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This year’s Denali road lottery opens May 1

Map from National Park Service.
Map from National Park Service.(KTUU)
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 4:11 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The chance to take a drive down one of Alaska’s most sought after and scenic roads is approaching this weekend.

Applications for this year’s road lottery program in the Denali National Park and Preserve will be accepted starting this Saturday. The application period runs through May 31.

According to a release from the park and preserve, the lottery will “ideally” progress like it does normally, but that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could change the plan for this year. As it stands, the dates for the road lotter are Sept. 17, 19, 20 and 21. Sept. 18 will be Military Appreciation Day, according to the release, which will be reserved for active duty service members and their families.

Here’s how the lottery works: Those interested can make lottery entries online at recreation.gov when the application period opens. All applicants must pay a $15 fee, which helps pay for the cost of conducting the lottery, according to the park and preserve.

Those who are selected in the lottery drawing will get a confirmation email. They will also need to pay a $25 permit fee to drive the road, the release states. Winners will be given additional information about how to obtain that road permit and how to prepare for their trip.

The lottery for Military Appreciation Day will be handled slightly differently. According to the release, lottery tickets for active duty military members and their families will be distributed through the Alaskan Command, a joint command including Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy units in Alaska.

According to the release, people have about a one in seven chance of being drawn for a ticket to drive the park road based on the trend in recent years.

There are certain vehicle restrictions that apply to the Denali National Park road, as well as rules for pets, camping and staying safe around the park’s wildlife. Those rules and guidelines can be found on the park’s website.

Denali National Park itself charges a $15 fee for each visitor age 16 and older, which is valid for seven days. Lottery winners will also have to pay that entry fee if they don’t have a federal recreation pass, according to the release.

For more information about the lottery, visit the park’s website, nps.gov/dena.

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