Teklanika River Campground

Basic Information

Accessibility Information

Teklanika ("Tek") River Campground is at Mile 29 on the Denali Park Road. The second largest campground in Denali, it offers 53 sites for RVs and tents. It is open May 20 to mid-September each year.


You may tent camp at Tek, or camp with a vehicle / RV. The rules for staying at Tek are a bit more complex than the other park campgrounds, however.

Taking a Vehicle To Tek

Though nearly all park visitors driving private vehicles must turn around at Mile 15 (Savage River), Tek campers are an exception to that rule. If you wish, you may drive your own vehicle or RV to Tek. The road between Savage River and the Tek Campground (Mile 29) is gravel. If you drive your car to Tek, the trade-off for being able to drive farther into the park than most visitors is that you must make a three-night minimum stay. You may stop on your way to/from the campground to sight-see (e.g., you can park at a pull-off to take photos or go on a short hike); however, once you reach the campground, your vehicle must remain parked at your campsite for the duration of your stay. Your vehicle can only leave your campsite when you are ready to travel back to the park entrance.

Visitors wishing to embark on a backpacking trip before or after camping at Teklanika will need to return to the park entrance in between trips, since there is no additional parking to leave a vehicle at Teklanika Campground. No double-booking is allowed; any nights that a party reserves at a campground may not also be reserved on a backcountry permit.

To sight-see during your time at Tek, you'll be able to use the bus system to travel west of the campground, as long as you purchase a special kind of ticket, called the "Tek Pass". The Tek Pass is described in more detail lower on this page.

Riding a Bus to Tek

If you do not bring a vehicle, you will use a special type of bus called the camper bus to reach the campground. Unlike vehicle camping at Tek, tent campers at Tek have no minimum number of nights they must stay — you can just camp here one night if you wish. While you are at Teklanika, you can re-use your camper bus ticket to go sight-seeing west-bound (i.e., farther into the park) on any non-narrated transit bus (not just camper buses) during your stay. This is true whether you camp one night or a week (or longer) — your initial camper bus ticket lets you sight-see west of Tek during the entire stay. You cannot go east (i.e., back to the park entrance) until you are finished camping at Tek. This is also how tent-camping works at Igloo Creek and Sanctuary River Campgrounds.

A brown wooden sign set on the edge of a gravel road and a forest of spruce trees. The sign features the National Park Service arrowhead and reads: Denali National Park and Preserve, Teklanika Campground, Elevation 2580 feet, Mile 29.1.
The Teklanika Campground is located at Mile 29.1 of the Denali Park Road.

NPS Photo

What to Expect

No campground in Denali has electrical or water hookups for RVs. Tek does usually have potable water (may not be available in spring and early summer), but no shower or laundry facilities. The only water fill / dump station for RVs in the park is at Riley Creek Campground, which you may use before or after your stay at Tek.

No firewood is available for sale at Teklanika. Don’t move firewood long distances — it can potentially transport invasive species. This is true throughout the country, not just in Denali; learn more about why you generally shouldn't transport firewood. Instead, buy firewood where you’ll burn it, buy heat-treated firewood, or gather on site where permitted. In Denali, you may collect wood that is both dead and on the ground—no sawing or cutting to harvest wood. You can buy wood at the Riley Creek Mercantile.

Tek is a forested campground, with some screening between sites. Much of the surrounding area is brushy and wet, although the Tek River is braided and offers an easy, gravel surface for hiking. Be cautious if you choose to cross the Tek, and keep an eye out for wildlife closures in the area.

Tek is the only campground in Denali where red squirrels live alongside ground squirrels. Other small animals, like snowshoe hares and gray jays, are common. Larger animals, like grizzly bears, moose and caribou are occasionally seen. Such animals are more commonly seen along the Tek River itself, which is both a good wildlife travel corridor and comparatively less brushy.

a white pickup truck in a ditch on the side of a dirt road
If you are driving to Tek, be forewarned that the "shoulders" of the gravel portion of the Denali Park Road are not really shoulders - just potentially soft gravel and a steep ditch! Drive with caution.

