Oh, finally - the sun is shining and it is warm. I saw my first mew gull on the river today - surely spring is here, and for those of you who haven't been to Alaska, when we have almost 20 hrs of daylight, things can change quickly - I am hoping for a really quick green up!!
and now for the Park news: Denali Park Road to Open to Mile 30 on Saturday, May 3
Late spring snow storms had stymied the efforts of the National Park Service road crew and other park employees to open the park for visitors, but the sun is finally shining! The portion of the Denali Park Road between the Savage River (Mile 15) and the Teklanika River Rest Area at Mile 30 will open for travel by private vehicles on Saturday, May 3, weather permitting. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead for updated road and weather conditions before driving to the park.
Motorists should expect to encounter snow, ice, and mud on some portions of the road, particularly shaded areas. Please be alert for heavy equipment
being used in road opening operations and park personnel working on the edges of the road. There are vault toilets at the Savage River parking areas and chemical toilets at the Teklanika River Rest Area for visitor use. Other facilities west of the park headquarters, including campgrounds, are scheduled to open later in May.
The road will be open to Mile 30 through Monday, May 19. Beginning on Tuesday, May 20 the shuttle bus system will provide access beyond the Savage River to as far west as the Toklat River (Mile 53). The first fifteen miles of the park road will continue to be open for travel by park visitors in private vehicles throughout the summer season.
Snow conditions for skiing and mushing have deteriorated, but there is still good snow on north-facing slopes. Numerous wildlife sightings have
been reported along the first fifteen miles of the road, including lynx, wolves, caribou, moose, ptarmigan and snowshoe hare.
Visitor information and backcountry permits are available at the Murie Science and Learning Center (Mile 1.3) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.
The Riley Creek Campground is open for free camping until mid-May, but water and sewer services are currently not available. A vault toilet is
provided for campers in the open loop, and water can be obtained at the Murie Science and Learning Center.
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 and purchase passes at the Murie Science and Learning Center.
Additional information can be obtained by calling the park at (907)683-2294 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily or on the web at www.nps.gov/dena.