Denali National Park and Preserve is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along it see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America's tallest peak, Denali, standing at 20,310 feet. Wild animals, large and small, roam unfenced lands, living as they have for ages. Solitude, tranquility, and wilderness await.
The vast and expansive landscape that surrounds the Denali Park Road includes not only breathtaking scenery but opportunities for wildlife viewing, hiking, camping, and much more. Visitors are invited to explore the park's website for activities and additional information related to the fall Road Lottery.
Camping and overnight sleeping while on the Denali Park Road is allowed only in designated campgrounds that are open. These may include: Riley Creek, Savage River, and Teklanika Campgrounds.
Wildlife viewing along the Denali Park Road can never be guaranteed. Some of the most iconic large mammals, such as grizzly and black bears, wolves, caribou, moose and Dall sheep, can be seen by lucky visitors. Small mammals, such as arctic ground squirrels, red squirrels, foxes and marmots, are seen more often in this wild environment.
Each September the park hosts a four-day event called the Denali "Road Lottery." During these four days, winners of a lottery drawing are given a chance to purchase a single, day-long permit, allowing them to drive as much of the Denali Park Road as weather allows. In years with early snow, the Park Road might open no farther than Savage River (Mile 15); in milder years, lottery winners are able to enjoy a trip out to the end of the park road (Mile 92).
The dates offered in the Road Lottery vary each year. Generally, the event usually begins the second Friday after Labor Day.
Applicants must apply for the lottery, open June 1 - June 30, to have a chance to drive the road in September.
Need to Know
There is a non-refundable $15 application fee. Winners of the lottery must then pay a $25 permit fee to drive the park road; this will automatically be charged to the card used for the lottery application fee. If the charge to the credit card does not clear, the winner will lose the permit and a new winner is chosen. Permit holders for the road lottery may have to pay the park entrance fee of $15 per person (for visitors age 16 or older) on the day of their permit unless they have a federal recreation pass such as the Denali Annual Pass, America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass (Annual, Senior, Access, or Volunteer) or the free U.S. Military annual pass.
Road lottery permits are transferable prior to use but cannot be sold, i.e. the person awarded the permit can give it to someone else if they are not able to participate that weekend. The person transferring the permit must provide the original notification and a short note explaining the transfer to the new permit holder, who must bring that documentation to the park when they check in for the road permit. Once picked up, permits are not transferable between vehicles.
PO Box 9 Denali Park AK 99755