Inside Denali National Park are seven campgrounds, four of which have evening nature programs throughout the summer.
Riley Creek Campground ($22–28 for pull-in sites, $14 for walk-in sites) is the largest and most accessible campground, located just a quarter-mile off the Parks Highway. It’s open year-round, but with limited facilities September–May. This campground is very popular with RVers and car campers, but suffers somewhat from highway noise. Adjacent is Riley Creek Mercantile with a few supplies (including firewood), a dump station, and $5 showers.
Savage River, Teklanika River, and Wonder Lake campgrounds all have water and flush toilets, and go for $16–22 per night. Sanctuary River Campground has chemical toilets and costs $9. Savage River, Sanctuary River, and Teklanika River campgrounds are open May–September, but Wonder Lake Campground doesn’t open until June, and may close early because of snow.
All but the Sanctuary River Campground can be reserved in advance (907/272-7275 or 800/622-7275, www.reservedenali.com, $5 fee) starting in mid-February. You can also reserve campsites at any of these at the visitors center if they aren’t already full.
You can drive to Riley Creek, Savage River, and Teklanika River campgrounds, so they fill up fast. There’s a three-night minimum stay for vehicular campers at Teklanika River, and only hard-sided campers are allowed. Otherwise, campground access is via the camper buses ($31 pp). The Wonder Lake Campground is also extremely popular for hiking and the potential to see the mountain in all its glory. Reserve well ahead of your trip for campsites there.
Denali Rainbow Village (907/683-7777, www.denalirv.com, mid-May–mid-Sept., $41 RVs, $30 tents) is in the heart of the Denali Park action, with a big lot behind the row of buildings on the east side of the road. It has free Wi-Fi and cable TV. Showers are $5 if you aren’t camping here.
Denali Riverside RV Park (907/388-1748 or 866/583-2696, www.denaliriversiderv.com, May–Sept., RVs $38, tents $16) is a gravel lot two miles north of the park entrance.
Eight miles south of the park entrance is Denali Grizzly Bear Resort (907/683-2696 or 866/583-2696, www.denaligrizzlybear.com, RVs $36, tents $24). Showers and laundry are available. Nearby is Carlo Creek Lodge (907/683-2576, www.ccldenaliparkalaska.com, late May–early Sept., RVs $17 with electricity only, tents $15), with wooded campsites near the creek. Additional RV parks are in Healy.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition