"Reflection Pond" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain
Guide Summer 2016
Summer Visitor Guide to Denali National Park & Preserve (NP&PRES) in Alaska. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska Official newspaper S u m m e r 2 016 Alpenglow Setting up a safe camp in Denali means making a "golden triangle." Tents must be pitched at least a hundred yards from cooking areas, and another hundred yards from Bear Resistant Food Containers (BRFCs), provided free with your backcountry permit. Learn more on Page 10. Two celebrations mark two park centennials T his year, the National Park Service celebrates the 100th anniversary of its establishment by Congress in 1916. Next year in 2017, Denali National Park and Preserve achieves its own centennial. In 1917, Mount McKinley National Park, as it was known at that time, was the first national park founded following the creation of the new agency. Human Hundred Grab your gear. Mark your map. Start your app, if that's your thing. The park is challenging its visitors and staff to log 100 miles of human-powered travel during 2016 and 2017 to commemorate its centennial birthdays. Walk, bike, run, ski or snowshoe. Watch for rangerled events to help you reach your Human Hundred. ● First-Timer Friendly Denali is working to make it easier for Alaskans with limited hiking or camping experience to visit and explore. The park is partnering with other public land agencies and outdoor gear companies to provide families with the encouragement and resources they need to make their first experiences here easier and more enjoyable. NPS PHOTO / KENT MILLER Welcome to YOUR park You have arrived just in time to join us in celebrating a very special occasion, the centennial of the National Park Service. One hundred years ago the National Park Service was created to care for and protect the nation’s natural and cultural treasures, to preserve its stories, and to create a common ground for all its citizenry to enjoy now and far into the future. In Denali, we are privileged to share the stories of the human connection to a vast and wild landscape. Subsistence hunting, trapping and gathering occur today just as DENA 21956, DENALI NPP MUSEUM COLLECTION Entering the park in June 1939. The park recognizes both milestones as opportunities to engage new generations in its timeless mission to protect and interpret tangible treasures, such as wildlife, wildlands, and waterways, as well as intangibles, such as its cultural accomplishments, lessons, and stories. Looking Good in Green As one of three pilot parks selected for a Subaru Zero Landfill Initiative, Denali is working with partners and surrounding communities to put the park on a path toward 100 percent landfill diversion. Two hybrid buses and 12 propane buses also are joining its shuttle and transit fleet to reduce sound and carbon emissions. Local Services and Amenities ................. 2 Page 5 Stay Connected Follow Denali's growing array of social media feeds listed on Page 16 for details about upcoming events and initiatives. Join the conversation at Fi n d Yo u r Pa r k . co m critical to understanding the effects of climate change on our global community. More than anything else, we hope you celebrate the true ideal of national parks here in Denali, a place that has been set aside to connect people to America’s past, NPS PHOTO / KENT MILLER Entering the park today. Please consult Page 3 for wildlife safety advisories and regulations. Great One Denali, Tenada, Bulshaia Gora, Densmore Peak, Mount McKinley ... all of these and more are names attributed Entrance Area Trail Maps ....................... 9 to the tallest mountain in North America. Everyday Things To Do in Denali ......... 15 Free Courtesy Shuttles .....................…... 16 change. As permafrost thaws, glaciers to care for this living laboratory that is so Tour and Shuttle Buses …....................... 7 Artist-in-Residence Offerings ............... 14 Denali also serves as a barometer for shrink, and tree lines rise, we feel humbled Safety Advisories and Regulations ........ 3 Campgrounds …...................................... 