Although Sheldon wanted the park to be named Denali, his suggestions would not be realized during his lifetime. The name and boundary changes that have occurred over the years indicate the way various parts of the park and preserve may be used today. . Finally, in 1980 Sheldon's goal was realized when the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) enlarged the boundary of the park by four million acres and redesigned it as Denali National Park and Preserve. Today the park is six million acres or 7,370 square miles. This amazing park is larger than the state of Massachusetts. It is a wonderful example of interior Alaska's description as one of the world's last great wilderness frontiers – a place for true adventure in the wild. It remains predominately wild and pristine in the way that the Athabascans knew it.
Denali Park Activities
Denali National Park has a number of activities to keep young and old, novice and experienced naturalists busy for hours, days, or weeks. Summer is the most popular time of year for visitors and offers the following activities: day hiking, backpacking, cycling, camping, fishing, nature walks, mountaineering, and ranger programs. Winter offers many recreational and sightseeing activities including cross-country skiing, dog mushing, snow shoeing, photography, and snow mobiling among other activities.
Denali Park Lodging
Denali Park lodging includes seven campgrounds with a total of 291 sites. The campgrounds include Igloo Creek, Morino Backpacker, Riley Creek, Sanctuary River, Savage River, Teklanika River, and Wonder Lake. Visitors can use Denali Park lodging for 14 days.
Denali Park lodging on campgrounds include the following regulations:
•Burn fires in established grates only
•Keep pets on leashes at all times
•Quiet hours occur between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am daily
•Check-out occurs at 11:00 am
Denali Park Hotels
There are several Denali Park hotels to choose from during your stay including the following:
•Denali Park Hotel is located just north of the park and provides clean, comfortable, and easily accessible hotel rooms right in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness.
•McKinley Chalet Resort is located in a spectacular forest setting; yet, it offers the comforts of modern life as well as easy access to park activities.
•McKinley Village Lodge sits on the banks of the Nenana River and is nestled in a flourishing forest of spruce trees. It is located directly across from Denali National Park.
Denali National Park is an abundant, near pristine section of the United States' natural wonders. It is a place where progress and development has not robbed it of its wildness. Therefore, it is a place that must be experienced. Denali Park lodging including campgrounds and hotels makes it possible for visitors to spend many days or even weeks enjoying this vast wilderness.