Our stay in Denali national park involved reserving a campsite at Riley Creek Campground
and a shuttlebus trip
out to Eilson Visitors Center. Many Denali visitors choose to stay in the commercial area outside the park entrance known as Nenana Valley or Glitter Gulch. That’s also the place for restaurants and gas (We really enjoyed Prospector’s Pizza and Alehouse).
We liked the Riley Creek Campground, the largest and closest to the park entrance, because even with other campers nearby we still got to experience true Alaskan wildlife. This porcupine wandered right past our tent!
The bus system
in Denali National Park was confusing with options to ride the entire park road, or part of it (90+ miles and 13 hours) either with or without a naturalist guide and different price levels, leaving every half hour all day long. And that doesn’t take into account the free park entrance area shuttle buses which are all green. Luckily our guide book AK On the Go
written by fellow outdoor family blogger Erin Kirkland
gave us some good tips.
Private vehicles are allowed on the first 15 miles of the park trail, which allows access to the Visitors Center, Murie Science Center, Dog Sled Demonstrations
, Riley Creek Campground
and several maintained trails, including the Savage River Trail. However, it was on the bus that we got to see the most wildlife including this guy who walked right in front of our window!
Throughout the trip I thought how much my kids would enjoy Denali National Park
, but the Dog Sled Demonstrations
were what I think they would’ve enjoyed the most. Although it was great to have an outdoor adventure with just me and Mountain Dad, my favorite times in the outdoors is spending time with the whole family.