6 they did hundreds of years ago. Park Historian Erik K. Johnson describes key characters and events in a naming debate that spans more than 100 years. Page 12 a place that protects present wildlife and amazing landscapes for your enjoyment and that of future generations, and a place that celebrates the individual’s opportunity Ranger Me Why should kids get to have all the fun with Discovery Packs and Junior Ranger activities? (See Page 11.) Visitors of all ages may tackle two pages of activities to earn distinction as a "Not-So Junior Ranger." Challenges include a crossword, scavenger hunt, "I Spy" and a short essay or drawing. to experience inspiration, reflection, awe, and wonder. It's a big idea, but we believe Denali is big enough for all visitors to find something special in their park. Enjoy your visit. Don Striker Superintendent Park Partners National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Denali National Park and Preserve P.O. Box 9 Denali Park, AK 99755 E-mail DENA_Info@nps.gov Website www.nps.gov/dena As a nonprofit education partner, Alaska Geographic connects people to Alaska’s magnificent wildlands through experiential education, awardwinning books and maps, and by directly supporting the state’s parks, forests, and refuges. Over the past 50 years, Alaska Geographic has provided more than $20 million to fund educational and interpretive programs throughout Alaska’s public lands. It also supports education programs, scientific research, and science-informed management decisions through the Murie Science and Learning Center. Phone Alaska Geographic Association 907 683-1272 www.alaskageographic.org 907 683-2294 Bus and campsite reservations 800 622-7275 Nationwide N P S P H OT O / K E N T M IL L E R At the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC), visitors can learn about park science in an exhibit area, allow kids to explore an activity corner, enjoy comfortable chairs around a warm fireplace on cold and wet days, and get current park information at the front desk. In summer, the MSLC offers public presentations, half-day classes, multi-day field courses, teacher trainings, and youth camps. Hours at the MSLC are 9 am to 4:30 pm daily. For current courses and programs, call 907 272-7275 International 907 683-6432 or visit w w w.n p s .g o v / r lc / m u r ie www.reservedenali.com To walk there, simply follow white, painted dinosaur tracks on pathways outside the Denali Visitor Center. Emergency Dial 911 Institute-Style Field Courses Entrance Fees Seven-Day Pass: Individual (age 16 and older), $10 Denali NPP Annual Pass: $40 America the Beautiful Interagency Passes: Annual, $80 Senior, $10 Access, Free Annual Military Pass, Free Eighty percent of fee dollars collected in the park return to Denali to pay for projects that have an impact on visitor experience, such as campground improvements, trail erosion mitigation, and the Artist-in-Residence program. The Denali Education Center is a local non-profit organization that partners with the NPS to offer summer programs for local youth, including Denali Discovery Camp and Denali Backcountry Adventures. Other education programs include Denali Community Series and W.I.L.D. About Denali, both of which emphasize the unique natural history and wildlife of the Denali bio-region. Denali Education Center 907 683-2597 w w w.d enali.o rg Immerse yourself in a hands-on multi-day learning vacation. As part of a national effort to increase scientific literacy by showcasing research from living laboratories, the MSLC hosts courses on topics ranging from archeological surveys to glacier and climate studies. Offerings are posted at ht t p: //akg e o.o rg / fi eldc our s e s / Kids’ Camps Kids get to explore Denali during youth camps and expeditions each summer. These are fabulous opportunities for kids and young adults to explore park science through interactive activities, learn camping and backcountry travel skills, and have fun with their peers in a wild but safe environment. More at www.nps.gov/dena/lear n/ education/classrooms/kids-camps.htm Services Accessibility Most rest rooms are wheelchair accessible. Some trails, and tour and shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible. Please advise staff of needs when making a reservation. Park films are open-captioned. Find more information at h t t p : / /g o.nps.gov/ D e n a l i Access Alaska Railroad You can travel to Denali by rail from Fairbanks, Anchorage, or Talkeetna. Call 800 544-0552, or 907 683-2233 in Denali, or 907 265-2683 in Anchorage. Banks The closest bank is in Healy. ATM service is provided at the Wilderness Access Center, and several businesses one mile (1.6 km) north of the park. Connectivity Cell phones work in the park entrance area. There are no public phones west of Park Headquarters. Report emergencies to rangers, bus drivers, or campground hosts. Dog Boarding Available seven miles south of the park entrance. By day, or overnight. 