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Denali Park Road Issues *updated info*


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At this time, park managers anticipate that the road may only open to Mile 43 on May 20, 2020, rather than to Toklat River (Mile 53), which is the normal distance the road opens each year on May 20. Barring unforeseen problems, the park is committed to opening the entirety of the Denali Park Road on or before June 15, 2020. This could be up to one week after the normal date the entire road opens for bus traffic (June 8, generally). Visitors arriving on or after June 15 would experience no delays or issues with their visit, other than occasional short delays for on-going maintenance throughout the summer.
 

This was an update on Jan 22, for those of you that may be heading to DENALI this summer. You can read the article in full for further details with the link below. Happy planning everyone.


https://www.nps.gov/dena/learn/nature/pretty-rocks.htm

 

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14 hours ago, Travelingzumbamom said:

 

 

At this time, park managers anticipate that the road may only open to Mile 43 on May 20, 2020, rather than to Toklat River (Mile 53), which is the normal distance the road opens each year on May 20. Barring unforeseen problems, the park is committed to opening the entirety of the Denali Park Road on or before June 15, 2020. This could be up to one week after the normal date the entire road opens for bus traffic (June 8, generally). Visitors arriving on or after June 15 would experience no delays or issues with their visit, other than occasional short delays for on-going maintenance throughout the summer.
 

This was an update on Jan 22, for those of you that may be heading to DENALI this summer. You can read the article in full for further details with the link below. Happy planning everyone.


https://www.nps.gov/dena/learn/nature/pretty-rocks.htm

 

The "barring unforeseen problems" part is the issue.  The Park Service has said (and hasn't revised it) that assessments will be undertaken throughout January and February.  It's currently -23°F at Healy, so any geotechnical work at the site is going to have to wait.  In my view the statement above errs on the side of optimism, but it's probably what I'd put out rather than scaring off thousands of potential visitors (and the millions of dollars they bring with them.)  

 

Just an observation, but it seems like cruisers as a group tend to want to have everything arranged many months in advance, rather than being patient in making plans.  This might be a year when, uncomfortable as it might make people, the smart move is just to wait until the picture clears.  It's VERY unlikely that things will be sold out or overbooked (hotels, tours, etc.) between now and, say, April, and by April we might have some definitive answers on the road and conditions in general at Denali.

 

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2 hours ago, Gardyloo said:

The "barring unforeseen problems" part is the issue.  The Park Service has said (and hasn't revised it) that assessments will be undertaken throughout January and February.  It's currently -23°F at Healy, so any geotechnical work at the site is going to have to wait.  In my view the statement above errs on the side of optimism, but it's probably what I'd put out rather than scaring off thousands of potential visitors (and the millions of dollars they bring with them.)  

 

Just an observation, but it seems like cruisers as a group tend to want to have everything arranged many months in advance, rather than being patient in making plans.  This might be a year when, uncomfortable as it might make people, the smart move is just to wait until the picture clears.  It's VERY unlikely that things will be sold out or overbooked (hotels, tours, etc.) between now and, say, April, and by April we might have some definitive answers on the road and conditions in general at Denali.

 


I see what you’re saying about them not wanting to scare off visitors. However, I’m looking at it the other way. I believe they are going to do all they can to get the road open. They have had some time since the original announcement of the possible road closure, to take photos and to start working on a solution to get ahead of the situation. 

As for people wanting to have plans in place many months in advance, if that’s what they want to do, that’s fine. I just thought that putting out info as it comes out would help them, no matter what one chooses to do. 

Edited by Travelingzumbamom
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4 hours ago, Moonstruck1115 said:

My husband and I will be there May 29.  I was going to upgrade to the Tundra Wilderness Tour, but now I'm wondering if it's worth it.  Does anyone know the difference between these 2 tours during the time period that the entire road is not open?

You are too early even for past years.  Tundra Wilderness Tour would have been shortened in May and possibly early June if it was even offered.  The Natural History Tour is shorter but more about the park than the animals in the park.  With your May arrival it would not be worth it to upgrade.  Keep an eye on the news reports on the site given here.  Maybe you can take a shuttle out the park road to see if the mountain is out and have some time to enjoy the kennels.  

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1 hour ago, Travelingzumbamom said:


I see what you’re saying about them not wanting to scare off visitors. However, I’m looking at it the other way. I believe they are going to do all they can to get the road open. They have had some time since the original announcement of the possible road closure, to take photos and to start working on a solution to get ahead of the situation. 

As for people wanting to have plans in place many months in advance, if that’s what they want to do, that’s fine. I just thought that putting out info as it comes out would help them, no matter what one chooses to do. 

Thanks for posting this report.

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5 hours ago, Moonstruck1115 said:

My husband and I will be there May 29.  I was going to upgrade to the Tundra Wilderness Tour, but now I'm wondering if it's worth it.  Does anyone know the difference between these 2 tours during the time period that the entire road is not open?

 

As oaktree pointed out, you're too early in the season to do the full TWTour.

Normally on a May 29, you could upgrade to the 'shoulder season' version of the TWT.  It goes to Toklat, at Mile 52, which is the beginning of prime bear viewing. 

https://www.reservedenali.com/tours-transits/the-denali-tour-experience/tundra-wilderness-tour/

Watch the Park Service web site to see what develops. If the road DOES  open to Toklat you can upgrade at that point. 

I assume you're on the Natural History Tour which goes to Mile 30. Are  you sure you even have time for a longer tour?  It will depend on if you have a full day at the park. 

Edited by mapleleaves
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