Park Service closes access road into Denali National Park

Denali, photo courtesy of the National Park Service
Denali. (National Park Service)

The Denali Park Road is closed to recreational access.

In a statement Tuesday, the National Park Service said the decision from Denali National Park and Preserve is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NPS says it is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health mandates aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. The park service points specifically to mandates related to social distancing, staying at home, and the prohibition of non-critical, in-state travel between Alaska communities. According to the statement, the public can no longer access the road beyond Mile Marker 0.

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Acting Superintendent Denice Swanke said in the statement, “This was a difficult decision for the park. But in light of continued visitation to the park from areas of known community spread, including Anchorage and Fairbanks, these changes are necessary to support the Governor’s health mandates and travel restrictions, as well as to keep our staff and the surrounding communities safe.”

The Park Service says the public can still travel through the park along the George Parks Highway and access the post office near the entrance of the park. And, subsistence activities allowed under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in areas of the preserve are still permitted.

The public is also still allowed to recreate if they’re accessing the park by means other than the park road.