907 683-2580, email@example.com Gas and Propane Available at gas stations one mile north of the park entrance, 11 miles north in Located on Sulfide Drive in Healy, the Denali Preschool and Post Office and Showers Located near the park entrance At the Riley Creek Mercantile, and Riley Creek Campground. located near the entrance of the park, adjacent to the Riley Recycling Areas Creek Campground. Located at the Riley Creek Mercantile for aluminum, Lost and Found plastic, and batteries. Visitor Call 907 683-9275 or visit the centers, campgrounds, and baggage check located across rest stops have aluminum can from the train depot, open receptacles. daily 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Religious Services Medical Please check at the Denali The closest physicians and Visitor Center for times and hospitals are in Fairbanks. locations of religious services. Canyon Clinic, urgent care Healy, and 29 miles south in facility, about a mile north of Cantwell. the park entrance at Mile 238.8. Open 9 am to Glacier Landings 6 pm daily, available on call Visitors can opt to land on park 24 hours, 907 683-4433. glaciers aboard a ski-equipped airplane with: Fly Denali, Healy, AK Child Care Grocery, Laundry, 866 770-2359 www.flydenali.com K2 Aviation, Interior Community Health Center, located in the Tri-Valley Community Center, 13 miles north of the park on Healy Spur Road. Clinic hours are 8 am to 5:30 pm Learning Center is the only Talkeetna, AK weekdays. A physician’s licensed day care in the Denali 800 764-2291 assistant is on call at Borough. Drop-in childcare is www.flyk2.com 907 683-2211. offered year-round, 7 am to Sheldon Air Service, Talkeetna, Sunshine 6 pm, Monday through Friday, Talkeetna, AK Community Health for ages 1 month to 12 years. 800 478-2321 Center, Mile 4 of the Documentation of current immunizations is required, or sign an exemption. Contact 907 683-7789. www.sheldonairservice.com Talkeetna Air Taxi, Talkeetna Spur Road. Open 9 am to 5 pm, Monday Talkeetna, AK through Saturday, with 800 533-2219 24-hour on-call services, www.talkeetnaair.com 907 733-2273. 2 Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska Road Lottery N P S P H OT O / K E N T M IL L E R Bookstores Alaska Geographic operates three bookstores in the park, 9 am to 7 pm, including the main Denali Visitor Center campus, the Toklat Rest Area, and the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station. A portion of every sale helps fund park educational and interpretive programs. More at www.alaskageographic.org/store This year’s Road Lottery is Fri Sep 16 to Tue Sep 20 (with Military Appreciation Day set for Sat Sep 17). For each day of the lottery, 400 names are drawn and those winners may drive the length of the Park Road in their personal vehicles. Food } Names of those selected for Don't Go Hungry or Thirsty There is no food and limited water available beyond the park entrance area. Please be sure to pack well for your travels. permits are posted by June Morino Grill 15. Learn more at h t t p : / / The only restaurant in the park, adjacent to the g o . n p s. g o v / D e n a l i L o t t e r y Denali Visitor Center, also features a coffee bar and box lunches to go. Open 8 am to 6 pm daily with reduced hours Sewage Dump Station Located adjacent to the Riley Creek Mercantile. Fees may apply. Inquire at the Riley Creek likely in May and September. Wilderness Access Center A coffee cart and snacks are available 5 am to 7 pm daily. Mercantile. Facility may be Riley Creek Mercantile closed early or late in season Bottled drinks, sandwiches, and a variety of packaged snacks due to frozen ground or and convenience groceries are available in the Riley Creek chance of freezing. Campground. Open 7 am to 11 pm daily with reduced hours likely in May and September. You Can Help Keep Wildlife Healthy and Wild The bears of Denali are wild creatures behaving naturally. These solitary animals can be very dangerous. Denali is home to both black bears and grizzly bears. Black bears inhabit the forested areas of the park, while grizzly bears mainly live on the open tundra. Almost all bears along the Park Road are grizzlies. For your own protection, and to keep bears healthy and wild, please carefully read and abide by these rules. Each of us has an obligation to respect bears and their habitat. These rules are strictly enforced in Denali. Failure to observe them may result in citations or fines. BE ALERT Bears are active both day and night and can be anywhere. Watch for tracks and scat. Park Regulations and Safety Advisories M Do not feed