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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.
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.
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.
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 PassCampers 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
Learn about ranger programs in Teklanika
Last updated: October 24, 2022