Denali State Park
Denali State Park is an integral part of one of North America's most spectacularly beautiful regions. The park's 325,240 acres, almost one-half the size of Rhode Island, provide the visitor with a great variety of recreational opportunities, ranging from roadside camping to wilderness exploration.
Denali State Park has three log cabins on Byers Lake. The cabins are available for nightly rental year-round by pre-paid reservation through the Mat-Su Area Headquarters in Wasilla at 745-3975, the Public Information Center in Anchorage at 269-8400 or on line at the link below. Cabin #1 features hand-crafted log work and a sod roof and is accessible in the summer by car. Cabin #2 has a spectacular view of Mt. McKinley and is accessible by a half-mile walk or by canoe in the summer. Cabin #3 has a great view of Kesugi Ridge and is 70 yards from Cabin #2. Winter access for each cabin varies.
From kayaking the white waters of the Chulitna River to cross-country skiing or just gazing into the embers of a campfire at Byers Lake Campground, Denali State Park offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for all.
Fishing Denali's clear streams is a great delight to many park visitors. However, the large rivers are clouded with pulverized rock known as glacial flour and provide poor sport fishing. All five species of Pacific salmon spawn within the waters of the park and share the streams with rainbow trout, arctic grayling, and Dolly Varden. Small numbers of lake trout inhabit Byers, Spink, and Lucy Lakes. Burbot and whitefish can also be found in Byers Lake.
Except for roadside facilities, the park is essentially a wilderness. Proper equipment, good physical condition, and appropriate knowledge are necessary for safe back country travel. Hiking routes may not be clearly marked, so the ability to use topographic maps is essential, especially in poor weather.
RV use is limited to parking areas.
The weather in the park is tempered from continental extremes by the relatively warm ocean waters 100 miles to the south. The Alaska Range to the north protects the park from the dramatic temperature extremes common to Interior Alaska.
In summer, temperatures are usually in the 60's with highs, rarely, to 85 degrees F. In mid-summer, almost 21 hours of possible daylight give ample opportunities for recreational activities. Average winter highs range from zero to 30 degrees F, while on extremely cold days the low may reach minus 40 degrees F.
Annual precipitation reaches 30 inches, including an average annual 180 inches of snowfall. Snow begins to accumulate in October and frequently reaches depths of six feet or more. Ice depths on Byers Lake can be quite variable and should be checked before assumed safe. Snow usually melts in May, although patches at higher elevations may persist into July.
Drive north from Talkeetna on Parks Highway to Mile 135. The park is about 100 air miles north of Anchorage and is divided roughly in half by the George Parks Highway, the major road link between Anchorage and Fairbanks.