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Is Denali worth visiting? The short answer is yes! If you are looking for an amazing wilderness adventure, look no further than Denali, Alaska! And if you are looking to travel comfortably and stay wilderness-adjacent, Denali can deliver that too.
Denali is one of the most beautiful and pristine areas in the United States and offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, outdoor enthusiast, or just looking to unwind and relax among some breathtaking views, Denali has you covered.
Let’s explore the top three reasons to visit Denali, Alaska!
Reason #1: View Denali, North America’s highest mountain
As the highest point in North America, Denali is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. The mountain is so massive that it can be seen from hundreds of miles away. If you travel to Denali by way of Fairbanks from the north or Anchorage from the south, you might catch a glimpse of the mountain on your way to Denali.
Since 1913, bold climbers have been making the pilgrimage to scale the summit of the third highest mountain in the world. There are easier ways to view the peak for the rest of us. Take a Jeep tour down the Denali Highway or a bus tour into the park for great views. Or book a flightseeing tour and get the birds eye view of the mountain.
Denali is so tall and expansive that it has its own weather patterns. Storms and clouds may obscure the peak on what is otherwise a clear day in and around the park. You can increase your chances of the blue skies and clear view needed to see the mountain by staying in Denali for 2-3 days.
Fun fact: The name Denali is based on a Koyukon word for “high” or “tall.” The Koyukon people had called the mountain peak “Denali” for centuries. From 1917 – 2015, the U.S. Department of Interior had referred to the same mountain as “Mount McKinley” because a gold prospector in 1896 called it that in tribute to then-presidential candidate William McKinley. In 2015, the US officially changed the name back to Denali bringing the lower 48 in line with what Alaskans had been calling it all along.
Reason #2: Denali National Park & Preserve
From majestic mountains and glaciers to forests and tundra, Denali National Park & Preserve is home to stunning scenery. In fact, with over 6 million acres of protected wilderness, you can explore an area larger than the state of New Jersey. And you’ll only be stopped by traffic if the caribou are migrating.
One of the big draws for visiting Denali is the variety of wildlife. Denali is home to grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, and more. Guided tours are available inside and outside the park so seeing these beautiful animals in their natural habitat can be a safe experience for you and them.
There is so much to explore in this park – which is why it is visited by more than 600,000 visitors a year. The first 15 miles (24 km) of the 92-mile (148 km) park road are paved. Visitors can drive on the paved portion and gain access to hiking trails, visitor stations, camping sites, and the Park’s educational programs. If you want to explore the remaining unpaved portion of the road, you’ll need to book a bus tour, hike, or ride your bike. All three are very popular, and you are rewarded with a visit to Wonder Lake and stunning views of Denali.
Reason #3: Adventure tour outdoor activities – Something for everyone!
Denali is home to some of the best outdoor adventure tours in the country. Adventure seekers can get an authentic backcountry wilderness experience, while those in the mood to relax and enjoy the view have a variety of low-key ways to experience Denali. There is literally something for every kind of traveler and every mood. And with up to 22 hours of sunlight, there is plenty of time in the day to explore!
Denali adventure tour companies have tours geared for your entire group. You can all go together or split up depending on your group’s age and activity levels. Then meet back up to share stories!
For example, you can float down the Nenana River and enjoy the scenery or battle the whitewater for a slightly more wet adventure. You can drive down the Denali Highway, a trip that National Geographic calls the #2 drive of a lifetime, in the comfort of a new Jeep 4×4. We haven’t even mentioned the ATV tours, ziplining tours, flightseeing, hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting! Denali truly does have something for everyone.
We cannot wait to see you in Denali!
Whether you are looking for adventure, want to have a relaxing time in nature, have fun with the kids, see wildlife, or celebrate a special occasion with friends and family, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Denali. We can’t wait to have your visit our home and experience the beauty and adventure that is Denali.
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