PHOTO: Just 30 percent of visitors see Denali's peak. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
It’s larger than the state of New Hampshire, so it’s safe to say that you are probably not going to experience all that Denali National Park has to offer in just one day — probably not even one week.
In order to make the magnitude of the park’s more than 6 million acres seem a little less overwhelming, USA Today has some tips for those who are heading there from Jennifer Harris, who has worked there for 25 years.
First, take the train.
“Alaska Railroad's “Denali Star” connects the park to Anchorage and Fairbanks, and makes a stop right at the entrance of Denali during the summer season (mid-May through mid-September). Not only that, but the hours-long train rides will provide spectacular views of the Alaskan landscape from the two-level domed cars, with plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities along the way,” suggests Harris.
There is only one road in the whole park so you are going to have to catch the bus, says Harris.
“Tour buses will take you deep into the park during the summertime, with certified interpretive guides/drivers who provide narration so you can learn about the park and (hopefully) spot wildlife along the way,” she says.
Another tip, try to win the Road Lottery.
“In May, the lottery opens for entry (a non-refundable lottery entry fee applies) for the opportunity to win a permit to drive the park road in September,” Harris notes.
Harris also shares that visitors shouldn’t be disappointed if they don’t see Denali’s peak.
“It’s estimated that only 30 percent of all park visitors catch a glimpse of the summit,” Harris says.
For more pro tips on exploring Denali, read more here.