Denali road lottery

Denali road lottery DEFAULT
Date:April 29,
Contact:Sharon Stiteler

The application period for the Denali Road Lottery Program at Denali National Park and Preserve (Denali) is open from May 1 - The Denali Road Lottery will ideally operate as it has in normal years, though the ongoing pandemic could change the best-laid plans.

The dates for the road lottery will be September 17, 19, 20 and 21. September 18 will be Military Appreciation Day.Based on past years, applicants have around a 1-in-7 chance of being drawn. Winners of the lottery must then pay a $25 permit fee to drive the park road. When the application period is open, road lottery entries are made online at recreation.gov. All lottery applicants must pay the application fee; lottery winners incur one or two other fees, explained in the "If You Are Drawn" section below.

The lottery entries and drawings are handled through www.recreation.gov. Applications are available by navigating to the website and searching for “Denali Road Lottery.” All applicants must pay a $15 application fee that covers the cost of conducting the lottery. Lottery winners must then pay a $25 permit fee to drive the Park Road on their selected date. Everyone who submits an entry application will be notified about their entry status. Those who are selected will also receive an email confirming the day of their permit, with additional information on how to obtain the road permit and prepare for their visit to the park. Information about application status or use of the website should be submitted online to recreation.gov, or by calling () Applications by mail are no longer accepted.  

Military Appreciation Day will be held September  This day is reserved for active-duty service members and their families. Lottery tickets for Military Appreciation Day are not handled by www.recreation.gov, but are distributed through the Alaskan Command (ALCOM), which is a joint operations command including all Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy units stationed in Alaska. This command is stationed out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. 

Denali charges a park entrance fee of $15 per person for visitors and aged 16 or older, which is valid for 7 days from the date of purchase. Permit holders for the Road Lottery must pay the entrance fee for the day of their permit, unless they have a federal recreation pass such as the Denali Annual Pass, America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass (Annual, Senior, Access, or Volunteer) or the free U.S. Military annual passes. Learn more about park passes. 

Read more about the Denali Road Lottery, including information such as vehicle restrictions, pets, rules, and regulations. Since its inception in , the Road Lottery has been very popular program with the public. More than 13, lottery applications are received on average, giving the public about a 1-in-7 chance of winning a coveted spot.  

The Riley Creek, Savage River and Teklanika River campgrounds will be open during the Road Lottery, weather permitting. Campsites are not included in the road permit, but can be reserved in advance via www.reservedenali.com or Information on campgrounds and accommodations outside the park is available through the Denali Chamber of Commerce.



Sours: https://www.nps.gov/dena/learn/news/lottery-registration-opening.htm

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Denali National Park and Preserve is a special place.  The park is 6 million acres yet only has 92 miles of road.  The park is home moose, Dall sheep, caribou, grizzly bears, wolves and some much more. The real highlight of the park is the mountain.  Denali is both the name of the park and the name of the tallest mountain in North America.  Every year, , people visit this park.  Most will spend 8 hours or so on a bus trip through the park.  In September, a special group of visitors are given the chance to drive the Denali Park Road in their own vehicle thru the Denali Road Lottery.

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What is the Denali Road Lottery?

The Denali Road Lottery is a special 5-day event in Denali National Park.  It allows park visitors to drive their own vehicles down the mile park road to Kantishna (permitting weather and road conditions).  These five days are the only time personal vehicles are allowed to drive past Savage River (Mile 15).  The rest of the summer park visitors need to take a tour bus, shuttle, bicycle or foot to explore the park road.

Road Lottery Permit Winners are allowed to bring any road-legal vehicle under 22 ft into the park.  Winners can bring as many people as the car can legally fit (1 seatbelt per person).  The road lottery typically takes place on the second Thursday after Labor Day.  permits are issued a day with 1, permits for the general public and permits to the U.S Military.

Dates for the Denali Road Lottery

  • General Public – September 18, 20, 21,and 22,
  • Military Appreciation Day – September 19,

Suspected Dates for the Denali Road Lottery

*** These dates have not been officially announced. These are National Park Obsessed’s best guess for the lottery dates. The Denali Road Lottery is typically held the second weekend after Labor Day (September 6, )

  • General Public – September 17, 19, 20, and 21,
  • Military Appreciation Day – September 18,

How to get a Denali Road Lottery Permit

Getting a Denali Road Lottery Permit is all about luck.  In a way, I am shooting myself in the foot by writing this blog post.  The more entries for the Road Lottery, the lower the odds of getting a lottery permit.  Average odds over the last three years has been 1 in 7,

YearEntriesOdds
12,1 in
11,1 in
11,1 in

Appy for the Lottery

Update – The Denali Road Lottery application period has CHANGED to June 1 to June 30, Winners will be notified around July

The Lottery is open for applications between May 1 and May You apply by going to www.recreation.gov.  When you enter, you will give your preference which two days you would prefer a permit for.  It costs $15 to enter and this is non-refundable even if you don’t get a permit. If you win the permit, you will be charged $25 for the permit.

Your date preference does not affect your chances of winning.  They draw 1, names.  The first person drawn gets their first choice day.  The second person gets their first choice.  If your name is drawn and your first choice is gone, they will give you your second choice.  If both your preferences are gone, you will be assigned a day at random.

If you are selected for a permit, you will receive an email.   The winners are announced in mid-June (usually the weekend of June 15).  At that time, you will be charged an additional $25 for the permit.

How to Impove Your Odds of Winning of the Denali Road Lottery

You are only allowed one entry per person for the Denali Road Lottery and there are 1, permits.  This means your odds can be calculated by the following equation

Those aren’t the greatest of odds.  Now there is a way to increase your odds of winning.  You need more entries.  You cannot enter yourself more than once and permits can’t be sold. But you can have other people enter and if they win, they can transfer the permit to you.  Also, have anyone planning to drive the road with you enter.

This is what I did to get my permit in   I had my mom, my dad and a friend enter the lottery.  This gave me 4 entries in total.  My mom got the permit and came with me for the drive.  I was hoping for multiple permits so I had everyone put in a different first and second choice for their permit.  Day 2 is always the military day so I am not eligible for those permits.  This means I spend $85 to get my lottery permit this year ($60 in entries and $25 for the permit).

