Miscellaneous: With no trails in the backcountry, it can be a daunting task to set out. This book from Ike Waits, "Denali National Park; Guide to Hiking, Photography & Camping" helps lay out some of the areas of the park to get you acquainted with what kind of hiking you can expect out there. It is a great resource.
* Waterproof hiking boots - the tundra can be quite wet and sloppy, and small puddles abound.
* Gaiters - these babies keep the top of your boots dry and the bottoms of your pants clear.
* Jacket - keeps water off of you and wind out of your hair.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: * Topo map - with no trails in the backcountry, a good map is essential to help find your way around.
* Compass - no map is complete without a compass to help guide you by.
Miscellaneous: * Hiking poles - help with balance and give you a leg up on the many hills to climb.
For six months of the year the high temperature in Denali is well below freezing, with the coldest month being January when the average high, in the lowlands, is 9F and the average low is -8F. It can get much colder.
June, July and August have the most pleasant temperatures, but are also the wettest months. The mountains often cause precipitation in Denali when it is dry elsewhere in Alaska. The warmest month, July, has an average high temperature of 66F, and an average low of 43F, so always be prepared for cool weather when the sun goes down.
Denali National Park gets an average of 83 inches of snow each year, with measurable snowfall from September through May. I have seen a snow shower there in August. Denali only gets about 15 inches of rain per year, but more than half of that falls in June, July and August.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Of course, always bring your own prescription medications. The nearest major town for supplies is Fairbanks, 120 miles away. However, most toiletries, sundries, groceries etc. can be found in the nearby town of Healy.
Photo Equipment: You will probably take more photos in Denali than you expect, so bring lots of film or digital capacity. A telephoto lens can be very helpful to pull in the wildlife.
Luggage and bags:
If your camping, especially if it's in the backcountry, the only way to go is with a backpack. If you're camping, but not in the backcountry, bring along a day bag as well that you can take along on hikes.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I really recommend that you bring a good gortex outfit. This includes gortex jacket, pants, and boots. There are even gortex socks. Alaska gets a lot of rain. On that note, a second pair of shoes wouldn't be a bad idea. It is possible that you won't see any rain if you are really lucky, but if it does rain, you will be very pleased with yourself for being prepared for it. If you don't plan on being outdoors much, then this wouldn't apply to you, but then I don't know why you would be going to Alaska. If you have the right clothes you can hike in the rain without an umbrella and stay dry. A warm sweater/fleece would be good for the evenings as it can get chilly even in summer. Layers are good!
Photo Equipment: The closer you get to the wildlife here with your camera, the happier you will be. I suggest you take along at least a 300mm. This is what had, but I was often dissappointed that I couldn't get closer. I would get as large a lens as you can. Over 400mm you will definately need a tripod. There are at least some 400mm lenses on the market which have image stabilizers and you can hand hold them. I bought myself one of these in 2001. I made a big difference to me. I also bought a 1.4X converter to be able to shoot photos at 560mm. Tripod is a MUST for this! A wide angle lens also wouldn't hurt - there is some spectacular scenery! I now have a 20 - 35mm. Also take twice as much film as you think you'll need. Everything is more expensive in Alaska. Extra batteries, (especially if you need those lithium batteries) would be good to have along.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Insect repellent. To prevent becoming a munching bag for mosquitos you'll have to get a repellent with the ingredient Deet in it. I think they say it should have at least 20% deet to keep the Alaskan mozzies away. I purchased 100% deet (Jungle Juice) at the REI sporting goods store. You're only supposed to put this stuff on your clothing - not your skin. I put it on my skin. Some people have severe reactions to this stuff so be careful with it. Also, be careful what you touch afterwards. This stuff melts plastic (like frames from your glasses) and makes it sticky. Like I mentioned earlier, you may want to get a fly/mozzie net to cover your head. The less deet you have to put on, the better. I have a fly net on in the pic. Isn't it stylish? =) I have to tell you, I was offered cash on the spot by a guy I was traveling with to give up this head net to him. The mosquitos were relentless...
Miscellaneous: Binoculars!! If you're camping in the backcountry you'll need to bring along a bear proof canister to keep your food, toiletries, etc. in. This will be given to you at the visitor center when you register for your backcountry permit.