Caution: Soft "Shoulders"

The edges of the gravel road are soft, and can be particularly soft in times of wet weather, so be very careful about driving near the edge of the gravel road. The word "shoulder" isn't really an appropriate description of the road edges, as steep ditches are often immediately on either side of the road.

The road between Savage River and Tek is wide enough for two buses to drive abreast of each other, so you should not need to veer onto the road edge as long as you are driving at or below the speed limit. If you pause to view wildlife, however, pull over as far as you safely can. Park on the same side of the road as any other vehicles that are already stopped there to view the wildlife and always ensure that one lane remains open for traffic to pass through. Also, be forewarned that the road is very winding, and going too fast around a corner can lead to trouble. Please drive with caution.

The Tek Pass

Campers who drive an RV or car to Tek are encouraged to purchase a Tek Pass.

The Tek Pass should be purchased for each member of your party. It allows you to use the park transit buses throughout your stay at Tek Campground, for the price of just one trip.

When you purchase a Tek Pass, you will select the first day you wish to use it (likely your first or second day in the campground), and will select a specific bus for that day. This bus of your choosing will have guaranteed seats for you, on the day and time you chose. On subsequent days during your time at Tek, you may use any non-narrated transit bus, boarding at your campground on a space-available basis.

All of the non-narrated buses begin their trip into the park with four empty seats, and many shuttles do not run at maximum capacity, so while Tek campers sometimes find a full shuttle, and must wait for the next, such occasions are rare, especially for small parties.

The Tek Pass is designed for you to experience points farther in the park during your stay. Therefore, the pass only allows you to travel farther west into the park, and back to Tek. If you return to the park entrance by bus, you will have to buy a new ticket to travel back to Tek Campground. Do not return to the park entrance, by bus or your own vehicle, until you are finished with your stay at Tek.

Learn more about buses in Denali

Reserve a Tek Pass

Campground Basics

  • Necessities
    Restrooms can be found throughout the campground. Potable water is available at spigots throughout the campground. All sites have a picnic table and fire grate (see below).
  • Please be courteous
    Quiet hours are between 10 pm and 6 am. Generators may only be operated from 8 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 8 pm. There are no exceptions to these rules.
  • Wildlife & food storage
    Keep all food and scented items (e.g., toothpaste, sunscreen, ice chests/coolers, etc.) in your hard-sided vehicle. If you are tent-camping without a vehicle, use the food lockers found throughout the campground. Label and date your items in the food locker. Keep a clean camp and wash your dishes immediately. Learn more about wildlife safety.
  • Fire
    Fires are allowed only in established grates. Wood may be purchased at the Riley Creek Mercantile. Use of power saws and cutting of live vegetation or standing deadwood are prohibited. Do not leave your campfire unattended. Do not cook on fire grates - use foil, and immediately dispose of it after cooking.
  • Pets
    Pets are welcome at Tek. Dispose of pet feces in garbage cans. Secure pet food in your vehicle or a food locker. Pets are not allowed on buses. Learn more about camping with your pet.
  • RVs, Tow vehicles
    Recreational Vehicle (RV), Car/Truck/Trailer Information – The maximum length of an individual RV or camper-trailer is 40'. The combined length of a vehicle and trailer combination may exceed 40', but each individual vehicle component (e.g., the truck or trailer) may not exceed 40' on its own.

    A trailer in tow must be integral to the camping experience. An example of a permitted combination would be a truck pulling a camper-trailer. Conversely, a car being towed behind an RV would not considered integral, and therefore the car must be left at the park entrance (parking is free of charge). Ask at the Denali Visitor Center about where overnight parking is permitted.

    Only one vehicle is permitted per site at Teklanika, along with a trailer if it fits the criteria explained above.

Last updated: October 11, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


907 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am to 4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you reach the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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