Camping in Denali offers a great way to experience this spectacular park. Whether you wish to tent-camp, or camp with an RV or other vehicle, one or more of the park campgrounds should suit your interests. Please note that vehicles can only camp in established, open campgrounds in the park - not along pullouts or the side of the road.
You may make reservations online, through a third-party reservation system. Reservations can be made as early as December 1 of the year before your visit.
There is no easy answer to the question "Are reservations necessary?" Park campgrounds fill up sometimes, but not every night of the summer. If your schedule is very inflexible, and/or you know you want to camp in Denali (instead of one of the campgrounds outside of the park), then it is smart to make reservations in advance. If you wish to keep your Alaska travel plans loose and do not want to be bound by a reservation made months in advance, you can wait til you are here, or until shortly before you arrive, to try making reservations—but you might find limited availability in the park. There are many campgrounds outside of the park, ranging from 1 to 30 miles away.
Campground fees vary, but sites are around $25 to $49 per night. Camping is free in winter (roughly late September to early May each year). Senior Pass and Access Pass holders receive 50% off nightly camping fees.
Browse the campgrounds, below, for more details. Note that locations in Denali are usually given as a mile number along the sole road in the park - this indicates its distance from the park entrance (e.g., Mile 35, Igloo Creek Campground, is literally 35 miles from the park entrance). Also note that all campgrounds except Riley Creek are open in summer only (exact dates vary a bit from campground to campground).
The list below is not exhaustive, but here are some of the important things you must know about camping in Denali:
Check-in / Check-out
You may check in for all of these campgrounds at the Riley Creek Mercantile or the Denali Bus Depot. Check in / check out at all campgrounds is 11 am.
RV Access and Size
People may camp with RVs and other vehicles at Riley Creek, Savage River or Teklanika River; the other three campgrounds are open only to tent-campers, and are accessible by bus. No campground in Denali can accommodate an RV over 40' long - if you have an RV larger than this, you will want to look outside of the park for a campground big enough to accommodate your rig.
No campground in Denali has electrical or water hookups for RVs. If you need hookups, there are many campgrounds outside the park with such amenities. All campgrounds have toilets (some flush, some vault-style). Campgrounds all have potable water except Igloo Creek and Sanctuary River—bring a water filter if camping at one of those! All campgrounds have recycling collection containers for aluminum cans, glass, plastic jugs and bottles (#1 and #2), and plastic containers #5.
Pets are allowed on campground roads and the Park Road, but not on trails or in the wilderness. Learn more about how to bring pets to Denali.
Fires & Firewood
You can have a fire in the established fire grates in Riley Creek, Savage River and Teklanika River.
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.
Fires are prohibited at Sanctuary River, Igloo Creek and Wonder Lake. Cook using a cook-stove only.
Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am at all park campgrounds.
Group Size Most campsites are limited tono more than three tents (if you're using tents) and eight people per site. Wonder Lake, Igloo Creek and Sanctuary River are exceptions, with no more than three tents and four people per site. Riley Creek and Savage River Campgrounds allow up to two vehicles, as long as their combined length doesn't exceed that site's limit (e.g., an A site is 40' long, so two small cars could easily fit at an A site). Teklanika River Campground allows only one vehicle per site, unless the second is a trailer of some kind that is integral to camping (e.g., a sedan pulling a pop-up camper). See each campground's specific page, linked above, for more details.
In all campgrounds, you choose your campsite upon arriving in the campground - not in advance. Sites in some campgrounds are classified as a certain type; you may choose any unoccupied site of that type (e.g., if you reserve a Type A campsite in Riley Creek, you can pick any empty Type A site once you arrive here).
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.