any wild animals, including birds. It is unhealthy for them, and encourages aggressive behavior that may require management action. All pet food, trash, coolers, and cooking tools must be kept secure unless in immediate NEVER APPROACH Bears should live as free from human interference as possible. Give them space. Maintain a minimum distance of 300 yards (275 meters). Allowing a bear to approach for photographs is prohibited. If a bear changes its behavior due to your presence, you are too close. use. We all have a shared responsibility to keep wildlife healthy and wild. î Do not approach wildlife. You must stay at least 25 yards (23 m) away from moose, sheep, wolves, and other animals. A distance of at least 300 yards (275 m) is required from bears. Regardless of distance, if any wild animal changes its behavior due to your presence, you are too close. M Moose are faster and much less docile than they appear. A cow moose with calves can be especially unpredictable and dangerous. If a moose charges you, run away. Dodge quickly behind large trees, cars, or structures. If you are chased while caught out in IF A GRIZZLY MAKES CONTAC T WITH YOU, PL AY DEAD Curl up into a ball with your knees tucked into your stomach and your hands laced around the back of your neck. Leave your pack on to protect your back. If the attack is prolonged, fight back vigorously. If a black bear makes contact with you, fight back immediately. the open, zigzag or change direction often. M As you explore park trails and wilderness areas, be bear aware. You are safer hiking in groups. In areas of low visibility, make noise to avoid surprise encounters. Do not run from a bear. If you are going to spend significant time in the outdoors in Alaska, carry bear spray, and know how to use and dispose of it safely. M Pets may be walked along the Park Road, in parking lots, on campground roads, along the Bike Path from the park entrance to the visitor center campus, and the Roadside Trail between the visitor center campus and Park Headquarters. Pets must be leashed with a lead that is six feet or shorter. Do not leave a tethered pet unattended. Owners must collect and dispose of pet feces. DON’T SURPRISE Bears may perceive you as a threat if you startle them. Never get between a sow and her cub. Bears are protective of their cubs. _ DO NOT RUN Running may elicit a chase response. Bears can run faster than 30 mph (50 km/hr). You cannot outrun them. If the bear is unaware of you, detour quickly and quietly away. Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. in areas where there are no established trails, spread out to reduce your impact on the landscape. e MAKE NOISE Warn bears of your presence by making noise—sing, shout, talk. Be especially careful in dense brush where visibility is low, when walking into the wind, and along rivers where bears may not hear you over the noise of the water. In developed areas, stay on established trails and paths. If you are hiking with a group Explore your park. Protect your park. It is illegal to disturb and collect natural specimens, cultural and historic objects, or archeological artifacts. Leave items where you find them. Federal regulations require that such discoveries remain in context. To help researchers and contribute to science, snap photos and carefully note the location, preferably Black bear. PHOTO COUR TESY DOUG BROWN BEAR SPR AY When used properly, bear spray can be an effective deterrent for aggressive behavior by bears. If you decide to carry it, be aware that wind, spray distance, rain, and product shelf life all influence its effectiveness. Learn how to use it safely. Ask a park ranger if you have questions. When traveling on a bus, tell the driver you have bear spray so it can be secured appropriately. with GPS reference coordinates. * % Cyclists may ride on park roads, parking areas, campground loops, and the designated Bike Trail between the Nenana River and the Denali Visitor Center. Share the road. Pass no closer than three feet (1.0 m) to bicycles and pedestrians, especially if your vehicle has large side mirrors. On gravel roads, travel at “no dust” speeds that do not kick up a plume that will wash over cyclists and pedestrians. If you see wildlife while driving, do not stop or impede the safe and free flow of traffic along any portion of the road. Instead, park in an established pullout, and watch from a safe distance. M It is the responsibility of visitors to understand all applicable firearms laws before entering the park. Federal law prohibits firearms in certain