Beyond the Mountain

Denali National Park and Preserve


North America’s highest point watches over its country, imposing, magnificent, infinite. Mountains tower over this remote wilderness, creating a cold stillness over the tundra.

Denali Information

Mt. Denali, formerly Mt. McKinley, is North America's highest mountain, and is contained within Denali National Park in Alaska.

Mt. Denali, formerly Mt. McKinley, is North America's highest mountain, and is contained within Denali National Park in Alaska.

A river runs through it in Denali National Park
Grizzly bears look for blueberries in Denali

“Coppers and purples, and reds and golds, browns and blacks streaked across the earth violently, and sweeping up and over, a kaleidoscope of dirt and rock that challenges even the most jaded of hearts to not fall under her spell.”
— Danielle Rhor

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Park Information

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.

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