Learn and Explore
In addition to the information below, which describes the areas you can backpack, you should read our step-by-step guide to planning your backpacking trip carefully before you arrive in Denali.
Explanation of Backcountry Units
The six million acres of Denali are divided into 87 separate backcountry units (thus, each unit is tens of thousands of acres large).
Note the following when planning a trek through Denali's backcountry:
Using the Backcountry Unit Map to Plan Your Adventure
The map below has two main layers—the Denali backcountry units and the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) topographic quadrant ("quad") maps.
The map also displays any active closures (i.e., areas hikers cannot enter). These are usually due to a wildlife nest or den, or are temporarily put into place when a bear or wolf kills an animal.
How to Use the Map
Two of the steps in our suggestions for planning a Denali backpacking trip tell you to spend some time (1) looking at a map of backpacking units and (2) sketching out a few possible routes or trip ideas.
Other Helpful Resources
Backcountry AvailabilityFollow the links in the Backcountry Unit column of the table below to read up on each backcountry unit
Last updated: May 11, 2021