice), your chances become slimmer.
This natural phenomenon is weather dependent and can be tracked through weather forecast or through an aurora forecast. The sky cannot be too light, so when the sky is dark and clear, your chances increase. In Denali State Park, no matter where you are lodging you have a good chance to see this amazing natural phenomenon.
Visiting the National Park
Along the western boundary of Denali State Park, lies Denali National Park. The combined acreage of the state and national parks are over 6 million acres, so there is plenty to explore. The road is 92 miles long, but only 15 of those miles are paved. There are bus tours along this road. If you have small children, a car seat may be required. This can only be traveled during the summer which is May - September.
The park is open year-round. If you are planning to visit in the spring, fall or winter, plan for the potential for unexpected snow. It can snow before mid-May and after mid-September without much warning.
Visiting the Dog Sled Kennels
You can visit the dog sled kennels located in Denali National Preserve. There are over two million acres of preserved land that the dog teams can explore. There are approximately 35 working dogs in the preserve.
The dog sled teams allow for the land to be maintained at minimal to no damage to the natural terrain. Denali National Park is the only system with a working dog sled team. No outside pets are allowed when visiting to ensure that the working dogs do not get alarmed. Be sure to call ahead to make sure that the kennels are open before visiting.
Winter in Denali
Do you like biking? You can also winter bike in Denali. You can follow along with the sled-dog trails on a single or multi-day trail. If biking in the winter is not your thing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are also a popular winter activity. Free snowshoe rentals are available at the visitor center.
Snowboarding and skiing are available in some areas, but if you plan to do these in avalanche-prone areas, it is recommended to have the proper equipment and element training before planning your trip. Snow can range from a little to a lot, and you can get condition updates at the visitor center before heading out for the day.
Are you ready to set yourself above the rest and experience Denali to the fullest? You can plan your next mountaineering trip along the Alaskan range. You are required to register 60 days before your expedition, and will need to pay a mountaineering special use fee.
There are many mountaineering guides available at the ranger stations at the state and national parks. These guides share equipment needed, sights to be seen, and the time of year to experience the most. There is a "leave no trace" policy throughout the park system, so be sure to plan accordingly. There are also mountaineering rangers available to plan your adventure and ensure the utmost safety and experience.