DENALI PARK, Alaska – Starting this Friday, February 14, the Denali Park Road will be open as far as the Mountain Vista Rest Area (mile 12) for travel by private vehicles and commercial vehicles with permits. This opening occurs routinely each season, as weather permits. Visitors should expect to encounter snow and ice on shaded sections of the park road.
Mid-winter offers enjoyable conditions for visiting the park, as there is good snow coverage for winter recreational activities, coupled with longer days. The Mountain Vista Rest Area is an ideal location for viewing Denali, as well as heading out further into the park via snowshoes, skis or dog sleds. The area has vault toilets and picnic shelters, but other amenities - including additional picnic tables - may be under snow. Park facilities further west, including the Savage River Campground, remain closed until later in the spring.
Travel beyond park headquarters (mile 3) will be weather dependent, as plowing the road further west will be a lower priority during and after a snowstorm. Visitors are encouraged to call the park information line at (907) 683-9532 for updated road and weather information. The National Park Service expects to open the road to the Savage River (mile 15) in early to mid-April.
The Murie Science and Learning Center, which serves as the Winter Visitor Center, is open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm for information and backcountry permits. The Bear Loop of the Riley Creek Campground is open for free camping on a first-come basis, though space is limited as construction crews will be performing work in the area. A vault toilet is provided, and campers can obtain water at the Murie Science and Learning Center.