EntryPreference 1Preference 2
MeDay 1Day 3
DadDay 3Day 4
MomDay 4Day 5
FriendDay 5Day 1

I had a 34% chance of getting a single permit.  I calculated this by the following formula.

I did a bunch of math to figure out how many entries you need to increase your odds of winning. The hard part is that the total number of entries isn’t known until after the lottery.  So its a gamble. Have your friends enter for you and reimburse them the cost (or invite them along in your car).

Total EntriesNumber of Entries Needed to Improve Odds of Getting one PermitCost to get 50% odds
50%75%90%
9, 4813$85
11, 5915$
12,61118$
14,61220$
16,71422$
17,81525$
19,81627
20,91829$
22,101932$
24,112134$

Based on my calculation, I would aim for 8 entries a year.  This means that you will have a good chance given the average odds is 1 in 7 and cost $  If you are really lucky, you might even get two or more permits.  I would use my entry table above and have staggered the days in hopes to get multiple permits on different days.

What to do if you have multiple permits for the same day?

On the off chance, you get multiple permits for the same day, head over to Anchorage Craiglist.  There is a healthy number of people looking to trade permits for different days.  Keep in mind, per the rules of the permit, you are not allowed to sell the permit and people to troll craigslist and report people who are selling permits.  Please give any permit you can’t use to someone else. These are special permits and need to be used.

Pick up the Permit

You can start picking up your permit the week before the lottery during the visitor centers regular business hours (9 a.m – 5 p.m.). On the second Thursday after Labor Day, the visitor center will be open until 7 p.m. each day during the lottery to allow for permit pick-up.

When you pick-up your permit, they will ask how many people will be riding in your car.  There is a $10 entrance fee per person which is good for 7 days.  If you have an American the Beautiful pass, the fee is waived.

I highly recommend getting the permit the night before your lottery day.  This will allow you to get an early start and make the most of your 18 hours to drive the Denali Park Road. The Savage River Station (Mile 15) opens at 6 a.m.

Important Information

One entry per person – they do check based on names and billing address.  There is no age limit so children can win permits. 

– Those selected for a Road Lottery permit will be charged the $25 fee automatically. The park entrance fee is payable at the Denali Visitor Center when you pick up the permit. Interagency Federal Land passes will cover the park entrance fee. Please bring your pass with you along with photo identification.

– The person who picks up the permit must be the person who was selected (must provide photo ID) or have the selected winner’s written approval. (I am not sure how this works if your child wins the permit but I am sure there is a way.)

– Permits may NOT be re-sold. However, permits may be transferred. First, print the reservation confirmation email. The reservation-holder should write a short letter stating the original winner’s name, the date for which they were selected for a permit and the name of the person to whom the permit is transferred.

– Only vehicles with Road Lottery permits will be allowed to drive beyond the Savage River Check Station at mile 15 of the park road.

– There is not an established group size limit for Road Lottery. However, every passenger in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt.

– The Denali Park Road speed limit is generally 35 miles per hour and 25 miles per hour around the campgrounds.  At a minimum, it will take hours to drive to the 92 miles to Kantishna.  This number assumes no stops or slowdown on the way.

– For those with a Road Lottery permit, the park road beyond mile 15 is open from am to am. Areas further west on the park road will close prior to midnight. You must be past Wonder Lake heading towards the park entrance by pm.

– Road Lottery winners are not guaranteed a campground site in the park.

Don’t Move Firewood: Help protect our forests! Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. Moving firewood is illegal in some states. Visit dontmovefirewood.org to learn more.

– If possible, leave your pets at home. Pets are only allowed on the Park Road and must be on a leash less than 6 feet.  If your dog is barking, they must be secured in a vehicle with the windows rolled up.

– When you stop to view scenery or wildlife, pull over to a safe location and do not obstruct traffic. Be aware that shoulders are often soft.

– To view wildlife, stay on the road at your vehicle. Leaving your vehicle to view wildlife may cause animals to move away and spoil other visitors’ opportunities to see them.

– If any animal changes its behavior due to your presence, you are too close.

Camping In Denali

Denali National Park has 6 campgrounds in total.  During the Denali Road Lottery, only 3 of the 6 campgrounds are open. Learn more about Denali Camping.

Riley Creek Campground is located at Mile right by the park entrance.  Riley is a developed campground with water, camp store, and within driving distance of Glitter Gultch.  There are drive-in sites which can be reserved.  There are 20 walk-in tent sites which are first come first serve.

Savage River Campground is located at Mile   This campground is accessed by the paved section of the Denali Park Road. There are 32 sites in Savage.  Reservations are highly recommended.

Teklanika River Campground is located at Mile   During the road lottery, Teklanika is no longer limited to tent camping with access via the bus system. RV with a tow vehicle are allowed in the campground during this time.

Reservations are available at www.reservedenali.com.

What kind of vehicle do you need to drive the Denali Road Lottery

The 92 mile Denali Park Road is a narrow dirt and gravel road.  The road is well maintained by Park Service but it is still gravel and dirt.

It doesn’t matter what the weather is.  Your vehicle will be filthy after the road lottery.  If the weather is dry, then your car will be covered in dust.  If the weather is wet, then your car will be covered in mud.  Be prepared for this.

For the most part, 4 wheel drive isn’t required to drive this road.  If it rains, the road can get slick and it might come in handy.  My SUV never lost traction during my muddy day in the park.  If you are driving a car with low ground clearance you will be fine until you get to Kantishna.  There are two small streams you have to drive-thru on the way to the end of the road.  If the water level is high, do not cross the stream with a low clearance vehicle.

Please be aware that almost all rental car agencies in Alaska have a clause in their contracts that their rental cars will not be taken on gravel and dirt roads.  A few will specifically mention the Denali Park Road, Denali Highway and Dalton Highway.  May rental cars do NOT come with a spare tire.  There are no services on the road.

You need to recognize that this road is 92 miles of dirt and gravel.  It is rough on cars.  It is possible that your car will be damaged during this trip.  Flat tires are not uncommon.   A chipped windshield is also common.

