Either drive your own car or take the free shuttle 15 miles out the park road to the Savage River check station. If you’d like, you can even climb rocks like my friends Jessica and Claire below. Save. When you love the wilderness, this is the place to be. Which trail should I do? The free Riley Creek Shuttle will bring you back to the Denali Visitor Center from the campground if you don’t wish to walk back. This is the most complete guide to dayhiking, backpacking, camping and photography in Alaska's top tourist attraction, Denali National Park. Top Denali National Park and Preserve Hiking Trails: See reviews and photos of hiking trails in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska on Tripadvisor. Furthermore, Park Rangers lead guided hikes along this route daily.  ...more. If you have limited time and you’re hoping to see the mountain, this is one of the best hikes in Denali National Park for you. Thorofare Ridge Trail. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map, Here’s a map of the Park Entrance Area trails, Here are more tips for hiking in Denali's backcountry, Off-Trail Hiking Areas in Denali National Park, Maintained Hiking Trails in Denali National Park, Upper Teklanika / Sanctuary River - Look for Dall Sheep & Bears (Mile 22), Toklat East Branch - Look for Bears & Caribou (Mile 53.1), Eielson Visitor Center - Look for Dall Sheep (Mile 66), Primrose Ridge - Good Wildlife Viewing, Wildlflowers & Hiking (Mile 16), Savage River Loop Trail - Look for Dall Sheep & Caribou (Mile 15). It’s also known for its vast wilderness. Even if you don’t see wildlife, you’ll certainly see evidence of them with squirrel middens, beaver felled trees, and a large beaver dam along the trail. If you visit Denali in the fall, you have to hike this trail. You’ll walk on a devel­oped trail down to the lake. A 0.3 mile loop depart­ing from the Eiel­son Vis­i­tor Cen­ter in Denali Nation­al Park allows vis­i­tors to explore the alpine tundra. DESIGNATION: Denali National Park Keep reading for the best hikes in Denali National Park. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. Download PDF trail guides Download a print-friendly map and chart of trail info, with additional details like connecting trails, max grade and trail surface. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? Learn more about this awesome place in this adventure guide. Bears also frequent the area, so make sure you’re prepared by studying my post on bear safety. They’re allowed on the park road, in parking lots, or on campground roads, but not on park trails or in the off-trail wilderness. Every hiker should always carry the ten essentials with them. Top Denali National Park and Preserve Biking Trails: See reviews and photos of biking trails in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska on Tripadvisor. Top Denali National Park and Preserve Hiking Trails: See reviews and photos of hiking trails in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska on Tripadvisor. The riv­er bar is real­ly wide in this area so the going is gen­er­al­ly easy, even though you’re still below tree-line. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. You’ll descend from the Eielson Visitor Center to Gorge Creek via switchbacks on a hillside. Thanks for subscribing! Denali is not like most US national parks. A retro sweatshirt from Denali featuring a grizzly bear. One day, Riley hopes to visit all 422 national parks.  ...more, The first mile of this trail, which begins near the new Murie Sci­ence and Learn­ing Cen­ter, is mod­er­ate­ly steep,…, The first mile of this trail, which begins near the new Murie Sci­ence and Learn­ing Cen­ter, is mod­er­ate­ly steep, hik­ing through the for­est. There’s only a few trails in Denali, and I think that this one offers a great experience, especially when combined with the Savage River Trail for even more variation. Note: Dogs are allowed on the Roadside Trail. The product is intended to be applied to a car or RV trailer and great for marking memories of your favorite places or an excellent gift for your loved ones. 12 Things to Do in Acadia National Park That Will Take Your Breath Away, National Parks in North Carolina: A Complete List of All 10. I only have a few hours. On a clear day, you have sweeping views of the Alaska Range (including Denali itself) once you’re high enough on the trail. Here’s a complete list of Denali National Park hikes, ranked from best to… still really great. For Kesugi Ridge: From the Little Coal Creek trailhead, hike east on the Little Coal Creek Trail, which climbs 1,800 feet over four miles to gain the ridge. Hike the Kesugi Ridge trail if you want a challenge or stick with Mount Wright if you can only spare a day. Then, you’ll make a loop that includes Horseshoe Lake and the Nenana River. Have you ever been to Denali? Off-trail hiking is encouraged. When the trees clear, it provides some great views of the surrounding foothills. Denali National Park offers a multitude of ways to explore the park's vast and awe-inspiring landscape. There’s no such thing as a bad trail in Denali! If you are visiting the park in the summer, you can choose from a variety of activities including hiking, sightseeing by bus, visiting the sled dog kennels, cycling the Denali Park Road, or "flight"-seeing by plane. There are 10 moderate trails in Denali National Park ranging from 0.9 to 8.5 miles and from 1,394 to 3,713 feet above sea level. If you do begin on the south end, I would personally rate the trail as only moderately difficult. This trail is accessible. For Denali National Park, arrive at the visitor center by 9 a.m. for the best chance at a permit. Crowned by the highest mountain in North America and with only one road in and out, Denali National Park is perhaps the most storied expanse of wilderness in the entire U.S. National Park system. Therefore, I recommend beginning on the southern side. You can walk between the Kennels and the Denali Visitor Center along Rock Creek Trail for great views and a peaceful walk. Out of the Big 5, the only ones we didn’t see was the last one. Savage River Loop, Horseshoe Lake, or Rock Creek. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? And, if you’re traveling with your furry friend, please abide by the park’s rules. The best & most popular mountain biking trails in Denali National Park. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. The views of Mt McKinley and the Alaska Range is absolutely breathtaking for the majority of the trail. 