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When it comes to jaw-dropping wilderness and unparalleled natural beauty, Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve top the charts. And what better way to explore this awe-inspiring landscape than a recreational vehicle (RV) camping trip, allowing both comfort and adventure?
If you don’t own an RV, no worries! You can easily reserve one in advance and pick it up in Anchorage. Denali National Park offers three stunning campgrounds—Riley Creek, Savage River, and Teklanika—that accommodate RVs with advance reservations.
A Smooth Journey Begins with Advance Reservations
Kickstart your journey by securing an RV spot in either Riley Creek, Savage River, or Teklanika campgrounds. Simply visit NPS.org, navigate to “Fees and Reservations,” choose your preferred campground, check the available dates, and book your reservation.
Once you’ve booked your flight into Anchorage, it’s time to reserve your home-on-wheels. Trusted RV rental agencies, like Great Alaskan Holidays, are readily available online. A few clicks on “Rates, Availability, and Reservations” will guide you through the process.
You can even take a virtual tour to select the vehicle that suits your needs. Don’t forget to print your receipt and any essential information about the vehicle.
Anchorage to Denali: Beginning of Your Wilderness Adventure
Upon arrival at Anchorage airport, grab a taxi to your rental agency. There, an agent will walk you through the ins and outs of driving, operating, and returning your RV. Make sure you fully understand the instructions and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Before setting off, stock up on necessary supplies in Anchorage. Remember to pack specialty foods, toiletries, cameras, video equipment, journals, and a selection of music for your journey. Denali’s general store might not have all your preferred amenities.
Finally, it’s time to hit the road. Heading north on George Parks Highway (Route 3) towards Denali National Park and Preserve, enjoy the 237-mile drive, approximately 4-5 hours. Upon arrival, check in with the ranger who will guide you to your reserved campsite.
Riley Creek Campground: A Gateway to Wilderness
Nestled right inside the park entrance, Riley Creek Campground is a wooded site close to various trailheads. Keep your eyes open for occasional moose and bear sightings, as well as resident red squirrels and snowshoe hares.
Campsites, tailored to your RV size, cost between $22.00 to $28.00 per night. Riley Creek offers a general store, shower and laundry facilities, and a dump station for your RV needs.
Savage River Campground: In the Heart of Spruce Thicket
As you set foot in Savage River Campground, you’ll find yourself amidst a thicket of spruce trees. Watch caribou come down for a drink by the river, and red squirrels and snowshoe hares flutter about. Birdwatchers may spot great horned owls, merlins, and ravens nesting in the vicinity.
The campground, accommodating eight people per RV site, charges between $22.00 to $28.00 per night. Three large-party sites can house up to 20 people for $40.00 a night.
Teklanika River Campground: Embrace the Solitude
If you seek isolation, Teklanika River Campground is your ideal destination. This remote campground offers a unique spectacle of red and ground squirrels living in harmony. Frequent visits by snowshoe hares, gray jays, caribou, and grizzly bears add to the charm of the place.
Campsites cost $16.00 per night plus a one-time $5.00 reservation fee. Located nearly 30 miles into the park, Teklanika is an idyllic escape for those who desire an intimate encounter with the wilderness.
Indulge in Multiple Site Camping
For a broader experience of Denali’s stunning landscapes, we encourage campers to spend a few nights at each campground. Advanced booking will enable you to immerse in the unique mountain vistas, meadows, and wildlife that differentiate each site.
However, remember that the Alaskan camping season is short, and the rangers work diligently to accommodate as many visitors as possible. Timely arrivals and departures as per your schedule, and alerting the campground of any changes to your itinerary, will ensure a smoother experience for everyone.
Departing with Respect
As your remarkable journey concludes, please leave your site in a state that respects the natural beauty of Denali and the next group of adventure seekers. Extinguish campfires, dispose of trash properly, and check your site for any food debris that might attract wildlife. Check out with the park ranger before leaving.
The same consideration applies to your RV. Return it clean, on time, and refilled with gas. Report any mechanical issues and ensure all items are accounted for. Before you turn over the keys, capture one final photo to commemorate your RV camping adventure in Alaska’s stunning Denali National Park.
Embarking on an RV camping trip to Denali is more than just a vacation—it’s a voyage into the heart of nature’s unspoiled splendor. As you traverse through the park’s diverse terrain and cohabit with its abundant wildlife, you’ll discover a deeper connection with the natural world and a renewed sense of respect for its preservation.