Map &

Been here?
Rate it

Top Tours

Mt McKinley Flightseeing Tour from Anchorage with Glacier Landing
From $530.00
Talkeetna Zipline Adventure from Anchorage
From $349.00
Mt McKinley Flightseeing Tour from Anchorage with Glacier Landing
From $530.00

Wildlife Tips (22)

Wildlife for the Photobug

Denali park is six million acres and it is oriented to the natural environment. Ironic but true that the wildlife can be seen from a schoolbus with drop down windows. On the bus, civilization; off the bus, wilderness. For the photographer this has double meanings. Out there are sheep and bears and moose that are protected from man and they make for striking photographs. On the bus expect chaos and jostling as you manuever to grab your shots. My advice: use a zoom lens that has reach but is not hefty, because you may end up pointing and shooting with one hand. Expect to improve the shots at home with software. Re wildlife: if you are on foot and meet a bear, stand still and talk softly to Mr. Grizzly since prey runs; if you meet a moose, run like heck since they are know to be cranky.

fred98115's Profile Photo
Nov 04, 2015

Widlife in the Park

Denali National Park is very known park in Alaska, many of us taken this tour just to spotted some of the native wildlife. What we both want on this tour is the landscape and extra point of it is the wildlife of course

The tour begin with an explanation of the driver that we could always hear when he spotting some of a beast. There were indeed animals spotted on the way, but some of them hidden behind bushes which not visible inside the bus

Dall sheep, mountain sheep which are mostly can be seeing on the road, this beast is not afraid to vehicles, seem they're used to motorized noise. The grizzly bears are mostly spotted far away, is good for someone who'd travel with a good camera to be able taken a closer photo. Our day was not too bad, we have at least seen a few of them

shavy's Profile Photo
Oct 03, 2015

Eielson Visitors Center Shuttle Bus

We decided to go on the Eielson shuttle bus, instead of the Tundra Wilderness Tour, which is popular among tourists, especially cruise passengers like ourselves. The Eielson shuttle goes further into Denali National Park (66 miles versus 53 miles) and is a lot cheaper (around $40/person versus $90/person). We booked Eielson shuttle tickets for 8:30 am but arrived at the Wilderness Access Center at 7:10 am and were able to get on the 7:30 am Eielson shuttle via standby. It drizzled the entire day but was very rainy when we arrived at the Eielson Visitor’s Center. We had lunch there, put on our rain pants, and then took the ranger-led Eielson Stroll. It was very rainy and windy the whole time so that already made this walk uncomfortable. A group of 4 actually aborted halfway through because they were not dressed properly. I found the Stroll to be very boring. The ranger talked about animals but A LOT about plants, which were not interesting to me. I think the talk was geared towards kids because it had an Olympic theme to it. During the entire bus trip, we saw a grizzly bear, mama grizzly bear with 2 cubs twice, lots of dall sheep, wolf, 3 wolf pups, red fox, ground squirrel, snowshoe hare, moose, and caribou! We were thrilled to see so much wildlife and after swapping stories with other cruisers, we found that we saw the most out of everyone since most of them took the park tours, instead of the shuttles.

CruisingGoddess's Profile Photo
Dec 10, 2012

Wildlife Viewing

Denali is home to some of North America's biggest and favorite animals. The 'Big 5' in Denali consist of: grizzly bear, wolf, moose, caribou, and Dall's sheep. There are also golden and bald eagles, pikas, and ground squirrels. The people in the park have done a good job keeping the park wild, especially the lack of trails and car-accessible roads in the backcountry. On the bus rides into the backcountry you can usually see some of these animals... I notched 4 on one bus ride. Hikes can bring you a lot closer to the animals.

A recent hike brought me close to a sow and cub bear, just a bit over a quarter mile away. And there were sheep up on the hills. Caribou tracks all around, but no sight of the animals themselves. It is a great experience, a chance to see animals in their real habitat.

HasTowelWillTravel's Profile Photo
Aug 08, 2008
Sponsored Listings

Hotels in Denali National Park and Preserve

Mile 224 George Parks Highway, Alaska, 99755, United States
Show Prices

Denali's Foxes

For the larger mammals, the fox is probably the most prolific and capable predator in the park. Unlike the grizzly bear, who feeds mainly on vegetation and sits on kills until the flesh is finished off, the fox eats for his fill but also caches food for later consumption (without guarding it in the meantime). Seen throughout the park and not annoyed in the slightest by human intrusion, the fox is most often seen hunting in his aerial fashion (so as not to quake the burrow of his prey). His coat ranges from the plush red to a mangier, grizzled appearance.

mrclay2000's Profile Photo
Nov 15, 2007

Wildlife: Its everywhere if you're patient!

