National Parks have awed tourists and even locals for years. They provide an escape from the ordinary and relief from the everyday stress of society. National Parks provide insight into a simpler time where our ancestors were surrounded by the beauty of nature instead of the concrete jungles of modern day metropolitan areas. Few of these wonderful parks provide the same seclusion as Denali National Park in Alaska. It’s sights and sounds have fascinated many and will continue to provide a great escape from everyday life.
The original Mount McKinley National Park was established on February 26, 1917(Denali). It was originally founded as a wilderness area. In 1980, the park was renamed Denali National Park. This new Denali National Park was created to merge Mount McKinley National Park with Denali National Preserve. The word Denali literally means “great one”(qtd. in Encyclopedia Americana). The Native Americans referred to the great mountain as Denali. Most climbers still refer to Mount McKinley as Denali(Denali).
Denali’s location makes it a wonderful place to escape the ordinary. Denali National Park is situated in the central part of Alaska. The two major cities closest to it are Fairbanks, Alaska and Anchorage, Alaska. “There is one road entrance into Denali. The entrance is along Alaska Highway 3(also called George Parks Highway) about 240 miles north of Anchorage, 120 miles south of Fairbanks, and 12 miles south of Healy- the nearest year-round community.”(Plan Your Visit). The National Park is an 8,899 square mile protected area(Encyclopedia Americana). It provides an opportunity to view nature up close or from the comfort of a shuttle bus.
The weather at Denali adds to the beauty and mystery of the park itself. According to Our National, this part of Alaska has a Taiga climate. In this part of the world, they have long, cold winters and short, cool summers. There is usually snow from October to May, but they never usually have more than two or three feet. Alaska is a place where seasons transition quickly. There is an immediate shift between seasons. Literally, there can be snow one week and flowers blooming the next. Due to these harsh conditions, most of Denali National Park is treeless. The few trees that remain are usually small due to the strong wind(Our National).
Though the weather can be harsh, Denali provides an experience like no other for camping. Within Denali, they offer seven campgrounds with about 290 campsites(Denali). They also have four developed campgrounds for those not wanting to experience nature in its fullest(What to Do). They even have two cabins that can be used year-round(What to Do). In addition, they offer special areas for backpackers, large groups, and even a bus specifically for campers(Denali).
Many of those camping in the park will have the opportunity to experience Denali through its hiking trails. According to Denali, June is the best time of year to experience Denali hiking. There are numerous...