Important Things to check on your car

  • Fuel tank of Gas – There is no fuel in the park.
  • Tire Air Pressure – Check all 5 tires.  The four currently on the ground and the spare tire.  Trust me nothing is worse than a flat tire and discovering your spare is dead as well.  I had this happen once.

What to Pack for the Denali Road Lottery

The Denali Road Lottery takes place in September.  The weather in Alaska is unpredictable at best.  The Denali Road Lottery is like rolling the dice.  One day it could be spectacular and Denali will be out all day.  The next day it could be raining and cloudy all day long.  You never know and frankly, the weather can change quickly and without warning.  I would be prepared for rain, snow, and decent weather.  Here is my shortlist of essentials to bring with you on Denali Road Lottery Adventure

  • Binoculars – Most of the wildlife will be a ways off the road and impossible to spot without a pair of binocs.
  • Spotting scope – If you are serious about getting a good look at the wildlife, consider getting a spotting scope with a cell phone camera mountto take pictures with.  Don’t forget the tripod.
  • Camera – Don’t forget your camera.  On this trip, I got to play with my new mm lens, but you don’t need a lens that big to take some amazing pictures. Use what you have in the way of camera or use it as justification to get that camera you have been drooling over.
  • Pair of Waterproof Shoes – If it is a rainy day, the road will get muddy and waterproof shoes will keep your feet dry.  Women – Men
  • Clothing Layers
    • Mid-weight Jacket – The temperature can vary greatly during the day.  A good mid-weight jacket will cover most of the likely weather scenarios.  Men – Women
    • Rain Jacket – It is Alaska, having a rain jacket is necessary.  You never know when the rainstorm will hit.
    • Warm Hat – If the wind kicks up, it will feel like the temperature has dropped and a hat is the best way to stay warm.
  • Food – Plan on eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the park plus snacks.  I have a small cooler to keep lunch meat cold and a few sodas.
  • Water – Bring enough water for the day.  It is possible to get a refill in the park.

Key Points of Intrest

Mile 0 – Park Entrance

Mile 3 – Park Visitor Center **

Mile 5 – Dog Sled Kennel

Mile 15 – Savage River Station **

Mile 30 – Teklanika Rest Area Gate **

Mile 40 – Sable Pass

Mile 47 – Polychrome Overlook **

Mile 53 – Toklat River **

Mile 62 – Stony Hill Overlook

Mile 66 – Eielson Visitor Center **

Mile 85 – Wonder Lake **

Mile 90 – Kantishna

Mile – Frannie Quigley’s Cabin

Mile 92 – End of the Road **

** Bathroom available 24/7

Spotting Wildlife

One might expect Denali to be as abundant in wildlife.  It isn’t.  Denali isn’t Yellowstone where there is a buffalo every feet.  Life in the Tundra is hard and the food is much scarcer so the animals are larger and much more spread out.  There are five main large mammals to see in Denali. There is no guarantee you will see any wildlife. After spending a summer in a park here are the best areas to see wildlife.   These are my recommendations for where I have commonly seen these animals, but you can see any animal anywhere in the park.

Moose – Mile 8 – 13 – Look for the signs designating the area closed to hiking and photography off the road.  I call this area my moose spot.  About 75% of my visit to Denali, I would see a moose in this area.

There are estimated to be 1, moose in the park.

Grizzly Bear – Mile 37 – 43 (Sable Pass) and Mile 54 – 58 – Sable Pass is closed to hiking due to the high presence of grizzly bears in the area.  Most of the bear sighting are in this area.  I have had great luck around Mile 57 at seeing bears on the hillsides.  Look for the brown bush that moves.

There are estimated to be between grizzly bears in the park.

Wolf – Go visit Yellowstone in May – Seriously, if you see one let me know.  I have never seen a wolf in Denali National Park.  Standing on side of the Parks Highway about 10 miles north of the park entrance I saw one ONCE.

There are an estimated 82 wolves in the park.

Caribou – Mile 14 – 16 and Mile 67 – 89 – Caribou can be found grazing in open areas.  During the heat of the summer, it isn’t uncommon for them to be standing in water.  Caribou are herd animals.  They rarely go anywhere by themselves.  They usually bring between 1 – 15 of their best friends everywhere they go.

There are estimated to be 1, caribou in the park.

Dall Sheep – Mile 47 – 66 – Keep eye high on the mountainsides.  Usually, about 2/3 of the way up on the mountain will be a bright white spot that stands out from the greys, yellows, and reds.  Usually in groups of 2 – 12 individuals.

There are estimated to be 1, Dall sheep in the park.

A Day along the Denali Park Road

I highly recommend spending as much time as possible in the park.  Start early and plan on staying late.  Plan on having at least two people drive.  It is a long drive and the drive needs to focus on driving.  People not driving need to be scanning the hillside to see if they can spot the wildlife.

My mom and I were turning on to the Denali Park road (Mile 0) at am.  I wanted to be at the Savage River Station (Mile 15) before it opens at am.  The drive to Savage River was pitch black.  The sun doesn’t rise until give or take in mid-September.  We took it slow and made it to the Station with 10 mins to spare.

There were 6 cars in front of us to get thru the checkpoint. The previous year, there were about 30 cars ready to go at am. Park Service had 3 rangers at the station checking people in so check-in took a couple of minutes.  With a quick reminder of the rules of the road, we were off into the park.

Our lottery day was a little rainy and wet so it took about 45 mins to get to the Teklanika Rest Area but we made with time to spare.  We even had a chance to stop and take a quick bathroom break and enjoy the views of the river.

At am on the dot, the gate opened and off we went to explore the park.  By this point, there were maybe 20 cars waiting on the gate.  We quite quickly spread out and it felt like we were in a world all our own.

The clouds make for an interesting effect with the fall colors and mountains.  It was amazing to see the ranges of yellows, reds, and greens in the national park.

We didn’t see any wildlife until we hit the Toklat River. I saw a few white specks on the side of the mountain.  It was pretty obvious they were Dall Sheep.  We saw 7 sheep from the Toklat comfort station parking lot.

