Riley Creek Picnic Area

a large shelter covering several picnic tables near spruce trees
Enjoy a picnic in Denali at the Riley Creek Picnic Area!

NPS Photo / Emily Mesner

Quick Facts
Mile 0.25, Denali Park Road

Restroom - Accessible, Wheelchair Accessible, Benches/Seating, Cellular Signal, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Parking - Auto, Picnic Shelter/Pavilion, Picnic Table, Restroom - Seasonal, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Trailhead, Trash/Litter Receptacles

Just inside the entrance of Denali National Park is a quiet picnic area next to Riley Creek.

This is one of the only picnic areas in Denali. It sits amid a spruce forest, and features several covered tables, as well as restrooms. Accessible year-round, two trails lead away from the picnic area; one cuts through the forest to the nearby park entrance sign. The other leads upstream along Riley Creek, eventually connecting hikers either to the Triple Lakes Trail or to trails that lead to the Denali Visitor Center.

Near the picnic area is Riley Creek Campground, the largest of Denali's six campgrounds, and the only one open year-round. 

Be cautious if you hike or play near Riley Creek. It is not particularly deep, but it flows very quickly, and the water is extremely cold. Not far downstream of the picnic area, the creek drains into the Nenana River, which is a very large river that forms the eastern boundary of the park. Do not try to cross or float Riley Creek unless you are experienced with cold, swift water.

Denali National Park & Preserve

Last updated: July 14, 2020