3 h 26 m. Steep climb, but they payoff is definitely worth it. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. The Spruce Forest Loop is a small trail that connects with the McKinley Station Trail. Hire a local guide with Traverse Alaska to prepare for your independent hiking adventures. Inquire at the Eielson Visitor Center. Finally, I hiked this trail for the first time in 2019, and it’s one of the best hikes in Denali National Park. Throughout the summer, beautiful wildflowers will grow beside the trail. Theoretically, you could do them all in one visit! [{"slug":"denali-national-park","title":"Denali National Park"}], Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. Good hike for kids, with pos­si­bil­i­ty of see­ing Dall sheep, mar­mots, and cari­bou. Setting off across the tundra, particularly at lower elevations, is a little more difficult. The Parks Expert will continue to be updated. Trailhead Location: Denali Visitor Center, Park Entrance, or Glitter Gulch. #1 - Mount Healy Overlook Trail Denali National Park hard (405) Length: 6.1 mi • Est. You’ll start by hiking along the railroad bed before descending a steep hill. Furthermore, you can access the Savage River and potentially see small mammals. Updates about the NPS response, including safety information, are posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Trailhead Location: Denali Visitor Center or Park Headquarters/Kennels. See our tips for staying safe around bears and moose, and respecting other species. On your way back, you’ll have to climb up the same hill you descended at the beginning, which is the only difficult portion of the trail. It’s a nice trail to walk if you’re interested in the boreal forest ecosystem. Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. Download Free Checklists and Itineraries! Trailhead Location: Mountain Vista Parking Area. Caribou / Reindeer. Trailhead Location: Southern entrance sign near the Nenana River bridge or Denali Visitor Center. There’s a lot of elevation gain, but it’s worth every step. The Taiga Trail is another connector that provides access to many other popular trails. Hike 2 miles roundtrip from the Eiel­son Vis­i­tor Cen­ter to the Gorge Creek and Tho­ro­fare Riv­er Bars. Note: This trail is NOT a loop and you will end 2 miles from where you started. Please check your email for further instructions. Or, sign up for on of the parks Discovery Hikes where you’ll explore Denali’s trail-less wilderness with a Denali Park Ranger. The Rock Creek, Roadside, Taiga, and Meadowview trails are perfect for this. On its own, Rock Creek is still a great trail. Once the maintained trail ends, you can also continue hiking to explore the ridgeline further. Best Hiking Trails in Denali National Park. There are numer­ous route options. You’ll walk through the spruce forest to a natural oxbow bend in the Nenana River. Near the entrance area, there are plenty of developed trails that offer views, a bit of solitude, and chance encounters with wildlife. Always carry bear spray and be sure to read about bear safety before you go. Length: 1.8 miles Ele­va­tion: 300 ft. Time: 45 – 1 hr. Park your vehicle at Mountain Vista around the time the free shuttle arrives, then take that to Savage River. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. Trailhead Location: Eielson Visitor Center. Best trails in Denali National Park. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. This is the paved section. Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. MAP: Trails Illustrated shows the whole park, but overall it’s best to get the old-fashioned quad maps from the Backcountry Center. If you’re up for it, the trail provides astounding views and is best in the fall. The for­est even­tu­al­ly gives way to tun­dra. Expertly researched and created in partnership with local land management agencies, National Geographic's Trails Illustrated map of Denali National Park provides an unparalleled tool for exploring this remarkable region. Get our latest sent right to your inbox. The trail has little shade, so it can be quite hot on warm days. The Savage Alpine Trail is one of the best ways to spend half a day in Denali National Park. Trailhead Location: Rock Creek Trail or Roadside Trail. Note: Dogs and bicycles are allowed on the Bike Path. 2 mile loop trail, locat­ed at Mile 15 Denali Park Rd, Either dri­ve your own car or take the free shut­tle 15 miles out the park road to the Sav­age Riv­er check sta­tion. How to Get There: You can reach Denali by car, bus, or train. There are a few signs to tell you about the history of the area if you aren’t on one of the tours. If you are visiting the park in the summer, you can choose from a variety of activities including hiking, sightseeing by bus, visiting the sled dog kennels, cycling the Denali Park Road, or "flight"-seeing by plane. You’ll follow the Savage River through a canyon and cross a footbridge over the river to return to the Park Road. Triple Lakes Trail. Mount Healy Overlook Trail. Overwhelmed by choices? Each parking area at Savage River has a trailhead for this loop. There are many activ­i­ties you can do here, includ­ing ranger-guid­ed hikes up to near­by Tho­ro­fare Pass and self-guid­ed expi­ra­tion of the high-alpine tun­dra environment. I recommend beginning from the Savage River area to get most of your strenuous climbing out of the way first. The Morino Connector Trail is a small trail that connects with the McKinley Station Trail. Of all the strenuous trails in Denali, Mount Healy is my least favorite. Rent it from Alaska Outdoor Gear Outfitter & Rentals. This view is as good as it gets. The … Also be mindful of wildlife. Then, the trail mod­er­ates and emerges from the for­est to a grand view of the Nenana Riv­er and the Alas­ka Range look­ing south toward Windy Pass. Type of Trail: Out and back (or utilize the bus system), Trailhead Location: East Savage River parking area or Mountain Vista parking area. Those who want to climb to the Trailhead Location: Denali Visitor Center or Riley Creek Campground. Many other popular trails Dogs and bicycles are allowed on the trail forest loop is around a third a. Occasionally, you ’ ll need to worry about bus schedules as you can do loop! Difficult trail, but getting up there is quite possibly the most difficult trail, and welcome to the bus. 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