"Reflection Pond" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain
Denali for Families
Brochure Denali for Families for Denali National Park & Preserve (NP&PRES) in Alaska. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
Denali for Families A Visitor’s Guide to Denali National Park and Preserve The current park lands of Denali National Park and Preserve include the traditional homelands of the Dene, also known as the Athabascan People. They are the Ahtna, Benhti Kenaga’ (Tanana), Dinak’I (Upper Kuskokwim), and Denaakk’e (Koyukon), and in the southeast park, the Dena’ina. For thousands of years, these peoples have interacted with the land to make homes, hunt and gather foods, create art, and trade. Alaska Natives have been stewards of the land since long before it was managed by the National Park Service, and they continute to practice traditional values and utilize park resources today. Credits Author: Kris Capps Editors: Jill Bruebaker, Ellen Grover, Sierra Mclane, Sarah Hayes, and Laura Vachula. Layout and Design: Ellen Grover, Elizabeth Menezes, Laura Vachula, and Debbie Whitecar Inspiration and Oversight: Christie Denzel Anastasia, Kristen Friesen, Philip Hooge, Shelli Huls, Sierra McLane, Ingrid Nixon, and Lisa Oakley Many thanks to the families who provided photographs, quotes, and inspiration for sharing Denali with others. May families everywhere get to experience special outdoor places. Front Cover: Emily Mesner This guide was produced by the National Park Service and Alaska Geographic working in partnership through the Murie Science and Learning Center. Denali Families for A Visitor’s Guide to Denali National Park and Preserve Produced in 2015 NPS Photo Updated in 2020 Contents How To Use This Book Park Road, Entrance Area, and Trails Planning Your Trip Local Amenities Visitor Centers Safety First Leave No Trace Experience Denali: Hiking Hiking Checklist Off-Trail Hiking Experience Denali: Camping Backcountry Camping Experience Denali: Biking Biking Checklist Experience Denali: By Bus Bus Checklist Which Bus? Bus Etiquette Car Seat Experience Denali: In Fall, Winter, Spring 1 3 5 7 10 13 17 20 20 21 24 26 28 28 30 30 31 32 33 35 Family Fun in the Entrance Area Denali Visitor Center Murie Science and Learning Center Denali Sled Dog Kennels Camping in the Entrance Area Hiking in the Entrance Area Biking in the Entrance Area Family Fun in the Savage River Area Camping in the Savage River Area Hiking in the Savage River Area Biking in the Savage River Area Family Fun Beyond Mile 15 Camping Beyond Mile 15 Hiking Beyond Mile 15 Biking Beyond Mile 15 Family Fun at Eielson Eielson Visitor Center Hiking at Eielson Family Fun at Wonder Lake Camping at Wonder Lake Hiking at Wonder Lake Extending Your Visit Visiting Talkeetna Staying Connected 38 38 41 43 45 47 52 53 53 55 57 60 60 61 62 64 64 65 68 68 69 72 74 75 Welcome to Denali From Our Family to Yours Denali National Park and Preserve is a vast wilderness in Interior Alaska. Here, visitors are encouraged to forge their own paths and make their own discoveries. The memories of these extraordinary experiences can last a lifetime. People dream of visiting Denali for many reasons. Like the wilderness here, the opportunities are vast. Whether you’re hoping to see a large mammal, like a moose or grizzly bear, looking forward to the thrill and independence of hiking, or excited to experience an ecosystem that is different from your home, there’s something for everyone. We know that it is not always easy to coordinate a group traveling together, so we wrote this book oto Ph S P N for families and independent travelers who want to prepare for and make the most of a self-guided visit to Denali. With a dash of planning, you can enjoy a trip that is fun for the whole family. Denali for Families is the result of park efforts to make Denali a welcoming and accessible place for families and lifelong learners. Inside this book, you will find details on how to plan your trip to Denali, what to bring, and what amenities are available once you get here. We explain how to stay safe around wildlife, how to keep warm and dry, and how to help your family to leave no trace during your time here. We unpack Denali’s transportation systems and recommend good places for learning, hiking, biking, camping, and adventuring with family members of all ages. Local Denali families made the recommendations that you will find in this book, and photographs of these families are featured on its pages. We love this park, and this book represents our welcome, from