Denali National Park is the titan of America’s national park system. This immense reserves in the heart of Alaska is home to one of the best preserved wilderness areas anywhere, with a variety of wildlife rivaling Yellowstone and the Canadian parks of Alberta. One of the most remote areas in North America, virtually all native wildlife still roam freely here, including some that can’t easily be found in other places.
Humans have inhabited the region around Denali since the earliest migrations into North America. Westerners began exploring the region in the 19th century, but settlement in the area was virtually non-existent. The government established Mount McKinley National Park in 1917 to protect the area before it could be encroached upon. The park was subsequently expanded, and in 1980 was renamed Denali National Park after the original native word for the namesake mountain at the park’s center.
Denali is a nature lover’s dream. Protected from an early point, Denali is pristine, and its wildlife never had to be revitalized. Many of North America’s most fantastic animals can be found here, including large herds of Moose, Caribou and Dall Sheep. Beaver can be found in great numbers here. Predators include the Greyu Wolf, Black Bear and the immense Grizzly Bear which rules the park and is among the most popular residents.
Denali National Park and the adjacent reserve together clock in at just over 24,000 square km, making it the largest protected game reserve in the United States. Located in south central Alaska, it is remote, but reasonably accessible by road from Anchorage, 150 miles to the south. The park is open year-round, but access may be severely restricted to some areas seasonally due to weather, especially in Winter. The cost of admission is $10.00. Web: www.nps.gov/dena (official website).