See Wildlife And The Northern Lights At Denali National Park and Preserve Near Mt. McKinley While Hiking And Backcountry Camping

    Seemingly untouched by man, Denali National Park and Preserve astonishes visitors with its beauty that reminds one of a natural paradise. The Park is named for the 20,320-foot tall peak, Mt. Denali - (was most recently McKinley), which is also known by the native Athabascan people as Denali, or the “High One.” Those who visit Denali discover a unique outdoor experience, where you can spend your days river rafting, searching for wildlife, mountaineering, and backcountry camping. Because the Park is located about 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle, there are nearly 21 hours of sunlight during the summer solstice.

    During the fall many are drawn to Denali National Park to view the beautiful fall foliage as the gentle green palette of Denali forest bursts into bright yellows in the boreal forest and rich reds – saffron, cinnamon and russet – in the heathery tundra. Look to the skies above and you'll behold another amazing sight; the Aurora Borealis, or the “Northern Lights” that resemble dancing fluorescent ribbons illuminating the night sky.

    Denali National Park and Preserve is open year-round, although Denali’s main visitor season runs from mid-May to mid-September. When one visits this amazing national treasure you'll discover a wilderness unlike any other. The Denali National Park and Preserve is an internationally designated biosphere, and home to a variety of wildlife including sheep, grizzly bears, wolves, and caribou. A sub-arctic ecosystem, Denali features rare taiga and tundra plant life as well as over 650 species of flowering plants. And, the fall season is an ideal time to enjoy one of the guided tours available.

    The Fall Foliage Season is a great time to visit the Denali National Park and Preserve; not only for the natural beauty, but also special discount rates. Beginning in late August and throughout the rest of the season, (Mid-September) you can stay at any of Denali Park Resorts’ lodges at half the price and get half off any of the Explore Denali excursions.

    The Explore Denali excursions are a wonderful way for guests to enjoy hiking within the park boundary or take advantage of a van tour, which are customizable to guests interests. The unique outings allow guests to see the amazing colors of Alaska in the fall and the best of the park and wildlife. Special packages feature an incredible 50 percent savings on lodging at McKinley Chalet Resort, McKinley Village Lodge, Denali Bluffs Hotel, or Denali Grande Lodge for two-night lodging and tickets for two on any Explore Denali excursion until the end of the season. Reservations must be made in advance and are based on availability. Rates are based on double occupancy, additional charges will apply to additional guests.

    By Melody Schubert

    Getting There:

    For a complete listing of special events, getaway options, and attractions visit the Official State of Alaska Travel Planner online at or call (800) 862-5275.