While checking out the bookstore, I overheard the rangers on the radio. I headed out of the station and headed up to Mile   They had spotted a grizzly bear and the rangers were on traffic control.

It turns out that it was actually 4 bears.  A sow with her 1 old cubs and a young male across the river from them.  We spent about 30 mins watching them until they disappeared from view.

We kept heading into the park and stopped at the Polychrome Overlook.  The Polychrome Mountains are an amazing range of colors.  There are a couple of short trails overlooking the viewpoint.  If Denali is out this will be your first chance to truely appreciate how big Denali is.

We kept driving deeper into Denali National Park.  Normally, I would stop and enjoy the view at the Stony Hill Overlook but if Denali isn’t out the view isn’t quite as spectacular as it could be.   Stop and be impressive should Denali put in an appearance.

At Mile 66 is the Eielson Visitor Center.  This eco-friendly visitor center offers real flush toilets.  Another feature of Eielson is a record of the summer viewing of Denali.  Each day at am and pm one of the rangers draws the current viewing condition.  Some days it’s little more than white space others are a crystal clear mountain.  There are several marked hiking trails.  I would skip these trails on the way into the park.

A couple of miles past the center, we saw two female caribou grazing by the side of the road.  Around pm, we arrived at Wonder Lake.  I love eating lunch on the shores of Wonder Lake.  There are several picnic tables.  The only downside is that even in Septemeber there is a massive amount of bugs near the lake.

After Wonder Lake, one arrives in Kantishna Minning District.  There is no longer any mining in the area but there are 4 privately run backcountry lodges.  The lodges are closed for the season.  There are two small creeks that need to be forged.  Depending on the vehicle clearance these streams may be the end of the line.  Check the water level before driving across if you bring a low clearance vehicle.

Shortly before the end of the road, you will pass a cabin with a ranger standing around.  This is Fannie Quigley’s Cabin.  Fannie arrived in Kantishna as part of the gold rush.  She planned to sell supplies to miners but alas the gold mining wasn’t hugely profitable so most the miners left.  Frannie stayed anyway.  She met her husband, Joe, and they built a life mining small amounts of gold and living off the land.  They later divorced but Frannie stayed in Kantishna until her death in   Her house is open and a ranger is there to answer any questions you have.

Another half mile brings you to the end of the road.  Enjoy this moment.  We made the end of the road around pm.  We had plenty of time to take a power nap and grab a few pictures with the end of the road sign.

With the end reached, it is time to head back to the park entrance.  Only 92 miles to go.  The great thing about the early start meant we had all the time in the world to work out way back out of the park.

On the way back, we stopped at Eielson and take the Tundra Loop Trail and Spur.  These two trails are mile loops.  They have a slight elevation change but nothing major.  My mother has had two knee replacements and didn’t have an issue with the trail. There are two other maintained trails in the area as well.

We took our time on the way out. We saw 3 grizzly bears, 5 Dall sheep, and 2 moose as we drove out of the park.

We exited the park around pm.  I had planned for us to stay late and do some star and northern lights photography.  Alas, the cloud cover never broke and there was no point in staying late in the park.

This post was originally published on September 09, It was updated on November 03,

Are you ready to drive the Denali Road Lottery?

Are you thinking about driving the Denali Road Lottery? Do you have questions about how the lottery works? Check out our ultimate guide to the road lottery. #nationalparkobsessed #nationalpark #nationalparks #nationalparkgeek #denali #alaska
Sours: https://nationalparkobsessed.com/denali-road-lottery/
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Denali Road Lottery - Everything You Need to Know

Denali by Tami Biorn Photography

Gorgeous Denali Seen On A Fall Day (Photo: Tami Biorn Photography)

What is the Denali Road Lottery?

The Denali Road Lottery is a special 5-day event in Denali National Park. It allows park visitors to drive their own vehicles down the mile park road to Kantishna (permitting weather and road conditions). These five days are the only time personal vehicles are allowed to drive past Savage River (Mile 15). The rest of the summer park visitors need to take a tour bus, shuttle, bicycle or foot to explore the park road.

Road Lottery Permit Winners are allowed to bring any road-legal vehicle under 22 ft into the park. Winners can bring as many people as the car can legally fit (1 seatbelt per person). The road lottery typically takes place on the second Thursday after Labor Day. permits are issued a day with 1, permits for the general public and permits to the U.S Military.

Grizzly seen during the Denali Road Lottery by Brittney Robles Photography

Grizzly seen during the Denali Road Lottery by Brittney Robles Photography

How to Apply for The Lottery

The Lottery is open for applications between May 1 and May You apply by going here. When you enter, you will give your preference which two days you would prefer a permit for. It costs $15 to enter and this is non-refundable even if you don’t get a permit. If you win the permit, you will be charged $25 for the permit.

Your date preference does not affect your chances of winning. They draw 1, names. The first person drawn gets their first-choice day. The second person gets their first choice. If your name is drawn and your first choice is gone, they will give you your second choice. If both your preferences are gone, you will be assigned a day at random.

If you are selected for a permit, you will receive an email. The winners are announced in mid-June (usually the weekend of June 15). At that time, you will be charged an additional $25 for the permit.

Savage River while driving the Denali Road Lottery by Brittney Robles

General Rules If You Win the Lottery

  • The Denali Park Road speed limit is generally 35 miles per hour and 25 miles per hour around the campgrounds. At a minimum, it will take hours to drive to the 92 miles to Kantishna. This number assumes no stops or slowdown on the way.
  • For those with a Road Lottery permit, the park road beyond mile 15 is open from am to am. Areas further west on the park road will close prior to midnight. You must be past Wonder Lake heading towards the park entrance by pm.
  • Road Lottery winners are not guaranteed a campground site in the park.
  • Don’t Move Firewood: Help protect our forests! Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. Moving firewood is illegal in some states. Visit dontmovefirewood.org to learn more.
  • If possible, leave your pets at home. Pets are only allowed on the Park Road and must be on a leash less than 6 feet. If your dog is barking, they must be secured in a vehicle with the windows rolled up.
  • When you stop to view scenery or wildlife, pull over to a safe location and do not obstruct traffic. Be aware that shoulders are often soft.
  • To view wildlife, stay on the road at your vehicle. Leaving your vehicle to view wildlife may cause animals to move away and spoil other visitors’ opportunities to see them.
  • If any animal changes its behavior due to your presence, you are too close.