our family to yours, so that you can love it, too. NPS Photo / Kent Miller How To Use This Book Whether you’ve already reached the park or you’re dreaming about a trip, we’ve compiled some important tips to consider as you prepare to explore Denali with your family. The first few pages of this book are filled with Information to help with trip planning and park orientation and answers many of the most frequently asked questions. Be sure to review the wildlife safety information before you begin your travels through bear country. The Experience Denali section provides an overview of what to expect if you plan to camp, hike, bike, or ride the bus while you are here. The third part of the book leads you to the Family Fun you can have in Denali. This is where you’ll learn where to camp, great areas for hiking or biking, and what to see and do in each part of the park. The section is divided into five areas, moving further into the park as you go: the Entrance Area, Savage River, Beyond Mile 15, Eielson, and Wonder Lake. Explore the resources listed in the Extending Your Visit and Staying Connected sections at the back of the book where you’ll find ideas to keep your Denali adventure alive after you arrive home. 1 We want you to travel smart and have fun. To enhance your experience, take this book along with you so you won’t forget to talk about the special call-out features. Science facts so you can learn all about the park. Fun facts that your travel companions will love. Specially written with kids in mind. Hint Important tips for visitors. NPS Photo / Nathan Kostegian 2 Denali Park Road To Fairbanks Healy 10 Miles 0 0 3 10 Kilometers Campground Savage River Check Station Restrooms Information Denali Bus Depot Murie Science and Learning Center Riley Creek Sanctuary River Teklanika River Savage River Denali Visitor Center Geo rg Pa k H e r s i gh Mountain Vista Igloo Creek Kantishna Toklat River Polychrome Overlook w ay 3 Wonder Lake Eielson Visitor Center Cantwell 8 To Paxson To Talkeetna and Anchorage 3 Entrance Area Facilities and Trails To Fairbanks GE O RG E PA Horseshoe Lake Trail RK S HI GH W AY Denali Bus Depot (H W Y ail l Riley Creek Mercantile a Tr o k Trai Taig Ov lo th l er Riley Creek Campground Morino Grill and Denali Park Store Train Depot Tra il io n Cr ee k Tr a il Denali Visitor Center at nl e Ro ck Meadow View Connector Trail R M e dsid oa i cK yS t Riley Creek Day-Use Area l ai Tr Triple La AD K RO PAR ALI DEN North k e s Tr Park Headquarters Pa Jonesville Connector Trail Bike Path y e Bik Mount Hea 3) Murie Science and Learning Center (Winter Visitor Center) ai l To Anchorage Sled Dog Kennels 4 Planning Your Trip All trips involve careful planning. When traveling with a family, that careful planning can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and a disaster. Whether you’ve already reached the park entrance area or you’re dreaming about a trip, we’ve compiled some important tips to consider as you prepare to explore Denali. It’s good to check the park website as well for information on current conditions. Your stay One of the most important decisions to make before your trip is how long you will have at the park to explore. Some visitors come for only half a day, some for several days, and still others for a week or more. It’s a long way to Denali even if you are already in Alaska, so make sure you allow enough time to relax and enjoy the experience. Here are some suggestions to help you plan. If you have 1 day Explore the entrance area! Visit the Denali Visitor Center and the sled dog kennels. Then take the free shuttle to Savage River for sightseeing and to hike. There are also a variety of trails to explore in the entrance area starting from the visitor center. Camp at Riley Creek Campground. 5 7 If you have 2-3 days If you have more Enjoy activities in the than 3 days entrance area, and then spend one full day on a transit bus past Mile 15, getting off to explore stops along the way (read more about riding park buses with young kids in the Experience Denali: By Bus section). More than 600,000 visitors make their way to Denali each year. Explore the entrance area, then camp at Savage River or Teklanika and ride a transit bus to Eielson or Wonder Lake. Family Photo Getting here • • • • From Anchorage: 237 miles, 5 hours by car, 7.5 hours by train From Fairbanks: 120 miles, 2.5 hours by car, 4 hours by train From Talkeetna: 137 miles, 3 hours by car, 4.5 hours by train From Seward: 363 miles, 7 hours by car, 11.5 hours by train Lodging There are no hotels