facilities in the park. Those places are marked with signs at all public entrances. The park concessioner does not BACK AWAY SLOWLY IF THE BEAR IS AWARE OF YOU Speak in a calm, low-pitched voice while waving your arms slowly above your head. Bears that stand up on their hind legs are not threatening you, but merely trying to identify you. Should a bear approach or charge you, do not run. Do not drop your pack. Bears sometimes charge to within a few feet of a person before stopping or veering off. Dropping a pack may pique a bear’s curiosity, causing it to investigate. Stand still until the bear moves away, then slowly back off. Free filtered water 7 Water sources are limited beyond the park entrance area. You can save money and reduce use of disposable plastic drink containers by refilling your bottle with free, fresh water from filtered dispensers at six park locations (from east to west): Riley Creek Mercantile, Wilderness Please report all bear incidents and encounters to a ranger. Park rangers and biologists need this information to document bear behavior for research and management purposes. allow firearms on tour buses. Passengers may carry a firearm on shuttle buses but it must be unloaded and stored in a locked container. Except as part of authorized hunting activities, discharging weapons is strictly prohibited throughout the park. Learn more online at h t t p : / / g o . n p s. g o v /D e n a liF ire a r m s 25 yards 23 m 300 yards 275 m Bear Moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolf, occupied raptor nest, or occupied den site Be wary of substitutes. Insect repellents, mace, and pepper spray designed for protection from other people do not have the same ingredients or effectiveness as bear spray. Watch Wildlife Safely Any distance that alters the behavior of a wild animal is too close. Maintain minimum distances at all times. Resist the temptation to approach or intercept an animal’s path. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens to observe an animal’s natural behavior. Do not engage in photography if an animal moves closer than the minimum distance allowed. Remind others of their ethical responsibility when photographing animals. Please do not follow an animal at close distance with a vehicle. Motorists must stop and allow an animal to cross the road safely. Avoid stressing wildlife. Animals living here are engaged in a daily struggle to find food, shelter, and water necessary for survival. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times, such as when they are nesting, mating, or raising young. + Quiet please. If you see wildlife from a tour or shuttle bus, limit noise and distractions. Keep your head, hands, and elbows entirely inside the vehicle. Access Center, Murie Science and Learning Center, Morino Grill, Denali Visitor Center, and Eielson Visitor Center. To report a violation or crime, call the tip line at For emergencies, dial 800 478-2724 911 Alpenglow, Summer 2016 3 McKinley Station, circa 1939. Photo Courtesy of Alaska State Library, Skinner Foundation Photograph Collection, P44-05-040A Photo Courtesy of Alaska State Library, Skinner Foundation Photograph Collection, P44-05-074 Park ranger roles still adapting to changing times Park organizes two years of celebrations for two centennials by David Olson Visitor and Resource Protection Ranger by Lynn McAloon Park Planner, Centennial Organizer Courtesy of National Archives, 79G-11F-54 Rangering has changed over the last century, but some things still remain the same. Visitor and Resource Protection Rangers are federal police officers who protect national parklands and visitors during their visit. Without these rangers many of the things you have come to enjoy about national parks would not exist. As visitation has grown over the last century, rangers have had to learn new skills to respond to visitor needs and new threats to the resource. For example, poaching was a major issue that rangers worked hard to get under control in the early years of the National Park System. Poaching still exists today, but it’s not as frequent as it used to be. First Superintendent Harry Karstens. DENA 32219, Denali NPP Museum Collection Entrepreneur Maurice Morino on the porch of his second roadhouse. Current rangers spend more time responding to search and rescue, medical emergencies and law enforcement situations. Many people are surprised to learn that there is crime in our national parks, but unfortunately, people do not leave their problems at home when they go on vacation. In the early days of Mount McKinley