Unique Places in Denali National Park and Preserve

  • Taiga Loop trail
    Taiga Loop trail
    by goingsolo
  • Bushwhackers (sans machetes) in Denali, AK
    Bushwhackers (sans machetes) in Denali,...
    by karenincalifornia
  • Hiking gear in Denali backcountry
    Hiking gear in Denali backcountry
    by karenincalifornia

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Denali National Park and Preserve

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo

    Add - on

    by karenincalifornia Written May 21, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Kantishna Hills area, where we stayed, is in a less traveled part of Denali National Park, but it is very different from the rest of the Park. It is at a lower elevation, so the vegetation is different (lots of brush, a few trees). The river beds are much narrower. It is also a historic mining district, so you'll see a number of old mining roads. Even the animals are different - Dall sheep will be seen in the Park to the east, but usually not in Kantishna due to overhunting several decades ago, and their preference for the really steep mountain slopes. However, while we were there, one of the Lodge staffers spotted a Dall sheep which was apparently a noteworthy event.

    Denali used to be McKinley National Park, but in 1980 it was reorganized into Denali National Park and Preserve. At that time, the Kantishna Hills were included in the Park.

    Kantishna Hills in Denali National Park
    Related to:
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Denali Borough

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Jul 18, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Every state in the United States of America is sub-divided into counties, with the exceptions of Louisiana and Alaska. Louisiana has parishes, virtually the same as counties except for the name, reflecting the Catholic heritage of that state. Alaska, on the other hand, is sub-divided into boroughs, which operate more like a widespread town than a county, complete with a mayor, assemblymen, etc. In my lifelong quest to visit each one of the 3,141 counties (or their nearest equivilent) in America, Alaska provides by far the greatest challenge.

    Denali Borough is one of the newer Boroughs of Alaska, being formed in 1990. It covers a vast area of 12,000 square miles, surrounding and including Denali National Park. Denali Borough is larger than the states of Maryland and Delaware combined, yet it is smaller than most of the Alaskan boroughs that border it. In this immense space there are less than 1,900 human inhabitants, scattered in four small towns and a few other settlements.

    My dear friends here on VT who so often refer to big cities as small towns ought to visit Denali Borough, Alaska. On the other hand, maybe they should stay away, lest they find the culture shock harmful to their psyche.

    Welcome to Denali Borough
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • eladn's Profile Photo

    Backcountry camping at Kantishna at Denali NP

    by eladn Written Oct 15, 2004

    Denali is an amazing park, but suffers from an excess amount of visitors. The best way to escape the masses is go backpacking in the backcountry. I chose the Kantishna area (units 40-43). This area has several advantages for backcountry camping:

    A. It's at the end of the park, so you get to go with the bus all the way in and out, and this is the best way to see all of the park and get the best chance of viewing many wildlife on the way.

    B. Remote and away from other places.

    C. Although remote, It's starts near the Denali lodge, so in case of an emergency you can find somebody to help you.

    D. There is a marked ATV trail which you walk on starting from the Denali lodge deep into the park, so you don't risk getting lost in case you get your map navigation wrong.

    E. The area is very nice, the fall foliage colors at Mid-August were beautiful.

    F. A nest of hawks/falcon is nearby, you can watch many of them flying.

    G. A creek crossing were you can easily set your tent is only 2-3 hours walk from where the bus drops you.

    Disadvantages to this area:

    Many of the creeks are contaminated with heavy mining metals. You need either to carry all of your water (I did, because I was only going for an overnight) or bring enough for the first night and hike further fast enough to reach the higher sources of water which are still unpolluted.

    Enjoy your stay, don't get too much worried about bears...


    Related to:
    • Camping
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo

    Hurricane Gulch

    by mrclay2000 Updated Nov 19, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At Milemarker 179 of the George Parks Highway (i.e. 60 miles south of the park), Hurricane Gulch is reckoned one of the most beautiful in the state, but the drive along this highway passes several that are similar. For those who have seen advertisements for tourism in our 49th state, wonderful shots depicting the Alaska Railway trains going over a breathtaking valley are often shot at Hurricane Gulch. While photographing the ravine from the trains is permitted and encouraged, commuters will find prohibitions against standing on the bridge for the same shots off the highway.

    Hurricane Gulch
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo

    Southern Underbelly

    by mrclay2000 Written Aug 15, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Denali is not strictly confined to the Alaska Range and parts northward. A great portion of the park's 4.7 million acres lies south of the Alaska Range, but accessing these areas is not particularly easy. Those sections which lie along the Parks Highway sometimes involve a formal permission from private landowners to reach the forested slopes beyond, while those farther away demand a far greater commitment of time. Expect spruce and alder to be constant companions, and as always, make plenty of noise when leafy tangles prevent a far-reaching vision.

    roughly Milemarker 201, south of Alaska Range
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo

    Attendant on Gas

    by mrclay2000 Written Aug 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the largest American state, keeping gas in the tank is a high priority, because gasoline stations are not as frequent as they are in the lower 48. Around Denali, there are two obvious stations heading north to the park (one at Milemarker 189, the Igloo -- the other at Cantwell at the junction of AK-8 and AK-3, 27 miles south of the park). On the other hand, there is a small enclave with stations a mile north of the park entrance called "Canyon," and Healy has stations 11 miles north of the park. There are no stations within the park boundaries.

    the Igloo, Milemarker 189 (Parks Highway)
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • o00o's Profile Photo

    Wonder Lake - the chances for...

    by o00o Written Oct 4, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wonder Lake - the chances for you to see the wild animal is the highest.

    rafting in Denali could be fun

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo


    by goingsolo Updated Jun 21, 2007

    Nearly all of Denali is roadless and the majority of the park does not contain hiking trails. Exploring Denali is mostly a matter of going off the beaten path.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Denali National Park and Preserve Hotels

Latest Denali National Park and Preserve Hotel Reviews

Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Grande Denali Lodge
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Denali Backcountry Lodge
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Denali Cabins
Terrible (1.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Denali Grizzly Bear Cabins & Campground
Bad (2.0 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Denali River Cabins
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
McKinley Village Lodge
1 Review
Denali Bluffs Hotel
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
The Perch Resort
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Denali Wilderness Lodge
Bad (2.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review

Instant Answers: Denali National Park and Preserve

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

29 travelers online now


Denali National Park and Preserve Off The Beaten Path

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Denali National Park and Preserve locals.
Map of Denali National Park and Preserve
Other Off The Beaten Path in Denali National Park and Preserve