Dall Sheep near Denali by Brittney Robles Photography

Spotting The Incredible Wildlife

One might expect Denali to be as abundant in wildlife. It isn’t. Denali isn’t Yellowstone where there is a buffalo every feet. Life in the Tundra is hard and the food is much scarcer so the animals are larger and much more spread out. There are five main large mammals to see in Denali. There is no guarantee you will see any wildlife. After spending a summer in a park here are the best areas to see wildlife. These are my recommendations for where I have commonly seen these animals, but you can see any animal anywhere in the park.

Moose – Mile 8 to 13 – Look for the signs designating the area closed to hiking and photography off the road. I call this area my moose spot. About 75% of my visit to Denali, I would see a moose in this area.

  • There are estimated to be 1, moose in the park.

Grizzly Bear – Mile 37 to 43 (Sable Pass) and Mile 54 to 58 – Sable Pass is closed to hiking due to the high presence of grizzly bears in the area. Most of the bear sighting are in this area. I have had great luck around Mile 57 at seeing bears on the hillsides. Look for the brown bush that moves.

  • There are estimated to be between grizzly bears in the park.

Wolf – Go visit Yellowstone in May – Seriously, if you see one let me know. I have never seen a wolf in Denali National Park. Standing on side of the Parks Highway about 10 miles north of the park entrance I saw one ONCE.

  • There are an estimated 82 wolves in the park.

Caribou – Mile 14 to 16 and Mile 67 to 89 – Caribou can be found grazing in open areas. During the heat of the summer, it isn’t uncommon for them to be standing in water. Caribou are herd animals. They rarely go anywhere by themselves. They usually bring between 1 – 15 of their best friends everywhere they go.

  • There are estimated to be 1, caribou in the park.

Dall Sheep – Mile 47 to 66 – Keep eye high on the mountainsides. Usually, about 2/3 of the way up on the mountain will be a bright white spot that stands out from the greys, yellows, and reds. Usually in groups of 2 – 12 individuals.

Bull Moose near Denali by Tami Biorn

  • There are estimated to be 1, Dall sheep in the park.

Denali on a clear day from inside the park

Sours: https://thealaskafrontier.com/denali-road-lotteryeverything-you-need-to-know/
Driving Alaska’s Amazing Denali National Park Road in HD

Denali National Park - Road Lottery

Denali National Park & Preserve

Natural Features:
Denali National Park and Preserve is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along it see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America's tallest peak, Denali, standing at 20, feet. Wild animals, large and small, roam unfenced lands, living as they have for ages. Solitude, tranquility, and wilderness await.

Recreation:
The vast and expansive landscape that surrounds the Denali Park Road includes not only breathtaking scenery but opportunities for wildlife viewing, hiking, camping, and much more. Visitors are invited to explore the park's website for activities and additional information related to the fall Road Lottery.

Camping and overnight sleeping while on the Denali Park Road is allowed only in designated campgrounds that are open. These may include: Riley Creek, Savage River, and Teklanika Campgrounds.

Wildlife viewing along the Denali Park Road can never be guaranteed. Some of the most iconic large mammals, such as grizzly and black bears, wolves, caribou, moose and Dall sheep, can be seen by lucky visitors. Small mammals, such as arctic ground squirrels, red squirrels, foxes and marmots, are seen more often in this wild environment.

Permit & Season Information

Each September the park hosts a four-day event called the Denali "Road Lottery." During these four days, winners of a lottery drawing are given a chance to purchase a single, day-long permit, allowing them to drive as much of the Denali Park Road as weather allows. In years with early snow, the Park Road might open no farther than Savage River (Mile 15); in milder years, lottery winners are able to enjoy a trip out to the end of the park road (Mile 92). 

The dates offered in the Road Lottery vary each year. Generally, the event usually begins the second Friday after Labor Day. 

Applicants must apply for the lottery, open May 1 - May 31, to have a chance to drive the road in September.

Need to Know

Rules and Regulations for Denali National Park’s Road Lottery

  • Only one entry per user account will be accepted. 
  • Those selected for a Road Lottery permit will be charged the $25 fee automatically. The park entrance fee may be due at the Denali Visitor Center when you pick up the permit. 
  • Interagency Federal Land passes will cover the park entrance fee. Please bring your pass with you along with photo identification. 
  • The person who picks up the permit must be the person who was selected or have the selected winner's written approval. Permits are transferable but cannot be sold. If you transfer your permit to someone else, please provide them with a written transfer letter that includes the original winner's name, date for which they were selected for a permit, and the name of the person to whom the permit is transferred. 
  • Only vehicles with Road Lottery permits will be allowed to drive beyond the Savage River Check Station at mile 15 of the park road. 
  • For those with a Road Lottery permit, the park road beyond mile 15 is open from a.m. to p.m. Areas further west on the park road will close prior to p.m.  
  • Riley Creek, Savage River and Teklanika River Campgrounds are open during Road Lottery. Reservations are available at www.reservedenali.com or by calling () or ()  
  • Don't Move Firewood: Help protect our forests! Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. Moving firewood is illegal in some states. Visit dontmovefirewood.org to learn more. 

Fee Policy

There is a non-refundable $15 application fee. Winners of the lottery must then pay a $25 permit fee to drive the park road; this will automatically be charged to the card used for the lottery application fee. If the charge to the credit card does not clear, the winner will lose the permit and a new winner is chosen. Permit holders for the road lottery may have to pay the park entrance fee of $15 per person (for visitors age 16 or older) on the day of their permit unless they have a federal recreation pass such as the Denali Annual Pass, America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass (Annual, Senior, Access, or Volunteer) or the free U.S. Military annual pass.

