Monday, June 22, 2009

Denali National Park & Preserve - Denali Park, Alaska

Mount McKinley or Denali (meaning “The Great One” in Alaska is the highest mountain peak in North America, and is the centerpiece of Denali National park. The mountain has been uplifted by tectonic pressure from the Pacific plate.

If you’re in Alaska, it would be a crime not to visit the Denali National Park. To access this National Park, one has to make their way through the wilderness of Alaska, by car (approximately 240 miles north of Anchorage), or by Train (See Alaska Railroad) or by Plane.

The park was originally established to protect its large mammals. This plan was conceived by Charles Sheldon who was a naturalist, hunter and conservationist. The Denali National Park and Preserve is 6 million acres large, larger than the state of Massachusetts, and is managed as three distinct units – Denali Wilderness, Denali National Park additions and Denali National Preserve.

Hence, you will see a vast landscape of wilderness of braided glacial rivers, massive peaks and tundra. You can also expect to see wildlife like Moose, caribou, grizzly bears and their cubs, Dall sheep, wolves and a variety of birds.

Denali is best seen mid-May to mid September, which is when the Denali visitor facilities are open. An ideal timeframe is a minimum of 2 nights if you are staying at a hotel near the park entrance, or if you intend to rough it out and stay in the park’s interior, you’ll need 3 to 4 nights. Click here for details on Denali Lodging.

Most visitors join a one-full-day shuttle or bus tour of Denali Park, which helps the park officials to control the number of visitors and the impact visitors would have on the environment and wildlife, as the Denali Park Road is the only road in the park, which extends some 91 miles into the park.

For more information about the Denali National Park & Preserve, and Denali National Park Travel Planning & Insider Tips by

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