inside the park (other than a few in Kantishna), only campgrounds. Accommodations can be found in Healy, Cantwell, and along the George Parks Highway. For hotel information, contact the Denali Chamber of Commerce at 907-683-4636. When to visit Most people visit Denali during the summer season or the shoulder seasons. The summer season lasts from roughly mid-May through mid-September. The shoulder seasons run for a few weeks before and after the summer season. Summer is the time when most visitors come to Denali and when the widest variety of services and activities are possible. Reservations Once you’ve decided when you will visit the park, make reservations. For camping and bus reservations, visit www.reservedenali.com or call 1-800-622-7275. How much does it cost? Check the park website for current pricing, but here is a sampling of fees. • Entrance: $15 per person (good for 7 days), ages 15 and under are free. • Transit Buses: $34-65 (depending on destination), ages 15 and under are free. • Camping: $17-34 per night, depending on site and tent/RV. Family Photo 6 Local Amenities Bathrooms Restroom facilities are located at visitor centers, campground facilities, and bus stops throughout the entrance area. Buses along the Park Road stop about every 90 minutes for a bathroom break. Medical The closest physicians and hospitals are in Fairbanks, 120 miles away. For emergency care one mile north of the park in summer, contact Canyon Clinic at 907-683-4433. Emergency: Dial 911 Report emergencies to park rangers, campground hosts, or bus drivers. Food There is only one restaurant in the park, the Morino Grill, located next to the Denali Visitor Center. Basic groceries and some pre-packaged food can be found at the Riley Creek Mercantile, adjacent to the Riley Creek Campground. The Denali Bus Depot sells snacks and coffee. There are also some restaurants and convenience stores located just outside the park. Note that most of these options are only available in summer. Groceries, camping gear, and other essentials are available year-round in Healy, 13 miles north of the park entrance. Picnic Areas • • • • Riley Creek Day-Use Area (entrance area) Denali Visitor Center (outside of the downstairs door) Mountain Vista Rest Area (Mile 13) Savage River Turnout (Mile 15) Phones and Internet 7 NPS Photo / Charlotte Bodak There is cell phone coverage in the park entrance area, but only as far as Mile 4 along the Park Road. There are no pay phones in the park. Free wireless internet is available to visitors at the Denali Visitor Center, Denali Bus Depot, Riley Creek Mercantile, and Winter Visitor Center (Murie Science and Learning Center). Fuel In summer, there is a gas station one mile north of the park. Year-round gas stations are also located 13 miles north in Healy and 30 miles south in Cantwell. Laundry and Showers In summer, these essentials can be found at the Riley Creek Mercantile, adjacent to the Riley Creek Campground. Pets Pets are not allowed on most park trails, on the bus, or in the backcountry. They may be walked on the road, Bike Path, and the Roadside Trail, but must be on a leash at all times. Pets must never be left unattended. Post Office For the Denali National Park postmark, take your cards to the post office near the Riley Creek Campground. Lost & Found Contact a ranger or call 907-683-9275. Child Care Denali Preschool and Learning Center has drop-off service on a space-available basis. Call 907-683-7789 for more information. NPS Photo The park is home to Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, at 20,310 feet (6,190 m). The name, Denali, means “The High One” in Native Athabascan. 8 “A trip out to Eielson Visitor Center is a supreme family adventure. Opportunities for learning, discovery, and enrichment abound. But there is also ample opportunity for just having fun!” Family Photo Visitor Centers Here are some of the main facilities in Denali where you can find information, amenities, and friendly staff who can help you to make the most out of your visit. Denali Visitor Center Located in the park entrance area, this is a must stop for all visitors. There is a lot to see and do here, and the center provides a great introduction to the park. You’ll find general information, bus schedules, exhibits, interpretive programs, a park film, a bookstore, and ranger-guided walks. See page 38 for more information. Murie Science and Learning Center Located in the park entrance area, this science center doubles as the park’s Winter Visitor Center and has exhibits, handson activities for