Cancellation Policy

Road lottery permits are transferable prior to use but cannot be sold, i.e. the person awarded the permit can give it to someone else if they are not able to participate that weekend. The person transferring the permit must provide the original notification and a short note explaining the transfer to the new permit holder, who must bring that documentation to the park when they check in for the road permit. Once picked up, permits are not transferable between vehicles. Permits will not be rescheduled or refunded for inclement weather. 

Contact Information

Mailing Address

PO Box 9 Denali Park AK

Phone Number

Photo Gallery

Sours: https://www.recreation.gov/permits/

Road lottery denali

Road Lottery is typically the second weekend after Labor Day each year.

Lottery Details

August 26, note: The landslide at Pretty Rocks(approximately Mile 44 on the road) has caused the cancellation of the Road Lottery and Military Appreciation Day. Learn more about the cancellation of road lottery.

Instead, from September 17 until snow closes the Denali Park Road, any visitor may drive to Mile 30, Teklanika River. The only cost is that of the usual park entrance fee. This is how the fall season(after Road Lottery) works each year - so in essence, fall is just starting a bit early this year.

Visitors may walk or bike farther west from Mile However, all traffic on the road will be prohibited west of Mile 42, so overnight cycling trips to the far western end of the road will not really be possible in fall

How to Apply

information is left here as a general reference for the future, although the details could change year-to-year

The lottery application period was May 1—May 31, , from am (Alaska Daylight Time) on May 1 until midnight (Alaska Daylight Time) on May

Application notes:

  • To apply to the lottery, recreation.gov requires you to pick your most-preferred date first, from the options available. Then, it will let you order the remaining dates however you prefer. If you're drawn, it will assign you your most-preferred date which hasn't yet been filled up.

  • If you try to apply outside the application window (May 1—May 31), Recreation.gov will allow you to walk through the first few steps of applying, but then eventually show you an error message.

  • Military Appreciation Day permits are distributed by the military. Prospective applicants should ask their superior or base commander for details.


Information about application status or questions on how to use the application website should be submitted to recreation.gov online or by calling () Applications by mail are not accepted.

Everyone who submitted a road lottery entry will be notified whether or not you were drawn. Those who are selected will also receive an email confirming the day of their permit, with additional information on how to obtain the road permit and prepare for their visit to the park. Please note, some email services filter messages from rec.gov as spam; if you feel like you are missing your notification, check your trash or spam folder.

If You Are Drawn

  1. Road travel permit fee: $25
    Recreation.gov will automatically charge you for the road travel permit, which costs $ Warning: If recreation.gov tries to charge you for the permit and the transaction fails for any reason (e.g., an expired card), you will be disqualified from the lottery and a new applicant will be drawn in your place. Make sure to check that your card saved in recreation.gov isn't close to its expiration date! The road travel permit fee pays for keeping facilities open beyond the end of the summer season (e.g., flush toilets, visitor centers, etc) and covers the cost of more staff working through the event than would otherwise be needed.
  2. Rules for transferring permits
    Permits are transferable but cannot be sold. To transfer, print the email you receive from Recreation.gov, write the transferee’s name on it and then sign it. This must be presented at the Denali Visitor Center in order to pick up the Road Lottery permit. Once picked up, permits are not transferable between vehicles.
  3. Park entrance fee: Varies
    Permit holders for the road lottery may have to pay the park entrance fee of $15 per person (for visitors age 16 or older) on the day of their permit unless they have a federal recreation pass such as the Denali Annual Pass, America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass (Annual, Senior, Access, or Volunteer) or the free U.S. Military Annual Pass. Learn more about entrance fees & passes in Denali.


See the Trip-Planning Info for Lottery Winners section lower on this page for more details about what to do if you are drawn in the lottery!

What are the Road Lottery and Military Appreciation Day?

Each September the park hosts a four-day event called "Road Lottery." During these four days, winners of a lottery drawing are given a chance to purchase a single, day-long permit, allowing them to drive as much of the Denali Park Road as weather allows. In years with early snow, the Park Road might open no farther than Savage River (Mile 15); in milder years, lottery winners are able to enjoy a trip out to the end of the park road (Mile 92).

An extra (fifth) day of lottery, called Military Appreciation Day, is open only to active duty military service-members and their families. The military is in charge of distributing road travel permits for Military Appreciation Day.

How Does this Lottery Work?

The drawing of winners occurs in mid-summer. As winners are drawn, they are assigned one of the four possible dates for driving the park road—those dates vary each year, but they are always the second weekend after Labor Day.

Applicants can arrange the available dates in the order of their preference when applying and, if drawn, the applicant is awarded their most-preferred date which still has space in its daily allocation of winners.

Chances of winning vary, based on the number of entrants each year. In general, odds of being drawn are around 1-in

The lottery entry and drawing are handled by a contractor, recreation.gov. If you have questions about your application status or otherwise have difficulty using their website, please visit their site or call them at ()


Trip Planning Information for Lottery Winners


If your name was drawn in the lottery, please be sure to read the items below. You should also read the frequently asked questions lower on this page before coming to the park in September.

What's the weather forecast?

Check out the zone weather forecast. Please know that it is often snowy in September. Sometimes, this means only part of the road is open for lottery winners to drive (and in very wintry years, almost the entire road may close due to snow and ice).

What do I need to know about driving the Denali Park Road?

All lottery winners should watch the "Rules for Driving the Denali Road" video. The park road is mountainous, narrow and mostly dirt / gravel, with very soft shoulders. If you get into an accident on the road, you'll incur significant expense in paying for a wrecker to drive all the way into the park to help you. Also note that there are no gas stations in the park - plan accordingly.

Please drive slowly when encountering hikers or bikers on the road, to avoid choking them with road dust.

We will briefly remind you of the driving rules when you pick up your permit in the park, and your permit has the most important rules listed on it as yet another reminder. Additional vehicle info is lower on this page, in the FAQ section.

Stay safe around wildlife

Be smart around animals, especially moose and bears. Stay in your vehicle while at a wildlife viewing stop.

Please also remember to stay quiet when viewing wildlife. Do not be the rude person who scares away an animal, ruining the experience for dozens of other eager wildlife watchers. Many animals are used to the sound of engines, as they hear buses all summer long, but are unused to human voices.

