Denali is not closed in winter! This far north, winter is the predominant season. During this time, snow blankets the park, daylight disappears, and temperatures can plunge to a frigid -40 F (-40 C).
Even with the short days and chilly temperatures, there is still a lot to do here. Though the Denali Park Road typically closes at Mile 3 for several months, there is plenty to do.
Winter Visitor Center
At Mile 1.4 on the park road is the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC), which acts as Denali's winter visitor center. The winter season begins the third Wednesday after Labor Day each September, and runs until early May.
Indoor Picnic Area
Next door to the winter visitor center is an indoor picnic area. It is open from October 5 to April 14 each winter. There is no food service available, so bring your own food and drink.
Common Winter Activities: Skiing, Biking, Snowshoeing
Cross-country skiing, winter biking and snowshoeing are peaceful and rewarding ways to explore Denali, whether for an afternoon or a multi-day trip following sled dog trails or along the Denali Park Road.
Please be prepared for all conditions and contact the park with any questions you may have about trail conditions and winter recreation in Denali. Snow cover in Denali can range from excellent to nonexistent and temperatures can range from 40 F to -40 F in the winter.
Leave No Trace
The Leave No Trace organization published great guidelines in 2015 for enjoying untrammeled areas in winter while minimizing impacts on the underlying landscape. Learn more about Leave No Trace principles and backcountry snowsports.
Other Winter Activities
Last updated: September 10, 2020