Many people complain that they see little wildlife in Denali. I think the guidebooks make it seem as though you will be inundated by moose and bears and other animals. Granted, its not like Rocky Mountain National Park or Yellowstone where there are wildlife sightings every few feet. But this is a largely roadless wilderness park. And the wildlife, fortunately, is not accustomed to humans.

A guide told me that anywhere you go in Denali, you will be surrounded by wildlife, whether you know it or not. Most animals shy away from roads and even trails, making it difficult to see them unless you go deep into the park. But when you least expect it, you'll find them.

Case in point. After seeing little in the way of wildlife, I was driving back from the park, heading south along the Parks highway towards Talkeetna, lost in thought. The sun had finally broken free and improved my spirits tremendously. In a flash, a black object shot across the road maybe ten feet in front of my car. A black bear! Before my mind could even process it, the bear ran across the highway and disappeared into the trees lining the other side

You don't see that anywhere else in the U.S.

goingsolo's Profile Photo
Jun 21, 2007


There are many wild animals roaming in Denali, including bears, caribou, moose, foxes, wolves etc. Best time to see them is perhaps during spring, and they can be easily spotted with binoculars because the national park consists mainly of wide open spaces with no tall trees.

victorwkf's Profile Photo
Oct 22, 2005


Both black bears and grizzly bears are found in the park. Above treeline, you are more likely to see a grizzly. These bears are not as large as the ones found near the Alaskan coast mainly because of their diet. These bears usually eat plant life such as berries more than they eat other animals. The grizzlies near the coast mainly eat fish. Sine the vast majority of park streams cannot support fish, the bears must turn to other sources for food.

sswagner's Profile Photo
Jan 04, 2005

Top 5 Denali National Park and Preserve Writers

mrclay2000's Profile Photo


"The High One and Higher Expectations"
View Member
worldtrekker's Profile Photo


"Denali National Park"
View Member
karenincalifornia's Profile Photo


"Denali National Park - The Great One"
View Member
Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo


"Denali: America's Most Accessible True Wilderness"
View Member
annk's Profile Photo


"Denali National Park"
View Member

Caribou on the move

We did see a few herd of caribou somewhat close to the road. They are constantly on the move and roam the tundra generally above the timberline.

Everytime we'd see a herd, the Alaskan natives behind us would yell "nice rack". Must be an Alaskan joke :-). Both males and females grow antlers and can weigh up to 25 pounds on the largest bull.

annk's Profile Photo
Jun 27, 2004

An unlikely resident

Did not expect to see Gulls (Mew Gulls) so far inland. But I suppose where there is water, there are gulls. The gulls were constant visitors at the Denali Princess deck where casual meals are served. The deck overlooks the river. The gulls would perch above the patrons and would wait patiently for them to leave so they could consume any leftover scraps. The metallic owls obviously didn't deter them either.

(Thx Jim & Lisa for the use of your photo)

annk's Profile Photo
Jun 26, 2004

The State Bird

The Willow Ptarmigan is Alaska's state bird and one of the first animals spotted in Denali N.P. The were often seen on the side of the road. They are primarily found in arctic tundras and the high treeless areas of Alaska.

They are also found in Canada, Scandanavia, Finland and Russia.

I stand corrected MrClay.....the Mosquito is the state bird!

annk's Profile Photo
Jun 22, 2004

Red Fox

This Red Fox was also very close to the road and didn't seem to be bothered by our bus of sight-seers. So we wouldn't scare him away we were told to be very quiet. Although I would think the noise of the bus alone would be enough to scare him.

The red fox is common in North America and most of Alaska. The adult weighs 6-19 pounds (2.7-6.8kg) but appears heavier due to it's thick fur.

annk's Profile Photo
Jun 14, 2004

Things To Do in Denali National Park and Preserve

Things to do

Tundra Wilderness Tour

Take a Denali Park tour in a converted school bus. Private cars are only allowed to Mile 15 on the Park Road, so busses are the way to see it. Terry was an entertaining guide, and good at spotting...
View More
Things to do

Mt. McKinley

We were at the park for three days and took the Holland America excursion into the park on a cloudy but dry day. Photographers: be alert for even on those days Denali may peek out for a few minutes....
View More

Getting to Denali National Park and Preserve


We don't yet have an address for this Things to Do. Help us improve our info!


We don't yet have hours for this Things to Do. Help us improve our info!