National Park, rangers patrolled by dogsled, skis and on foot. Today the same methods are used, but rangers have added patrol vehicles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, boats and airplanes to patrol operations. These methods of travel allow rangers to be more proactive in patrols and respond to incidents efficiently. While on patrol, rangers come across a variety of violations. The ranger staff at Denali would like to remind visitors of a few things to help make your trip smoother. Photo Courtesy of Alaska State Library, Skinner Foundation Photograph Collection, P44-05-117 Ninety-nine years ago, park founders had amazing foresight to see the need to create a refuge to protect Dall sheep and other wildlife populations at a time when it was a nearly trackless wilderness. Alaska wouldn’t become a state for another 40 years. DENA 21956, Denali NPP Museum Collection McKinley Park Hotel. and in the Alpenglow. • Be prepared if you go hiking and backpacking. • If you are feeling sick, request assistance. Do not keep riding the bus farther into the park. Now, Denali is a place for visitors to enjoy as well as a place of renowned research and experiential learning. Most importantly, though, Denali remains a place of wilderness, a place to hear the call of the chickadee, thrill at an eagle soaring, or behold the radiance of alpenglow on the shoulders of majestic peaks. Our centennial marks a renewal of the vow that was made to protect this place. It also prompts a celebration for the inspiration we find in this park—and for the magic and adventure that await future visitors, who will one day join you and me in experiencing the legacy of Denali’s timeless beauty. Please stay in touch with the park website and social media outlets for details about upcoming events and initiatives. Denali is celebrating, and we would love for you to join us. • Store all food, coolers and grills inside your vehicle or in a bear resistant food locker. • Only take pictures. There is no collecting of park resources • Dispose of garbage in appropriate receptacles. I found mine more than 20 years ago. I am one of few people lucky enough to live here all year, experiencing all seasons. Every day the sweeping landscapes change before my eyes. The alpenglow paints the curves and edges of glacially carved mountains. The first buds of spring tentatively poke their green shoots out of the snow. Baby animals are born: a spring bear cub emerges from its winter den to frolic with its family; a moose calf takes its first tenuous steps. Wildflowers and other plants wake up to summer, riotous with purpose before our short summer ends in a tapestry of incredible patterns and colors. The skies fill with returning feathered visitors, and one hears again the sweet call of the Swainson’s thrush, the honk of geese, and the croaky cries of Sandhill cranes all lifting in flight. Some birds stay and raise young here and some are simply visiting on their way to breeding grounds in distant deltas and wetlands. On tundra ponds, swans practice cursive with their beautifully curved necks, loons dive over and over, making clownish calls to each other. Whether your visit is for a few hours or, like mine, for many years, this park offers open space, solitude, adventure, peace, and beauty to all who make the long journey to experience it. Park ranger, circa 1939. • Please read and follow rules and advisories on park signs in wilderness such as rocks, flowers, and artifacts. As Denali’s Centennial Organizer, I invite you to help us commemorate historic events and join two years of celebration. This year and next, Denali invites you to “Find Your Park.” DENA 22655, Denali NPP Museum Collection Ranger staff, 1940s. Share Your Story • Pets are never allowed off leash. Make sure you walk your pet in an approved area. We've made it easy for you to tell others about the things you've seen • If you are visiting the park with a guide company, make sure and experienced during your visit to Denali. If you have a minute to spare, it has obtained the appropriate permits. and a telephone, you can record a story that may appear on the park Rangers are out in the campgrounds, driving roads and hiking the trails every day. Please feel free to ask questions about the park and our profession. We are more than happy to share our knowledge with you. website with links from popular social media feeds. To record "Your Denali Story," please call 907 683-6400 Learn more at http://go.nps.gov/DenaliStory DENA 23558, Denali NPP Museum Collection April 1950. 