kids, and information on research taking place in the park. See page 41 for details. Riley Creek Mercantile Denali Bus Depot Located in the park entrance area, all transit buses depart from here. You can also obtain general information, bus tickets, and campground information here. Toklat Rest Stop Get off the bus here at Mile 53 to stretch your legs and enjoy views of the Toklat River, use the restroom, shop at the bookstore, and obtain information at the Toklat tent. Eielson Visitor Center Located at Mile 66 on the Park Road, this is another must stop if you are traveling this far into the park. Get off the bus and stretch your legs on one of the hiking trails, check out the exhibits, and talk to a ranger. See page 64 for more information. Located in the park entrance area, the Mercantile has snacks (including ice cream!), bathrooms, showers, and information. It’s where you’ll check in if you are camping at any of the park campgrounds. 10 Denali Park Road The Denali Park Road stretches 92 miles from the George Parks Highway to the former mining camp of Kantishna. In summer, the first 15 miles are accessible to private vehicles. Visitors must use the park bus system to travel beyond. Throughout this guide and during your visit here, you will frequently hear sections of the road referred to by the mile number, although in most instances there is no visual mile marker. The Park Road is a narrow, gravel road where buses travel at a moderate pace, giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy the view. The first 15 miles are paved; this is a good place to look for moose and caribou. Take a look at the streambeds as you pass because animals like to walk along those gravel bars and can be easy to spot. After Savage River at Mile 15, you start to leave the trees behind and the country opens up to tundra and mountains. If you have children, you will be the best judge for how long they may enjoy riding on a bus in the park. Many parents find it most rewarding to prioritize off-bus adventures, with short to moderate bus rides in between. While on the bus, children can get impatient when wildlife sightings are sporadic or if that grizzly bear is too far away to see with the naked eye. If you have binoculars, be sure to bring them for far-away sightings. Your chances of seeing a bear improve if you go as far as Toklat at Mile 53. Another 13 miles takes you to the Eielson Visitor Center. There’s plenty of room to stretch your legs here and time for children to run around outside. 11 NPS Photo Hint A special event called Road Lottery starts the second Friday after Labor Day. Families who win a permit can drive their personal vehicles into the park beyond Mile 15 on one day and set their own pace. Apply for this privilege in the spring at www.recreation.gov. Winners are notified in June. Be warned, the road can close at any time due to bad weather. Safety First At its core, Denali is a wild place. You might see a moose walking through your campground or hike for hours through the remote wilderness without seeing another group. The wild parts of the park can be some of the most appealing, but it is important to remember that every activity is at your own risk. Keep in mind that even the entrance of Denali is several hours from the nearest hospital and other emergency services. You know your family best, so choose activities based on each member’s abilities. Being prepared is the best way to have a fun and safe trip! Preparing for Weather Like the rest of Alaska, weather in Denali is extremely variable. Rangers tell visitors to expect sun, wind, rain, clouds—and even snow—all on the same day! Average summer temperatures range from 33 to 75o F. What to wear Bring good rain gear (tops and bottoms), a winter hat (even in the summer, it can drop to below freezing at night!), mittens or gloves, a hat (for sun or rain), several layers of clothing (wool or fleece is better than cotton), spare socks, good hiking shoes or boots, and a little extra of everything! Denali National Park and Preserve is a remote park two to five hours from a large city, so bring everything with you. 13 Hint There is no cell service beyond Mile 4 of the Park Road (which is most of the park). Give your itinerary to those who aren’t traveling with you and let them know that they may not be able to reach you while you explore Denali—even for a few days if you are camping further in! Preparing for Wildlife Denali National Park and Preserve was created in 1917 to protect the Dall sheep. During your visit to Denali, there’s a good