Information about Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park & Preserve is one of the last great preserves in the United States and is the 3rd largest National Park in the country. In fact, the top 4 largest National Parks are all found in Alaska!
A common misconception about Denali Nat’l Park is that it is a land preserve, seeing as how the tallest mountain in North America happens to be sitting within the park’s borders as well as lending the park it’s name. The truth strikes people as a bit odd. Denali was founded in 1917 by the efforts of one great conservationist and avid game hunter, Charles Sheldon. After coming to Denali in pursuit of one of the local game animals, the elusive Dall Sheep, Sheldon witnessed a massacre of these beautiful mammals, which are the only all white species of mountain sheep found in the world. He brought back his dire message to congress, and ultimately President Wilson, who agreed to sign into law the bill which established Mount McKinley National Park which later came to be Denali National Park to pay homage to the native Athabaskan people. The name translates to “the tall one” or “mountain-big” in the Koyukon language. If you are lucky to see it, you’ll understand why!
In terms of size the sheer amount of land encompassing the park is difficult to comprehend. For scale reference, the park is roughly the size of the state of Vermont. Alaska itself, when superimposed upon a map of the lower 48, covers the MidWest nearly entirely and accounts for more than 17% of the total acres in the United States. As you can imagine a piece of land this size is home to a huge diversity of biomes! Here in the park we are home to a sub-arctic ecosystem composed of an array of big mammals. Some residents include grizzly bear, moose, caribou, wolves, and of course the famous Dall sheep! The park is well preserved using a system of propane fueled buses for park excursions. This practice not only cuts down on emissions, but makes the buses whisper quietly so as to not scare off the locals ensuring the most intimate experience between you and wildlife you could ask for! Of course, it’s much more enjoyable watching a mother grizzly and her cubs graze right next to you in the comfort of a steel bus!
This is one of the last great vestiges of the US. Come up and see how truly wild America’s final frontier is!