Denali National Park

Denali National Park Alaska

GPS Coordinates Denali National Park Visitor Center: 63.730971°, -148.917225° Wilderness Access Center (WAC): 63.736630°, -148.897542° Savage River: 63.738838°, -149.293867° Toklat River: 63.520413°, -150.043861° Eielson Visitor Center: 63.431258°,-150.310710° Wonder Lake: 63.458171°, -150.865883° Kantishna: 63.541852°, -150.995805° Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: Denali National Park is an immense wilderness with only one road, the Park Road, which goes 92.5 miles.  You are allowed to drive your personal vehicle to Savage River which is located at mile 15 of the Park Road but anywhere passed that you will need to purchase a tour bus or shuttle bus ticket. The shuttle buses are green color and have a few scheduled locations where they make stops and you simply purchase the ticket of where you would like to go.  The buses overall are relatively comfortable but please remember they do not have bathrooms on the buses.  You are allowed to bring food and beverages on board and I would encourage you to do so. The tour ...
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Denali National Park Visitor Center to Bison Gulch Hike – Denali Alaska

GPS Coordinates: Denali Park Visitor Center: 63°43'52.12"N, 148°55'21.80"W Mt Healy Overlook Trail End: 63°44'33.33"N, 148°57'13.76"W Alpine Meadow: 63°45'22.75"N, 148°58'21.58"W Small Cave: 63°45'50.35"N, 148°59'1.19"W The Monolith: 63°46'6.83"N, 148°59'44.91"W National Park Marker: 63°46'23.01"N, 149° 0'32.48"W Mt Healy (The Castle): 63°46'50.21"N, 149° 0'46.29"W Bison Gulch Turn: 63°47'42.72"N, 149° 0'33.36"W Bison Gulch Parking Lot: 63°48'18.13"N, 148°57'14.37"W Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: NOTE:  Please bring layers of clothes such as a jacket, sweater and some mid layer clothes.  You will be gaining around 3800+ ft so you may go from warm to cool to cold.  Also, the lower altitude portions of this trek are in prime moose and bear habitat.  Please use common sense and be aware of your surroundings at all times! I hiked this trail during the last week in August and it was probably one of the best days for hiking I have had in Denali this year.  The fall colors were out, ...
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Denali National Park Glacier Erratics

GPS Coordinates: Trailhead: 63.72161, -148.96775 Spring Trail: 63.72014, -148.97331 Smaller Glacier Erratics: 63.69974, -148.99414 Glacier Erratics: 63.69476, -148.99247 Mountain Pond: 63.68934, -149.03057 Trail Map: Here is different look at the map: Driving Directions: You will need to park near the dog kennels at the Denali National Park Headquarters. You can drive to this location or take one of the courtesy shuttles here. The Trail: **UPDATED** After four years of not doing this hike I came back again to do it in fall 2016.  I forgot how hard of a hike this was and how much bushwhacking was involved so I have changed my rating for it to reflect more difficulty. The easiest route to the glacier erratics is from the sled dog kennels at the Denali National Park Headquarters.  You will park your car in the parking lot and hike down to where the park shuttles make a loop near the ...
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Triple Lakes Hike – Denali National Park Alaska

GPS Coordinates: Denali National Park Visitor Center Trailhead: 63°43'51.78"N,148°55'1.45"W Suspension Bridge: 63°43'20.17"N, 148°55'4.98"W First Switch-Backs: 63°42'35.51"N, 63°42'35.51"N Lake 3: 63°40'2.46"N, 148°53'17.30"W Lake 2: 63°39'29.31"N, 148°52'21.01"W Lake 1: 63°39'11.13"N, 148°51'35.03"W Southern Trailhead: 63°39'23.94"N, 148°50'11.68"W Trail Map Driving Directions Driving Directions to the Denali National Park Visitor Center Triple Lakes Trailhead Driving Directions to the Southern Triple LakesTrailhead The Trail: The Triple Lakes Trail hike is a popular hike in the frontcountry of Denali National Park.  I have lived in Denali for four summers now and this is the first time I have done this hike in full.  It is just over 9 miles in one direction but overall not a very strenuous hike.   If you really wanted you could do this hike down and back again but it would be over 18 miles making it a very long tiring day.  I would suggest doing it one way and then getting a ...
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Alaska Railroad Guide

