Denali National Park and Preserve Feature


Backcountry Camping

Only experienced backpackers should consider camping overnight in Denali's wilderness. To try this option, you need to get a special permit (free of charge) from rangers at the Backcountry Information Center. This must be obtained in person. Advance reservations are not accepted. At the center you can look at descriptions of different areas in the park to decide where you want to go. Denali's backcountry is divided into 87 units, and only a limited number of campers are allowed each night in most units. The most desirable units are near the middle of the park, in areas with open tundra and wide-open vistas. These fill up faster than the low-lying areas, many of which are moist and full of mosquitoes in summer. To get time in the best backpacking areas, arrive a couple of days early, stay at one of the facilities near the park entrance (or at the Riley Creek Campground), and check in at the backcountry desk early each morning until your desired unit opens up. Before heading out into the park's wilderness, check the park's website ( and read up on bear and wildlife safety, clean camping, river crossings, and proper food storage (bear-proof canisters are required in many units; you can borrow them, free, from the Backcountry Information Center); when you're at the park, talk with the rangers and tap into their local knowledge. For $31.50 you may ride a camper bus for the duration of your stay.

Updated: 01-2014

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