chance that you will encounter wildlife. Whether it’s a grizzly bear, moose, or a small arctic ground squirrel, it’s important to remember that these animals are truly wild, and you should use caution when they are around. You can safely observe animals in Denali and help protect their well-being by following a few guidelines. Stay away Seeing wildlife is fun for all ages, but make sure to keep your distance. You are required to stay 25 yards from all wildlife (even further from bears – see the next pages). If your presence changes the animals’ behavior, you are too close. Binoculars can help you observe animals from a safe distance for both you and them. NPS Photo/ Kent Miller Don’t feed wildlife Feeding wild animals teaches them bad habits and puts their health at risk. Protect the creatures in Denali by making sure all of your food ends up in a human mouth only. Learn more about good Leave No Trace practices on page 17. Know what to do Ask a ranger or look in the Summer Guide for a quick wildlife safety briefing on how to respond if an animal becomes aggressive. For example, if a moose feels threatened, it will charge! Run away as quickly as you can. The next page has detailed instructions for staying safe if you encounter a bear. 14 Bear Safety Denali is home to both black bears and grizzly bears. Black bears are usually found in forested areas of the park, while grizzly bears generally live on the tundra. You are as likely to encounter a bear on a trail as anywhere else in the park, since bears like to use trails too! Are you prepared if you encounter a bear? Be sure to keep your distance (the requirement is a minimum of 300 yards) and know that the best place to view a wild bear up close is from inside a bus. To keep your family safe in bear country, follow these safety rules: • • • • • • • • • Carry bear spray. Keep it accessible, and know how to use it. Never run away from a bear. This will cause a chase response, and bears can run faster than people. Never approach a bear. Never get between a sow and her cubs. Never drop your pack or anything else to distract a bear. Never leave food out unattended for a bear to find. Always be aware of your surroundings. Watch for bear tracks and scat. Make lots of noise when hiking on trails or in the backcountry. Sing or talk with your companions as you walk. Be especially vigilant in dense brush, along rivers, and when walking into the wind. If you have a bear encounter, be sure to report it to a park ranger. 15 What To Do in a Bear Encounter Unaware Bear If you see a bear and the bear does not see you, slowly and quietly back away and reroute around the bear. Surprised or Threatened Bear If you surprise a bear or it feels threatened, it may charge you or approach aggressively. 1. Gather into a group and get your bear spray ready. 2. Wave your arms over your head slowly and speak in a low, calm voice, showing the bear that you are not a threat. 3. Slowly back away if possible, but do not run! 4. If the bear continues to approach and comes within range (20 feet), use your bear spray, aiming at the bear’s head. Curious Bear If a bear acts tolerant of people, seems curious, or approaches you in a non-aggressive way, stand your ground. 1. Gather into a group, get your bear spray ready, and plant your feet. 2. Wave your arms over your head and shout aggressively and sternly at the bear to look threatening. 3. If the bear comes within range (20 feet), use your bear spray, aiming at the bear’s head. Family Photo 16 Leave No Trace Leave the park the way you would like to find it! Challenge your family to leave behind no trace that you were there. This will help keep Denali National Park and Preserve in great shape, both for future visitors and for the wildlife that calls this magical place home. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces If you are on a formal trail, stay on the trail. If you are hiking away from a formal trail, spread your group out and walk side by side. Try walking on hard surfaces like gravel bars rather than vegetation, and do not leave navigational aids such as cairns or arrows so the next visitors can experience that same feeling of discovery that you did. Dispose of Waste Properly When you stop for a snack, be sure to pick up all of your trash and bring it back with you to throw away. Don’t leave any food scraps behind, even those that are biodegradble. Ground squirrels or birds might look like they want a handout, but don’t give it to them. By not feeding animals you can help keep wildlife wild. