1.Denali is home to the highest peak in North
Known as one of the most geologically active parts of the
United States, Denali, Alaska is home to America’s tallest peak. Standing at
20,310’, Denali’s peak can be seen for miles in from both inside and outside of
the park. The park itself spans about six million acres, for the most part
untouched by roads, trails, and lodging.
2.It’s known for being “trail-less”
With only one way in and one way out, Denali’s 92 mile road
into the park is filled with beautiful scenery of the mountains, the rolling
hills, and its roaming wildlife hanging about! Visitors of the park absolutely love
the simplicity of the park and the lack of human development that exists. With
only campgrounds to serve its overnight guests, this national park is one for
the books, and certainly one to cherish and preserve. Denali is the perfect
place to “follow the road less traveled.” In fact, head up to Mountain Vista where you can see the peak, enjoy picnic tables, and just 15 miles down
the road you can set up camp at the Savage River Campground.
3.It was originally named “Mount McKinley”
Known for its Indian ties and rather descriptive meaning,
the name “McKinley” seemed a little ill-fitting for the famous landmark. As a
native word, it didn’t seem proper to put a descriptive word as a proper noun.
In its early years, the name had been challenged, but was dismissed when
“Denali” did not seem recognizable enough by its board. It wasn’t until
recently that Denali became its official and true name.
4.Denali’s preservation exists because of
Created by Congress in 1917, the efforts to protect the
historical landmark was originally motivated in the efforts to protect Dall
sheep from over-hunting, or in other words, the serious reduction of a species
population. With harm being inflicted on the sheep, conservationists set out to
protect the land.
5.Denali has 600 earthquakes per year
Averages of 600 earthquake events within the park happen
each year, according to the National Park Service. However, because of their
low magnitudes, most guests do not even notice the quakes. The park continues
its research to monitor the park year round, along with several partners
including the Alaska Earthquake Information Center (AEIC.)
6.Beware of landslides
While wildlife is always something to look out for (and be
prepared for) it’s important to note that the landslides of Denali are
important to keep an eye on. Pretty Rocks Landslide, a landslide that began to
take place in the 1990s, had gone from a minor maintenance to a full threat
when small cracks began to surface in the road. In 2019, the road was becoming
displaced up to 45 inches per day in both width and height. If the landslide
continues to gain velocity, the parks service will need to find a new solution
for a road within the park.
7.It’s the first national park to conserve
“The Wilderness of Denali,” written by Charles Sheldon,
gives insight into the becoming of Denali and the work he and his partners put
in to successfully protect Denali and other historic landmarks. Sheldon,
originally from Vermont, began working with Harry Kartsens and Belmore Browne to establish the first national park to conserve wildlife. Sheldon, Kartsens,
and Browne are all credible for the protection and preservation of the Denali
park we know and love today.
8.Rainy days are normal
In the subarctic, it’s not uncommon for rain, and it’s
certainly not uncommon to be COLD! Dress in layers (wool or synthetic is
encouraged to insulate you), bring your rain gear, an umbrella, and an extra
pair of socks! Be prepared to face harsh conditions but don’t let those
conditions intimidate you! The beauty that Denali holds is insurmountable. Read the park's wilderness safety tips here.
9.Expect to see a bear
That’s the advice you’ll hear from just about any outdoor
and hiking enthusiast! In fact, its better (and smarter) to prepare for the
event of seeing a bear than to assume you won’t see one. Most often, the
wildlife you come across will be more scared of you, however, it’s not a good
idea to be unprepared in case you accidentally provoke or intimidate the
animal. Always listen to your rangers, but in the meantime, watch this video!
10.Preserving your travel memories of Denali
What better way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Denali
than right from your kitchen? After the trip, print your favorite and place it
up on the fridge with a Denali Discover America molded magnet from Classic
Magnets. Commemorate your favorite trips from your favorite parks and display
them proudly so you can always go back to that special day.