Denali opens part of park road to public access

Officials have opened to public access a portion of the 92-mile road into Denali National Park and Preserve.

Earlier this month, the park, citing travel restrictions imposed by state officials in response to coronavirus concerns, closed public access to the road. The restrictions have since been modified, and the National Park Service said Tuesday the road will be open to mile marker 12.

Further opening of the road is expected as conditions and staffing allow, the agency said in a release.

The state last week eased restrictions on travel within Alaska to allow for recreational activities. When traveling, only household members are to be in a vehicle, and stops along the way are to be minimized.

Denice Swanke, the park’s acting superintendent, said officials are considering ways to offer more access for private vehicles. Acting Park Service Regional Director Don Striker said that includes considering additional road lottery options.

“The decrease in commercial cruise traffic to Denali offers us the potential to safely allow more private vehicle access like we do during the annual September lottery that is so popular with Alaskans,” he said.


The park traditionally holds a lottery giving winners a day-long permit to travel as much of the road as the weather allows.