Finally, there is no cell or data network coverage in the park past the visitor center. Park staff drive the road during lottery and have radios, should you have an emergency. Learn more about wildlife viewing and safety

Where to eat

In the park, you can pick up sandwiches and other food at the Morino Grill, located next to the Denali Visitor Center. There are no other restaurants in the park - do not begin your drive into the park without bringing food along in your car! You can refill water bottles at Eielson Visitor Center. This is the only place in the park, other than the entrance area, to get water, so plan accordingly.



Frequently Asked Questions

Road Lottery is a great time of year, but it can be kind of complicated to figure out, particularly if you've never participated before. To help answer some of the most confusing parts of this weekend, please read through our FAQs, below. If you're unfamiliar with the layout of the park, you might find our various maps handy.

How does the road travel permit work?


If you are drawn in the lottery, you'll be automatically charged $25 for a one-day road travel permit. Warning: If recreation.gov attempts to charge you the $25 road travel permit fee and the charge is declined (e.g., perhaps your card expired), you will be disqualified from the lottery and a new winner will be drawn in your place! Make sure the card you keep on file with recreation.gov is not going to expire any time soon.

The day will be assigned to you in the drawing—that is why you should specify the dates in your order of preference when applying (see the application guidelines above).

Some additional notes:
  • On the day for which you were drawn, the road travel permit will let you drive the entire park road; see your permit for the hours that you may drive the road. Please note, however, that some or all of the road might close prematurely (for example, in cases of inclement weather or under the direction of law enforcement staff).
  • The road between the park entrance (Mile 0) and Savage River (Mile 15) has no time restriction—in fact, anyone can drive this part of the road during lottery, just like in the main summer season. All lottery permit winners must be east of Savage River the time indicated on your permit. (Note: There is an exception to this rule, for Teklanika Campground. See "Where can I camp?" below for more details about staying at Tek)
  • Please be aware that a road travel permit can be revoked in certain cases, such as violating the law or failing to follow directions given by park staff (for example, when told to refrain from approaching wildlife that is reacting to your presence).

How do I obtain a Military Appreciation Day Pass?

The military distributes all available passes for Military Appreciation Day. In years past, each unit was allotted a certain number of tickets and it is the unit's responsibility to distribute them to the final users. A Military Appreciation Day pass will work essentially the same as a general road lottery pass, where a vehicle of people (family, friends etc) can all accompany the pass-holder.

When is the actual lottery drawing?

The drawing is conducted about one week after the application period closes. All applicants will be notified by email of whether or not they were drawn. You can also log into your rec.gov account to determine whether or not you won. Please note, some email services filter messages from rec.gov as spam; if you feel like you are missing your notification, check your trash or spam folder.

Are there vehicle size restrictions?

The Denali Park Road beyond Teklanika Campground narrows significantly. Therefore, vehicles traveling the Denali Park Road during Road Lottery must be within the following maximum dimensions: 22' long x 8' wide x 12' high. This is inclusive of side mirrors and bumpers, and is strictly enforced at the Savage River Checkstation (mile 15).

Oversize traffic (i.e., RVs larger than those dimensions) is only let through Savage River if it's bound for Teklanika Campground, and those Tek Campers must have their campground permit in hand.

Where can I camp during Road Lottery?

  • Open: Riley Creek, Savage River and Teklanika River Campgrounds are all open during Road Lottery.
  • Closed: Wonder Lake, Igloo Creek and Sanctuary Rivers are always closed during Road Lottery. Please also note that people can backpack during Road Lottery, but not in conjunction with a drive into the park (i.e., you cannot drive to a point on the road, park for a few nights while you backpack, and then hike back to your car).
You may camp with both an RV and a smaller vehicle to use during Road Lottery—but to fit in a single campsite, the length of an RV or tow trailer should not exceed 40'. If your vehicle exceeds 40', look into campgrounds outside the park. Be aware that in order to drive the park road beyond Teklanika, your vehicle must not exceed any of 22 feet long, 8 feet wide, or 12 feet high—including bumpers and outlying equipment. Trailers of any size are not allowed past Teklanika.

Note: Being drawn in the lottery does not guarantee you a campsite in the park.You should consider booking ahead through our reservation concessioner. Additionally, you do not have to be a lottery winner to use a park campground! Non-lottery winners are still welcome to reserve a campsite and visit Denali during the lottery weekend. They just can't drive the entire park road, as the lottery winners can.

Additional notes about camping at Teklanika during Road Lottery:
  • Check your permit to determine when you may begin driving west (i.e., farther into the park) on the day for which lottery permit is valid. The permit will also specify when you must return to your campground.
  • Teklanika Campers must leave the campground by am on their final morning. Driving east, i.e., back to the park entrance, can be done as early as you'd like. You just need to have vacated your campsite by am, so that someone else can show up and claim it.
  • As mentioned in other questions on this page, the usual 3-night minimum stay at Teklanika is waived during Road Lottery. You can therefore just camp one or two nights at Tek if you'd like.
  • The usual night maximum is still in effect (i.e., no one can camp more than 14 nights in Denali campgrounds during a given summer season).

Is there a minimum-length stay at Teklanika Campground?

Unlike the main summer season, there is no minimum-length stay at Teklanika Campground during Road Lottery. Also, you may camp at Tek with an RV and a tow vehicle during the days of Road Lottery, so long as the length of RV is 40' or less. This allows folks to camp with a large RV and still bring a smaller vehicle out with which to drive the road. (In the main summer season, RVs cannot bring towed vehicles with them to Teklanika, so this exception is just for the Road Lottery event).

Can I bring my pet dog, cat, etc?

Pets (that fit inside your vehicle) are welcome. However, please note that a pet that impacts wildlife behavior—like a dog barking at a moose as you pause to view it from the road—is unacceptable. If your pet disturbs wildlife when you pause to view said animal(s), you must continue driving to prevent your pet from harassing wildlife.

Your road travel permit can be revoked if you (or your pet) harass wildlife. Learn more about visiting Denali with a pet

What if I get a flat tire or need a tow?

