The Alaska Range also includes countless other spectacular mountains and many large glaciers. Denali's more than 6 million acres also encompass a complete sub-arctic eco-system with large mammals such as grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep, and moose.
The park was established as Mt. McKinley National Park on Feb. 26, 1917. The original park was designated a wilderness area, the first national park created specifically to protect wildlife, and incorporated into Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980. The park was designated an international biosphere reserve in 1976.
In 2015, Mt. McKinley was renamed to Mt. Denali to pay homage to the Athabaskan people who called the area home—Denali means “the tall one” or “mountain-big” in their native Koyukon language.
Today the park accommodates a wide variety of visitor use including wildlife viewing, mountaineering, cycling, and even dog sledding! (Denali National Park and Preserve is actually the only national park with a working dog sled kennel.) It continues to provide a laboratory for research in the natural sciences.