Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Denali Park Road Open to Mile 30 through September

The American Alpine Institute just received the following email from Denali National Park:

The busy summer season has ended at Denali National Park and Preserve, and visitors can now drive private vehicles on the Denali Park Road as far as the Teklanika River Rest Area at Mile 30, weather permitting. Visitors are advised to call ahead for weather and road information, as conditions can change rapidly at this time of the year.

On Tuesday, September 20, a project to replace all culverts under the paved portion of the road, i.e. Mile 1 – 15, will begin. Visitors should expect minor traffic delays due to one lane traffic at several locations along that portion of the road.

Vault toilets will be available at the Mountain Vista Trailhead (Mile 12), Savage River parking area (Mile 15) and the Teklanika River Rest Area through September. Other park facilities west of headquarters, such as campgrounds and restrooms, are closed for the season.

Beginning on Saturday, October 1, the park road will be closed to vehicles beyond Park Headquarters (Mile 3) in order to replace the large culverts between there and the Savage River (Mile 15). Both lanes will need to be excavated due to the large size of the culverts, making sections of the road impassable by vehicle. The road will be available to pedestrians and bicyclists, but they will need to walk around construction sites and stay alert for trucks and other heavy equipment. The culvert replacement project is scheduled to continue until November 23, weather permitting. Work will resume in the spring.

On Wednesday, September 21 the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) will begin functioning as the winter visitor center. The MSLC is open daily from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm to provide park information and backcountry permits.

The Bear Loop of the Riley Creek Campground at Mile 0.2 will remain open for camping, but the water has been turned off for the season. A vault toilet is provided for campers and water can be obtained at the Murie Science and Learning Center. Gas, food service and lodging are available in the communities of Healy and Cantwell.

Denali National Park and Preserve collects an entrance fee year-round. The entrance fee of $10 per person or $20 per vehicle is good for seven days. The majority of the money collected remains in the park to be used for projects to improve visitor services and facilities. Interagency Federal Recreation Passes such as the Annual, Senior, and Access Pass, and the Denali Annual Pass are also valid for entry into the park. Visitors can pay entrance fees at the Murie Science and Learning Center.

Additional park information is available on the park website at www.nps.gov/dena or by calling (907) 683-9532 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm daily. Stay connected with “DenaliNPS” on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and iTunes – links to these social media sites are available at www.nps.gov/dena.

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