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Keep your group size small, be courteous, and let nature’s sounds prevail. When you get home, share your pictures with friends and famiy but remember not to post GPS-referenced photos or track logs on social media. This protects resources and lets future visitors have that same experience of discovery. Dig a Hole There are no toilets off the road! Be prepared with a trowel so you can dig a hole at least 6 inches deep and at least 100 feet away from water to safely dispose of human feces. Remember to carry out all your toilet paper and wipes. 17 NPS Photo Leave only footprints... Take only pictures Enjoy the rocks, flowers, and bones that you may find while exploring, but please do not take anything with you besides memories. Leave everything behind for others to enjoy! If you find something that you think might be an artifact (an item 50 years or older), leave it where you found it. If you want to remember your find AND help park archeologists, take a photograph of your discovery. When you return to the park entrance, notify a ranger at the Denali Visitor Center, describe where the artifact is located, and show them your photo. Sometimes where an artifact is located is as important as what it is. Not long ago, a preschooler found an unusual looking stick on the braided riverbed. It turned out to be an artifact made of caribou antler, hundreds of years old. This discovery helped archeologists document use of this area by Alaska Natives. Park archeologists learn about early park inhabitants with these kinds of exciting discoveries. They’ve found evidence that humans have inhabited this area for over 13,000 years. Alaska Natives still use the land for hunting and gathering, turning the wild resources into food, clothing, shelter, medicine, transportation, and handicrafts, just as their ancestors have for thousands of years. Today these activities are considered subsistence use. Family Photo 18 Denali National Park and Preserve has more than six million acres of wilderness to explore. This is a wild place where you get to find your own way, because in much of the park there are no formal trails. If there is an established trail, please stay on it. Family Photo Experience Denali hiking There are lots of trails near the entrance to the park, or a short distance away. The Family Fun sections of this book describe great trails for families, detailing where to access the trail, hiking distance, level of difficulty, and interesting things to see and talk about along the way. The hiking times provided are for an average adult walker, so adjust the time accordingly for your group—double it if hiking with kids under age 5. Hiking Checklist Here’s a list of important items to include in your pack. Remember to dress in layers of non-absorbent clothing, such as fleece or wool. Avoid cotton because when it gets wet, it stays wet. For hikes longer than an hour, tell someone where you’re going. Water and snacks—lots of snacks Sturdy hiking boots or shoes and extra socks Rain gear—the weather changes fast Hat and gloves—yes, even in summer Extra layers of clothing in case it gets colder or you get wet Map and/or trail guide Binoculars and camera Sunscreen and sun hat Insect repellent and/or head nets First aid kit, knife, whistle, and compass or GPS Bear spray Toilet paper and a plastic bag to pack it all out 20 Off-Trail Hiking An off-trail wilderness hike can be an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Just get off the bus and start hiking—anywhere. You may hike a bit, stop at a river for a while to play, hike a little more, then have a snack and relax. The rewards are worth the effort, and you’ll generally find yourselves alone in the wilderness, even if you never leave sight of the Park Road. Where to Begin A good strategy is to take an early transit bus into the park, traveling to either Toklat River or Eielson Visitor Center, and scouting the terrain from the Park Road. On your return towards the park entrance, you can ask your driver to let you off at whatever area looked most appealing. After your hike, return to anywhere along the road and wave down a passing transit bus. You can also stop by the Backcountry Information Center to ask the rangers for ideas and to watch the safety video. NPS Photo / Sierra Mc Lan e 21 Hint Much of the park’s landscape that the road runs through is above tree line. If you’re not experienced with a map and compass, pick an area with good visibility and use the Park Road as your navigation tool. Keep an eye on the road