Denali National Park to open summer season July 1

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 2:38 PM AKDT
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The Denali National Park and Preserve will be opening up for the summer season, but that reopen will look different than in past years.

While the park road is already accessible through mile marker 30 at the Teklanika Rest Stop, more of the park will become available by July 1. On that date, several services and facilities will open including the Denali Visitor Center, the Eielson Visitor Center, narrated tour/transit bus services and campgrounds at Sanctuary River and Igloo Creek, the park said in a statement.

The transit bus service schedules are projected to be finalized in June, but currently, the park is planning to operate the buses with social distancing measures in place by capping the passenger capacity at 50%.

The park is offering private vehicle access on a reservation basis starting June 1 in part, because the traffic to the park will be much lower than in previous years.

“With the cancellation of the summer cruise season, we expect to see fewer visitors this summer,” Acting Superintendent of Denali Denice Swanke said. “We remain committed to the bus system, but fewer cruise ship visitors means we’ll be putting fewer buses on the road, so there will be some unused capacity that we want to make available to the public.”

Additional facilities will open up as soon as June. Denali Public Affairs Officer Gerald Hitchcock said the Savage River and Teklanika River campgrounds will open June 16.

The park's annual road lottery is still available for entries for visiting Sept. 18-22 and online submissions are accepted until June 30.

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