GPS Coordinates: Seward Rail Depot: 60.121926°, -149.438679° Grandview Rail Depot: 60.48596, -149.36695 Portage Rail Depot: 60.84023, -148.98177 Girdwood Rail Depot: 60.94381, -149.17256 Whittier Rail Depot: 60.77703, -148.69717 Anchorage Rail Depot: 61.221938°, -149.889330° Wasilla Rail Depot: 61.580453°, -149.440590° Talkeetna Rail Depot: 62.315731°, -150.102975° Cantwell Rail Depot: 63.39131, -148.95146 Denali Rail Depot: 63.730723°, -148.913569° Healy Rail Depot: 63.85738, -148.96749 Nenana Rail Depot: 64.564423°, -149.095866° Fairbanks Rail Depot:  64.851483°, -147.741167° Full Train Map The Alaskan Railroad Information: The Alaska Railroad is an incredible way to see much of Alaska.  The Railroad has a few different route options for you to choose from depending on your destination.  There are also several different options for seating but overall, pretty much every seat is a good one! Alaska Rail Engines The Alaska Railroad operates all of the engines on the rail and they even have their own leisure cars (Adventure and Goldstar service).   Other companies such as Royal Celebrity, Holland America and Princess Cruise Lines, also own their own luxury ...
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Alpine Trail – Denali National Park

GPS Coordinates: AlpineTrailhead: 63.43165, -150.31099 End of Trail: 63.4368, -150.322 Trail Map Driving Directions Drive to the Denali National Park Wilderness Access Center where you will need to purchase a shuttle bus ticket to Eilson Visitor Center where the Alpine Trail is located.  The shuttles make stops about every 90 minutes for restroom breaks.  It is about a 3 1/2 hour drive to Eilson Visitor Center. The Trail: The Alpine Trail is located just above Eilson Visitor Center in Denali National Park.  The only way to get here is by using the National Park Shuttle System.  This is a great hike that offers absolutely incredible views of Denali (the mountain).   This is one of the few maintained trails in Denali National Park and it is not too difficult. Note: please use caution in this area as you are in prime bear habitat (please see pictures below). The trail starts off above the ...
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Ruth Glacier – Denali National Park Alaska

GPS Coordinates: Ruth Glacier: 62.92351, -150.68126 Glacier Landing Point: 62.96973, -150.74495 Sheldon Cabin: 62.96973, -150.75466 Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley): 63.06912, -151.00701 Trail Map Driving Directions You can't drive here.  You must fly or hike.  Flying is the preferred method. The Trail: There are several ways to access Ruth Glacier.  You could hike or backpack up the glacier or you could take a flight. I don't know all the rules and regulations regarding backpacking in the park, but I do know that if you are backpacking into Denali National Park you are required to get a permit and go through a little backcountry orientation training at the Backcountry Information Center.  For this trek, however, I chose to do the easiest route and booked a sightseeing flight to explore the glacier! This is the plane we flew in.  It sat 8 people with one pilot and it was quite comfortable.  I had enough window space on both sides to view whatever ...
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Mt Healy Hike – Denali Alaska

GPS Coordinates: Trailhead (From the Denali National Park Visitor Center): 63°43'50.01"N, 148°55'8.33"W Mt. Healy Overlook end: 63°44'33.28"N, 148°57'13.40"W Grassy Meadow: 63°45'23.28"N, 148°58'21.93"W Cave: 63°45'50.46"N, 148°59'0.66"W Top of Ridge Line: 63°46'6.62"N, 148°59'13.51"W Monolith: 63°46'6.93"N, 148°59'43.96"W Chocolate Ridge: 63°46'8.83"N, 148°59'53.59"W Two Spikes: 63°46'22.79"N, 149° 0'32.16"W Mt. Healy: 63°46'50.58"N, 149° 0'46.79"W Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: There are three different good trails that will lead you to Mt. Healy: From Mt. Healy Overlook: 12.88 miles round trip From Antler Creek: 8.4 miles round trip From Bison Gulch: 6.84 miles round trip The most direct route to Mt Healy is via Bison Gulch.  But if you want a more immersive experience then I suggest you hike it from the Mt. Healy Overlook trail but it will take way more time to do it this way.  The trail from Antler Creek is interesting too.  It all depends on how much time and energy you want to spend. I've hiked to the top of Mt. Healy, from all three of these trails.  If you ...
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Antler Creek – Denali Alaska

GPS Coordinates: Antler Creek Trailhead: 63°49'15.42"N,148°59'12.07"W Rocky Terraces: 63°48'27.91"N, 149° 1'36.79"W Bison Gulch and Antler Creek Fork: 63°47'44.19"N, 149° 0'37.50"W Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: Note: If you plan to hike up Antler Creek to Mt. Healy, this trail is much longer than the route from Bison Gulch. Antler Creek is one of the many ways you can climb to the top of Mt. Healy.  It is steep and the trail often disappears but if you are creative and committed you can make your own trail to the top.  Or you can simply hike up as far as you want, get incredible views of the Healy area and  surrounding mountains then come back down. The trailhead can begin at the Antler Creek bridge which doesn't really have too much parking. Or you can easily park on the south side of the Denali RV Park and Motel property.  You will see this sign at the parking ...
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Mt. Healy Overlook Trail – Denali Alaska