as you hike away, and when you’re ready to return, hike back in the same direction. NPS Photo / Sierra McLane Hint If you haven’t hiked here before, try hiking with a ranger. Ranger-led Discovery Hikes are offered daily during the summer. Topics and difficulty levels vary, so check with the Denali Visitor Center to find a hike that matches your group’s age and ability. NPS Photo / Sean Proctor Experience Denali camping One of the best ways to connect with nature in Denali National Park and Preserve is to go camping. You may choose an established campground or you can backpack until you find a great place in the wilderness to spend the night. Backcountry camping takes more planning, especially with children, but it can be done, and it’s a fantastic way to teach self-reliance, leave no trace values, and the awe of discovery. All six of the park’s campgrounds are described in more detail later, but here is a quick overview of each. Riley Creek, Mile 1 The largest campground in the park is perfect for families on a tight schedule that need easy access to park amenities. There’s good hiking and many activities in the area. There are sites for RVs and tents, flush toilets, and running water. Savage River, Mile 13 This smaller campground is close to the entrance area with sites for RVs and tents, flush toilets, and running water. You can drive your own vehicle to the campground and feel a little closer to the wilderness. There’s also good hiking in the area. Denali National Park and Preserve is only 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Sanctuary River, Mile 23 This is one of the smallest campgrounds in the park with only seven tent sites and no treated water. No vehicles are allowed here, so you must take the park camper bus. A good choice for families with some camping experience. 24 Teklanika River, Mile 29 Great family campground for those wanting to get farther into the park and looking for a more remote experience. You can drive your own vehicle to the campground, but you must stay a minimum of three nights. Igloo Creek, Mile 34 Like Sanctuary, this is one of the smallest campgrounds with only seven tent sites and no treated water. No vehicles are allowed here, so you must take the park camper bus. If you plan to camp • • • • Bring a three-season, rainproof tent. Bring a warm sleeping bag and warm clothing. Bring all your own food; there are not many stores in the area. Make a reservation in advance. Each campsite is limited to no more than 8 people per site, except Wonder Lake, which is limited to 4 per site. Some campgrounds are tent-only, and some accommodate RVs. There are no electrical or water hookups for RVs in the park. Wonder Lake, Mile 85 For those wanting to see it all! Be aware that it takes about six hours to get here on the bus. Tents only, no vehicles. A good choice if you have the time. Water and toilets are available at this campground. 25 t ho SP NP Camping Tips Bear-resistant food storage is a requirement while camping in Denali. Food and scented items can be stored inside a hard-sided vehicle at your campsite. Permanent bear-resistant food lockers are also available at all campgrounds. o /K aitl in Th oresen Backcountry Camping Don’t be afraid to venture beyond the established campgrounds. This could be a memorable experience for your family. It does require some pre-planning and some backcountry experience. When you arrive, go to the Backcountry Information Center in the park entrance area to choose a destination area for your trek, watch the safety video, and obtain a free backcountry permit. Permits cannot be reserved in advance. Depending on when you arrive and where you plan to go, you may be able to begin your backpacking adventure the same day. Most likely, though, you’ll spend the night in the entrance area before you board the camper bus and head into the wilderness. With children, you might not have to hike far to have amazing, new experiences. However, you do have to camp at least one-half mile away from and out of sight of the Park Road. This can be harder than it looks in the vast open tundra. Experts at the Backcountry Information Center can suggest areas that might be most appropriate for your family. Remember that it is required that you store your food and other smelly items in a bear-resistant food container. The rangers at the Backcountry Information Center will be happy to provide you with as many containers as you need, so ask for extras if you anticipate needing to store food-soiled clothing or diapers. They are bulky, so you might nee