Luggage and bags:
Daypack or backpack
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Rain Gear, head covering, non-cotton clothing, long underwear, wool socks, good hiking shoes, well worn shoes or sandals for river crossings. gloves or mittens.
Photo Equipment: Absolutely a camera and more film than you thought you would need. Telephoto lenses will help.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: 3 season tents will work fine. Very warm sleeping bags are best.
Miscellaneous: Maps and compass. Bear proof food canisters. Something to purify water with. Even out here, you must purify water.
Photo Equipment: Have a camera with sufficient settings to adjust for whatever conditions you face in the park. The wildlife is often at a distance, so telephoto lenses are useful (if not essential). Clouds are frequent, so higher shutter speeds are necessary to capture movement, but also lighter subjects, like the Alaska Range or Denali itself when juxtaposed against the dark tundra and a light sky. It's like photographing a waterfall -- you can't just point and click. A higher shutter speed will give texture to both the waterfall and the dynamic but almost atonal perspectives of Denali (depending on where you're standing). The photo depicted is not just a featureless lake with a hill and rolling clouds. It's Wonder Lake, which is sometimes still enough to reflect the massif of Denali (seen here as the almost indistinguishable rounded white tuft on the upper right).
Summer temperatures in Denali usually hang comfortably in the 70s, sometimes even climbing into the 80s, but given the chance for wet weather and driving rains, hikers can be subjected to high winds and sudden drops in the mercury down to the 40s and 50s. Clothing that wicks moisture is essential. Depending on your preference, fleece, wool, Gortex, and neoprene are all great allies against Denali's inclement weather. Wear clothing that either repels moisture, or remains warm when wet. Rain gear and warm clothing are indispensable.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellent and sunscreen will likely serve (frequently) on hot summer days in the park's interior.
Miscellaneous: Unless you're the type who likes to haul gallons of water in your pack, a water filter is essential. Many of Denali's waterways are glacial streams full of silt, but clear braids and streams are plentiful. Filtering should be confined to the latter sources.
Luggage and bags:
Bring a backpack suitable for the length of your trip. Wrap your sleeping bag and clothes in a plastic trash bag inside your pack - there is nothing worse than wet clothes and sleeping bag, and the rain can close in pretty quick! Bring a backpack cover so you can hike in the rain if you need to without getting the contents of your pack wet, and carrying the extra weight. Pack extra large trash bags to put your pack in at the end of the day unless you keep it in your tent or vestibule. Remember - you will have to pack a bear-proof food container that is loaned to you by the park service. Make sure you have room for it in or on your pack.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Keep cotton to a minimum - and layer, layer, layer. Wear polypropolene underwear appropriate for the temperature, and bring long underwear even if its warm outside - it can snow in Denali every month of the year! Fleece jackets, shirts and pants, synthetics, Gore-Tex jackets and good waterproof rain jackets and rain pants. Wear tough, high-top hiking boots and bring light sneakers for river crossings or wearing around camp.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring enough TP! Remember you have to pack out your "used" TP. Put a Ziploc bag for your "used" TP inside the Ziploc bag you have your "new" TP in so you don't forget it. Always bring a first-aid kit and don't forget stuff that you might need like inhalers, bee sting kits, glasses or extra contact lenses, etc. Bring a couple extra Ziploc bags for your trash.
Photo Equipment: A camera is a must in this beautiful wilderness area!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Most hiking in Denali is pretty rugged because there are no trails. So, become an ounce-counter! Go through your gear before you embark on your trip and make sure you have everything, and don't bring stuff you don't need.
Miscellaneous: Bring plenty of bug dope and a mosquito headnet to keep the pesky critters away, especially if you are in the west end of the wilderness area by Wonder Lake. Wear long sleeves and gloves - I like the Atlas ThermaFits. Only $4 at Wal-Mart.
Good telephoto and wide angle lenses would be very nice to have here. Maybe some fast film, because lighting can be problematic. A tripod if you want to shoot wildlife.
Miscellaneous: Binoculars are a must. Sometimes the animals are several thousand feet above or below you and often times they might be up to a mile away.
Make sure to carry warm clothing and rain jacket
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Medicines (it's hard to find in Denali what you need)
Photo Equipment: Camera (it's simple - you're in the one of the premier wildlife viewing areas on our planet)
Miscellaneous: Laundry detergent (available at Denali, but expensive),
Insect repellent (!) and good walking shoes
Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers