Denali National Park, Riley Creek Campground, Alaska

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After seeing glaciers on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, our second must see Alaskan destination was Denali National Park.

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.

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Author: Mountain Mom

Hi! I'm Mountain Mom. I live with my husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah. When we're not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, I spend my time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 we traveled over 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.

1 thought on “Denali National Park, Riley Creek Campground, Alaska”

  1. Denali National Park is one of the famous Parks in Alaska. This park is the highest Mountain in North America. I have visited there before yosemite bus tours with my friends. This park offers a wide range of activities for all visitors. Your blog is also very helpful those who want to go there. This Park is also best for camping.

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