GPS Coordinates: Horseshoe Lake/Mt. Healy Overlook Trailhead: 63°44'15.24"N, 148°54'54.46"W Visitor Center Trailhead: 63°43'49.51"N, 148°55'9.65"W Mt. Healy Overlook: 63°44'33.28"N, 148°57'13.40"W Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: The Mt. Healy Overlook is located in the front country (as opposed to back country) of Denali National Park.  It is rated moderate to strenuous because it is very steep and gains lots of elevation fast. This is one of the few trails that are maintained by the park service.  If you are not aware, Denali National Park does not have any trails for you to hike on except for a few, and the Mt. Healy Overlook is one of those. There are several places where you could start this trail.  You could begin at the railroad crossing for the Horseshoe Lake trail head or you could start at the Denali National Park Visitor Center.  I started this trail from the Horseshoe Lake trail head because that is where the shuttle dropped ...
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Yanert Coal Mine – Denali Alaska

Driving Directions The Trail: Please note that I won't be posting the GPS coordinates to this mine. I found this mine on accident while exploring an area just south of the Denali National Park entrance. The mine area has a dug out shelter that has several large containers and a boiler still present. If you hike down towards the hollow a little ways you will find another dug out and the old door that is slowly decaying.  There are tons of old artifacts including food cans, buckets, barrels, rail tracks, wooden structures and more. I came to this area two times and still haven't found an entrance but I'm pretty sure they may have been caved. The Return: Head back the same way you came. Personal Thoughts: This is a very interesting place and one I would love to come back and explore more ...
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Horseshoe Lake – Denali National Park

GPS Coordinates Trailhead: 63°44'12.39"N, 148°54'54.92"W Horseshoe Lake: 63°44'32.84"N, 148°54'33.49"W Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: This is a short hike located right at the entrance to Denali National Park.  Horseshoe Lake is so named because the lake is shaped, well, like a horseshoe. The parking lot is located a few feet from the rail tracks and the trail follows the tracks for a few hundred feet until you cross over to the other side. You will see several signs that point you to Horseshoe Lake or the Mt. Healy Overlook trail.  Simply cross over the tracks and follow the trail down the hill to the lake. For much of the hike you will have decent views of Horseshoe Lake from above so take advantage and get some good pictures. The trail is well maintained and I have seen people with just about all types of skill levels hiking.  There is a steep area that ...
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Mt. Healy From Bison Gulch – Denali National Park Alaska

GPS Coordinates Trailhead: 63°48'18.24"N, 148°57'14.41"W First Outcropping of Shale: 63°48'8.18"N, 148°58'36.25"W "Toilet Bowl": 63°47'43.32"N, 149° 0'37.53"W Snow Field: 63°47'13.67"N, 149° 0'17.59"W Mt. Healy: 63°46'51.09"N, 149° 0'48.62"W Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: You can access the Mt. Healy trail several ways.  Hiking from Bison Gulch is easier than hiking it from the Mt. Healy Overlook trail which begins near the Visitor Center in Denali National Park.  Bison Gulch is the most direct route to the top.  For a look at the other trails to Mt. Healy click here. I started the hike in the parking lot just before the Bison Gulch bridge which is located several miles south of the town of Healy Alaska.  On the west side of the parking lot you will need to cross over the Parks Highway and follow the dirt trail which begins right at the highway.  You will notice that the trail immediately splits toward the creek or climbs up the adjacent hill ...
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Savage River – Denali National Park Alaska

GPS Coordinates Parking Lot East:  63° 44.384'N, 149° 17.495'W Parking Lot West: 63° 44.400'N, 149° 17.646'W Savage River Bridge: 63° 45.084'N, 149° 17.489'W Side Trek - Savage Rock: 63° 44.409'N, 149° 17.321'W Trail Map Driving Directions: The Trail: Savage River is at the end of the "public access road" in Denali National Park.  This means that the public can drive their own cars up to this point but any farther they would have to take one of the buses.  Savage River has a loop trail and is a beautiful hike that is quite popular. The Savage River Trail is accessed at about the 15 mile marker in Denali National Park.  There are parking lots on either side of the river and even though there is a ranger station blocking access to the other side if you stop and ask if you can park at the west parking lot they will let you. Both parking lots (east and west) ...
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