Denali National Park Road Opens Up To Teklanika Rest Area

The following is courtesy of Denali National Park:

NPS Photo/Stiteler

Denali Park Road Opens to Teklanika Rest Area for Public Vehicle Traffic

Denali Park, AK – Effective immediately, Denali National Park and Preserve has opened the Park Road to private vehicle traffic as far as mile 30, the Teklanika Rest Area.

The road will remain open to Teklanika Rest Area, weather permitting, until May 20, 2022, when transit buses start running for the season. At that time private vehicles will be restricted to the first 15 miles of the Park Road, as per normal summer operations.

Park visitors continue to enjoy winter recreation activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, but warm weather and longer days are changing conditions rapidly from winter to spring. Visitors should expect to encounter snow, ice, and mud on some portions of the road, particularly in shaded sections.

The Teklanika Rest Area is still wet but accessible. All campgrounds west of the Riley Creek area will remain closed until May 20. There will be dump trucks hauling on the Park Road to East Fork River and road users are advised to be aware of their presence. Drivers, bikers and pedestrians should be aware of construction traffic on the road, including past the Teklanika Rest Area. Do not pass any road crew equipment without making eye contact and getting a direct signal that it is safe to pass.

The area from approximately Mile 43.4 to Mile 45.9 and 100 yards north and south of the Park Road in this section is closed to all entry. There is no bicycle/pedestrian access past the East Fork Bridge at Mile 43 due to work on the bridge over the Pretty Rocks Landslide. Anyone hiking around the closure should expect challenging conditions and be prepared to be completely self-sufficient as no services or facilities beyond the slide are open.

From May 15 through 19, 2023, Backcountry units 6 (west of Teklanika River), 7, 8, 29 (west of Teklanika River), 30, and 31 will be closed.  The Park Road will be also closed to all pedestrian and bicycle traffic from the Teklanika River to the top of the East Fork Bridge during that time. Park biologists will be periodically catching grizzly bears to attach radio collars for a study on bear behavior with traffic and no traffic over the next two years. Closures are to keep people safe from encounters with recently immobilized bears and minimize disturbance to those same bears. 

To keep people safe and wildlife wild, we remind all visitors that the viewing distance for bears is 300 yards and 25 yards for all other wildlife. If a bear is within 25 yards on the road, remain in your vehicle with doors and windows closed.

Weather conditions can change rapidly at this time of the year, and the road may open and close several times. Visitors are encouraged to contact the park for updated road and weather information.