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a VirtualTourist member from Canada

Denali National Park and Preserve

Camping in early June & Itinerary planning

Hi all, I was wondering what to expect temperature/weather-wise for tenting in early June (approx. 8-10). We were thinking of staying at Riley campground and perhaps also at Wonder Lake for a night. Also, has anyone been on one of the ranger-led discovery hikes? Right now it looks like we will only have 3 days at the park so I'm weighing my options between making it out to Wonder Lake and doing some hiking along the way, or going on one of the discovery hikes. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Current tentative itinerary:
Day 1 - arrive afternoon - visitor centre, short local hike - amp at Riley
Day 2 - shuttle to Wonder Lake in morning, hike, camp at Wonder Lake
Day 3 - shuttle back to entrance, stopping along way e.g. polychrome - camp Riley
Day 4 - hiking trails around entrance; depart afternoon

OR

Day 1 - arrive afternoon - visitor centre, short local hike - camp at Riley
Day 2 - Discovery hike - camp at Riley
Day 3 - shuttle to Wonder Lake in morning, stopping at polychrome, hike, camp at Wonder Lake
Day 4 - morning shuttle back to entrance; depart afternoon

Second itinerary incorporates both, but it might be too rushed and a lot of vehicle time??



3 Answers


answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Greensboro

June is supposed to be gorgeous weather in Denali. Later in the summer is the wet season, but April through June is the best time to scale the peak and the summertime should find beautiful weather in the park.

I have not been to Wonder Lake, but it is a long drive out there on the bus. With such little time for your visit, you might think about camping in the back country near Polychrome or Eielson rather than heading all the way to Wonder Lake. Also, the bus to Wonder Lake does not run the same time as the others... this year there was no service to Wonder Lake until June 8th. Just something to keep in mind.

Aside from that, the itinerary looks good. I would opt for the second itinerary you presented, as it allows you to do more and get in all you want. The discover hikes I've taken in other parks, and they're wonderful. I'd hope that it transfers over to Denali, but I can't say for sure.

Hope that helps some, feel free to email me if you have more questions.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Bournemouth

Hi there,
we were at Denali in June 2008 (right at the end of the month) We camped at Riley in a 2 man tent for 2 nights and also 1 night at Wonder Lake. I don't think that Wonder Lake is always open at the beginning of June. The weather there was wet and quite cold, and there were LOADS of mosquitoes (even in the rain!) It is a beautiful camp but we didn't see Mt McKinley the two days we were there apart from on the bus in (amazing sight!!) In my opinion, for wildlife viewing you would get as much of a chance of seeing bears, caribou etc if you just got the bus out to the Eilson Visitor Centre and no further. I think Wonder Lake is a bit of a trek just for 1 night. Lots of people were just jumping off the bus and doing their own hikes, the whole place is stunning and well worth a visit.

let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards, Karen




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Canada

Thank you both for your helpful replies. I have some things to think about! And I'm sure I'll have more questions as the date approaches.





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