DENALI, ALASKA — Located at approximately Milepost 236 of the George Park Highway, Denali National Park and Preserve lies deep within the Alaskan Bush between Anchorage and Fairbanks. Home to Mount Denali, the tallest peak in North America, and abundant wildlife — grizzly bears, moose, Dall sheep and caribou, the park encompasses tundra, taiga and alpine ecosystems. Denali National Park is open year-round, with its main visitor season occurring mid-May through mid-September.
At the turn of the century, Denali was home to the Kantishna mining district. The area became known for its beauty and wildlife, which American conservationist Charles Alexander Sheldon fought to protect — specifically the Dall sheep that were being hunted. In 1917, Mount McKinley National Park was established to ward off poachers. During World War II, the area began to see early developments focused on attracting tourism and serving as vacation homes for military troops.
In 1976, President Jimmy Carter designated the area as an international biosphere reserve. Then in 1980, the park’s boundaries were expanded to more than six million acres – including Mt. McKinley and Denali Preserve — and renamed Denali National Park. With an extensive ecological community, Denali Village offers bird watching tours as well as ranger-led walks and up-close experiences with the environment and its inhabitants including Grizzly Bear, Wolf, Caribou and Dall Sheep. Bird Watching Tours, in partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, offer guests sightings of the region’s hawks, cranes, eagles, and owls.
Guided tours allow guests to venture deep into Denali National Park while viewing wildlife and panoramic scenery while listening to educational narration about the land. Due to COVID 19, only tour open this summer is the Tundra Wilderness Tour that will reopen on May 20, 2021.
The most popular of the tours is the Tundra Wilderness Tour. The 7–8-hour excursion via motor coach journeys 62 miles into the Denali National Park to Stony Hill Overlook. The tour includes a narrated history of Park Road, scenery, and wildlife — Dall sheep, grizzly bears, wolves, and caribou. Full Tour operates June -September.
Another popular tour is the Denali History Tour (this tour is temporarily closed 2021 season). A 4.5-5 hour tour that focuses on the natural history, landscape and geology of the area, traveling to the Teklanika River, stopping at the Savage Cabin, the original rangers’ cabin, and Primrose Ridge. The tour operates May -September.
The Kantishna Experience Tour (this tour is temporarily closed 2021 season) is also one of the “not-to-be missed” tours of Denali National Park. This daylong tour (11-12 hours), takes guests 92 miles into the park, exploring the old gold mining town of Kantishna with a certified interpretive guide. Kantishna is the only tour to feature an interpretive ranger from the National Park Service. The tour operates June -September.
Another tour to check out is the Eielson Excursion Tour (this tour is temporarily closed 2021 season). Traversing 10 miles further into the Tundra, the Eielson Excursion brings visitors to remote places in the Alaska wilderness including the Eielson Visitor Center.
Other authentic Alaska experiences include Helicopter Flightseeing with an experienced local naturalist; the Denali Wilderness Safari on heated jet boats; Midnight Golf on the Black Diamond Golf Course; ATV trail rides, and Denali Flyfishing. (Many of the activities are temporarily closed due to COVID 19)
Denali National Park is approximately 240 miles north of Anchorage and 125 miles south of Fairbanks. It is accessible by car/RV via the lone Park Road or the Alaska Railroad that departs from Fairbanks and Anchorage. A train station is located within Denali National Park, with shuttle service from train station to area hotels.
Denali Park Village and Denali National Park are divisions of Aramark, which provides lodging, dining and activity options in some of the United States’ most beautiful and treasured places, including national and state parks and national forests.
Aramark seeks to create memorable experiences at destinations by bringing the best in environmental stewardship, sustainable cuisine and interpretive programs to the guests it serves. In addition to Denali National Park, Aramark also operates concessions in or just outside: Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds, California — Crater Lake National Park, Oregon/Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska — Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona/Utah — Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado/Olympic National Park, Washington — Togwotee Mountain Lodge, Wyoming/Zephyr Cove Resort & Lake Tahoe Cruises/Nevada
Aramark has a deep respect for and commitment to protecting and improving the environment. The company works to reduce its environmental footprint while delivering exceptional operational results. Aramark offers expertise and practical solutions to its clients to help them reduce their environmental impacts. Throughout the company, Aramark develops and implements long-term environmental stewardship programs and policies within the areas of Food Purchasing; Supply Chain; Building Operations; Energy and Water Conservation; Transportation; and Waste Management. Aramark believes sustainability is a process and has implemented environmental management systems that serve as the basis for continuous improvement. For more information on Aramark and its properties, visit www.aramarkleisure.com.