Information is needed about the various backcountry camping zones. I don't have this info available, so if someone who knows could give a description of what some of the more popular zones are, and a general description of the major zones (eg. "zones 21, 22, and 23 surround wonder lake", "limited water is available in zones 14, 15 and 16") that would be cool.
The new visitor center is supposedly opening this year, so I assume some of the services information may change as a result. If anyone can update, please go for it.
I didn't spend time at the hotels & restaurants just outside of the park, so again, if anyone knows anything about those, update away.
A bit of a breakdown of the major stops along the road would be good. I'm working on this, but I haven't been there since 2002.
Anyone who is able and willing, please jump in. Wrh2 22:45, 4 May 2005 (EDT)
There are two lodges within the park. Were these left out intentionally? They are small, accomodating only 35-40 people each, but I have stayed at one and the provide an excellent way to see the park from the inside. -- repayne 00:36, 28 Aug 2005 (EDT).
Add whatever you can. I almost always backpack or car-camp when I stay in parks, so my knowledge of the lodges is pretty much zero. I'm actually very curious which lodges you're referring to, as I was under the impression that the only two lodges in the park were in Kantishna (Kantishna Roadhouse & Denali Backcountry Lodge) - if there are more please addd them to the article. Also, in the future, don't ever worry about adding information to an article so long as the content is appropriate; it would be very unusual for hotel, restaurant or attraction information to be removed so long as it's not spam or in violation of a policy on the site. -- Wrh2 04:42, 28 Aug 2005 (EDT)
I've added the info about Camp Denali and the North Face Lodge. I also added (just found out) information about the Hawks' Nest Cabin. -- repayne 09:33, 28 Aug 2005 (EDT)
I pulled the following text out of the backcountry section of the article - it's a good description of the Denali backcountry experience, but it strikes me as being too "touchy-feely" to match the rest of the guide, not to mention being a bit long-winded. If someone can re-work it to fit the tone & style of the rest of the article it's probably worth restoring:
Here's a good example of a backcountry trip in Denali. You go to the Backcountry Information Center, do all the paperwork, and go over all of the rules and regulations. You pick out a backcountry unit and a route you want to take. "What's this," you say, "my partner and I get 50,000 acres of pristine subarctic tundra all to ourselves?" You buy a bus ticket, hop on, and go for a ride. Along the way you see a Red Fox and her kits playing in a small clearing, a herd of Dall sheep grazing on a nearby hillside, and a couple grizzlies digging up roots and tubers in a gravel bar. You hop off the bus at your destination and set off. You follow your river for 5 miles, getting closer and closer to the Alaska Range. You can still look back and see the road - this land is so incredibly wide-open. Now, you are starting to feel comfortable with your surroundings. You follow the next bend in the river, and you can't see the road anymore. "That's okay," you think to yourself, "I know how to get back." As you continue following the river for the next 6 miles you see small groups of caribou walking around - taking refuge from the mosquitoes in the breezy gravel bar you've been following. There's a grizzly sow with two cubs on the hillside across from you. Isn't it nice when you get to see them when they're not too close? Still, it makes your heart beat faster when you can see them and there's no metal or glass between you and such a powerful animal. Step off the bus and into the food chain, as the saying goes in Denali. You're very close to the Alaska Range now, and you can see the massive glaciers flowing over the mountains and emptying into the river you've been following. It's time to set up camp, so you hike out of the gravel bar and a short ways up the base of a mountain. You find a nice flat spot covered in moss and tiny wildflowers, and you set up your tent. Over the next two days you explore the surrounding area. You hike close to the glacier, follow the rocky glacial morraines where it's safe to travel, and climb up as high as you can. You're 2 miles away from your tent but you can still look back across the river valley and see that little orange speck. You get up to the ridgeline of the mountain you've been climbing, and there it is - Mt. McKinley, Denali, the High One. Does it really matter what its name is? It is absolutely massive and dwarfs all the other mountains around it. As you explore the banks next to the river, you find small groups of willows, alders, and more blueberry bushes than you could ever imagine. On your last day, you begin to hike back out. You follow the river, seeing more caribou along the way. When you pass the next bend in the river, you can see the road again. It's five miles away, and you can make out a tiny little spot that's moving along the road - it's a bus with a little puff of dust getting kicked up behind it. The sight of the road gently encourages you to keep going. As you get closer to the road, you begin to think back about your trip. Just then, you catch some movement out of the corner of your eye. Some bushes rustle next to the river bank and a Gray Wolf steps out into the clearing. It's walking along at a quick pace, following the river. He pauses for a second, looks at you, and then continues along around the next bend in the river as he disappears from your sight. He didn't even care about you. You are nothing to him, neither a prey item nor a threat - you are simply another part of the landscape. You reach the road and wait around for about 20 minutes until the next bus comes by. You hop on, and begin your long ride back out of the park. As you ride in the bus, all you can think about is the next time you can come back and what other adventures might be in store for you.
I don't believe the location of Denali Mountain Morning Hostel is 13 miles south of the park. This is based on mapping the mile marker for the hostel, as well as the directions on the hostel's website. Still, since I haven't yet been to Denali, I'm hesitant to make the edit. If anyone can confirm....
"There are some sections of the park road with very steep drop offs, no guard rails, and only enough room on the road for one bus to pass at a time. If you are afraid of heights, this is your warning. Some visitors nervously ask, "Heh, how many buses have gone over the edge?" Unfortunately, the answer is that one bus did go over the edge back in the 70's soon after the bus system was started, and there were a large number of fatalities in this accident. The incident happened on a steep drop just past Eilson Visitor Center (Mile 66). This happened at a time when the bus drivers received a very minimal amount of training. The bus drivers today are put through extensive training before being allowed to drive the park road. Still, one accident in about 35 years of operation isn't too bad."
This isn't exactly true. The Administrative History of DNP talks about it in great detail. There has been two fatal accidents. Both before the EVC. One in the 70's, the other in the 80's. Neither one resulted in "a large number of fatalities"
Denali Mountain Morning Hostel is in fact 13 miles south of the Park entrance. There are some mistaken locations out there, on Bing for example. But, the Park entrance is at Mile 237 of the Parks Highway. Denali Mountain Morning Hostel is at Mile 224.1.