Mount McKinley, Denali National Park, Alaska
Denali National Park, Alaska| Map |
Mount McKinley is not only the most prominent feature of Denali National Park, it’s also North America’s tallest mountain -- so for families vacationing in Denali, taking pictures of this famous landmark is a must. While McKinley is the mountain’s official name, its original and common name is Denali, a native Athabaskan word meaning the "high one." And high it is: Denali soars to 20,320 feet, and only the most intrepid climbers actually bag this peak -- although there are plane trips to the mountain for more adventurous souls. For most people, finding places to spot Denali from the Park Road and take photographs will probably suffice. Denali is so huge, its summit is often obscured by clouds, so it pays to keep on top of weather reports and check with the park rangers. Only 30 percent of park visitors tend to see it at all, and this is in a relatively short window of summer, so careful planning and a bit of luck is called for. Places to get a view of Denali include the Park Road pullout at mile nine, and the reflection pond at Wonder Lake. Mount McKinley and Denali may be elusive, but travelers to Alaska should definitely take the time to hunt it down.
Ratings by kids' ages
- Tots (0-2)
- Little kids (3-5)
- Big kids (6-8)
- Tweens (9-12)
- Teens (13+)
Tips for Families
Check with the National Park Service ahead of time for advice about Mount McKinley; stop at the visitor center on the way in for the latest information.
Address: Denali National Park, Alaska| Map
Hours: Hours vary. For details, check schedule