The NPS does not have a tow truck. If you break down or your car finds itself off of the road somehow, you will have to hire a tow company from outside of the park to come and retrieve you. This will probably be extremely expensive, so please bring at least one full-size spare tire, and pay close attention to soft shoulders on the dirt road!

Where do I check in for Road Lottery?

Check-in is at the Denali Visitor Center, at Mile on the park road. You may check in upon arriving in the park, as early as the Friday before Road Lottery begins. This is a particularly good idea if you stay at Savage or Tek Campgrounds.

How many people may travel with me?

If you are drawn in the lottery, you may bring as many people with you as will (legally) fit in your non-commercial vehicle (though note vehicle size limits above).

What is the history of the lottery? How did it come about?

Before , the entire Denali Park Road was open to private vehicles in summer, though bus service was also offered for anyone without a vehicle (or anyone who didn't want to drive the mountainous road). The construction of Alaska Highway 3 in the early s shortened the driving time to Denali from Anchorage and Fairbanks considerably and led to an increase in the number of vehicles on the park's sole road.

In , the NPS limited travel on most of the park road to only buses in summer. At the same time, the park opened allowed private vehicle access in the fall, after bus season ended, to anyone who wanted to drive the road. As the years went by, the popularity of this opportunity grew.

In the late 's the "open to all comers" offer became unmanageable when almost vehicles per day came into the park. Major traffic jams made for an unpleasant experience, while the sheer numbers made it difficult to avoid problems with pets and wildlife, food storage and sanitation. In , park management decided to implement a lottery system, wherein people could apply for a chance to drive the road after the bus season ended. Initially, the number was capped at vehicles per day; in , it was raised to per day.

Applications to the lottery steadily increased each year. In , nearly 18, people applied. This meant entrants only had around 1-in odds of being drawn; and conducting the lottery (done by hand initially) took an ever-increasing amount of park staff time. In , the park began charging a fee to enter the lottery, to offset the increasing costs and to improve the odds that an entrant would actually be picked.

Today, the road lottery is run using recreation.gov. There is a per-person entry fee and an individual may only enter once. The entry fees pay for recreation.gov to operate the lottery. Those chosen in the lottery are notified by email and charged for a road travel permit. The permit fees help pay for the staff and materials needed to run the event in the fall. Since charging an application fee, the lottery typically sees around 10, applications each year for the 1, permits. Buses continue to run to Teklanika (Mile 30) during road lottery, so that visitors who are not lottery winners may still enjoy the park in the fall. The Denali Park Road is wider from the entrance to Mile 30, and narrows after that point, which is why buses stop at Teklanika during the lottery.

When did Military Appreciation Day begin?

In the late s, a military official in Alaska asked if the park would host a first-ever "Military Appreciation Day" event in the style of the road lottery. It occurred the day after the main lottery ended, all fees were waived and road passes were given out by the military to Alaska-based active duty personnel. In , Superintendent Don Striker made this an annual event.

In , the park decided that it made more sense to offer Military Appreciation Day on the weekend of Road Lottery, rather than on a Tuesday, and rearranged the dates of the public lottery to accommodate this change.

Sours: https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/road-lottery.htm
Winning the Denali road lottery, driving to the end of the 100 mile road
A narrow road cuts through valleys and mountains.

The road lottery in Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve is canceled due to a landslide that forced the closure of much of the road that runs through the park, officials announced Thursday.

The lottery had been scheduled for Sept. 17 and Sept. A military appreciation day, which had been set for Sept. 18, was also canceled.

Traditionally, lottery winners get to drive as much of the mile park road as weather allows. This is seen as a treat since private vehicle access in the park is restricted, with buses the main way to travel. With this year’s lottery canceled, winners will be refunded a $25 fee they paid to drive the road.

RELATED: Landslide forces Denali National Park to close road near halfway point

The park on Tuesday restricted road access beyond mile 43 to travel essential for facilitating seasonal closures of operations. The park cited concerns with a fast-moving landslide in the Polychrome Pass area.

Buses will continue traveling to mile 42 through Sept. Starting Sept. 17, private vehicle access will be allowed from mile 15 to mile 30 until weather and road conditions prompt the seasonal closure of the road at mile 3, according to a statement from the park.

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The Associated Press

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sours: https://www.alaskapublic.org//08/26/denali-road-lottery-canceled-over-landslide-concerns/

Now discussing:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The chance to take a drive down one of Alaska’s most sought after and scenic roads is approaching this weekend.

Applications for this year’s road lottery program in the Denali National Park and Preserve will be accepted starting this Saturday. The application period runs through May

According to a release from the park and preserve, the lottery will “ideally” progress like it does normally, but that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could change the plan for this year. As it stands, the dates for the road lotter are Sept. 17, 19, 20 and Sept. 18 will be Military Appreciation Day, according to the release, which will be reserved for active duty service members and their families.

Here’s how the lottery works: Those interested can make lottery entries online at recreation.gov when the application period opens. All applicants must pay a $15 fee, which helps pay for the cost of conducting the lottery, according to the park and preserve.

Those who are selected in the lottery drawing will get a confirmation email. They will also need to pay a $25 permit fee to drive the road, the release states. Winners will be given additional information about how to obtain that road permit and how to prepare for their trip.

The lottery for Military Appreciation Day will be handled slightly differently. According to the release, lottery tickets for active duty military members and their families will be distributed through the Alaskan Command, a joint command including Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy units in Alaska.

According to the release, people have about a one in seven chance of being drawn for a ticket to drive the park road based on the trend in recent years.

There are certain vehicle restrictions that apply to the Denali National Park road, as well as rules for pets, camping and staying safe around the park’s wildlife. Those rules and guidelines can be found on the park’s website.

Denali National Park itself charges a $15 fee for each visitor age 16 and older, which is valid for seven days. Lottery winners will also have to pay that entry fee if they don’t have a federal recreation pass, according to the release.

For more information about the lottery, visit the park’s website, nps.gov/dena.

Copyright KTUU. All rights reserved.

Sours: https://www.alaskasnewssource.com//05/01/this-years-denali-road-lottery-opens-may-1/


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