4 Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska Passengers of the Mt. McKinley Tourist and Transportation Company view the mountain, circa 1939. Photo Courtesy of Alaska State Library, Skinner Foundation Photograph Collection, P44-05-016A Alaska's 'Great One' Has Returned Officially “Mount McKinley National Park” officially prevailed after its legislation was signed into law on February 26, 1917. by Erik K. Johnson Park Historian On the eve of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the name of the highest peak in North America changed from “Mount McKinley” to “Denali.” The timing of the change not only helps mark the agency’s centennial, it shines a light on the long human history of the park, and illuminates a naming debate that has lasted more than 100 years. The controversy started before the establishment of the park and has continued into the present. Charles Sheldon and Belmore Browne, who were the strongest advocates for the formation of the park, probably would have been pleased to hear about the 2015 decision by the Secretary of the Interior to restore the name “Denali” to North America’s highest peak. On January 13th, 1916, hunternaturalist Charles Sheldon made an appeal to Thomas Riggs of the Alaska Engineering Commission regarding the naming of the park and its crown jewel: “I hope that in the bill you will call it ‘Mt Denali National Park’ so that the true old Indian name of Mt McKinley (meaning ‘the Great One’) will thus be preserved.” Despite the official decision to use “Mount McKinley” as the name of the peak and the national park, the debate did not die. It proved difficult to supplant words and meanings that endured for generations among Athabaskan groups living in close proximity to the mountain. Athabaskan words for the mountain translate to “the tall one” or “mountain-big” (perhaps Riggs did not know the Native words were descriptive). “McKinley” was incompatible with the Athabaskan worldview because they rarely name places after people. In 1975, the name controversy reemerged when the State of Alaska petitioned the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (USBGN) to change the name of the mountain to Denali officially. Unfortunately for Alaskans, the Ohio congressional delegation (representing former-President McKinley’s home state) blocked their efforts for the next four decades. In 1980, momentum continued to favor the name Denali after the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act changed the park’s name to Denali National Park and Preserve. But the official name of the mountain remained Mount McKinley. Charles Sheldon DENA 1966, Denali NPP Museum Collection On the same day that Sheldon sent his letter, mountaineer Belmore Browne also wrote to Riggs about the naming of the park and was unequivocal in his language, referring to the proposed park as “Denali National Park.” Sheldon, Browne, and Riggs were part of a team that was drafting legislation to establish a national park protecting wildlife. Sheldon and Browne, who had both spent significant time within the proposed park boundaries, were deeply alarmed by the decimation of the region’s game due to market hunting and the impending arrival of the railroad. They were also concerned about preserving for the mountain a Native name which increasingly was being dismissed or completely ignored by American mapmakers, and in other publications. Riggs disagreed with Sheldon and Browne. In his reply to Browne, Riggs declared: “I don’t like the name of Denali. It is not descriptive. Everybody in the United States knows of Mt. McKinley and the various efforts made to climb it. In consequence, both Mr. Yard and I think that the name McKinley should stick.” While Sheldon and Browne did not agree with Riggs’s point-of-view, their ultimate objective was to pass a bill quickly, so in a steadfast effort to keep things moving, they capitulated to Riggs on the name. Name-change efforts led by Alaskan politicians continued to be thwarted by Congress until President Barack Obama and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell took action in 2015 to restore the name Denali to the mountain. Secretary Jewell cited a 1947 law that empowers the Secretary of Interior to use authority when the USBGN “does not act within a reasonable time” as a justification to make the change. No fewer than nine Native groups, from time immemorial, have used unique names for the mountain. There are five Athabaskan languages surrounding the park, each with its own oral place name. According to University of Alaska linguist J