Denali State Park Alaska - Exploring My Life

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Denali State Park Alaska

Denali State Park - Alaska’s Highway 3 Scenic Drive 

Denali State Park is a 325,240-acre (131,620 ha) state park in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is located in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough adjacent to the east side of Denali National Park and Preserve, along the Parks Highway. The park is undeveloped wilderness with the exception of the two day-use areas, three campgrounds, and two trail-heads accessible from the Parks Highway. Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation 20,310 feet above sea level. 
Alaska Highway 3 Scenic Drive
Alaska Denali Park wilderness
Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali North Viewpoint

Denali State Park was established in 1970 and expanded to its present size in 1976. Its western boundary is shared with its much larger neighbor, Denali National Park and Preserve, formerly Mt. McKinley National Park.

View of Alaska Range from Denali State Park
Denali Viewpoint South
Denali Viewpoint North

Denali State Park is situated between Fairbanks and Anchorage Alaska. Alaska’s Highway 3, George Parks Highway, connects Fairbanks and Anchorage and runs directly through Denali State Park. 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. Situated between the Talkeetna Mountains to the east and the Alaska Range to the west, the landscape varies from meandering lowland streams to alpine tundra. Dominating this diverse terrain are Curry and Kesugi Ridges, a 35 mile-long north/south alpine ridge, the backbone of the eastern half of the park. 
Denali South Viewpoint
Denali State Park Alaska
Denali Viewpoint North

The Denali State Park wilderness draws many different types of visitors for many different reasons. It gives many opportunities to explore for backpackers, campers, canoers, families, fishermen, kayakers, rock climbers, and just people driving through.

The Alaska Range :
The great mountain and its companion peaks are accented by spectacular valley glaciers and steep ice-carved gorges and a year-around mantle of snow and ice above 8,000 feet. These glaciers, such as the Ruth, Buskin, and Eldridge, are from 14 to 38 miles long and up to four miles wide. They flow from the high peaks and melt into the broad U-shaped Chulitna Valley, giving the Chulitna River the milky waters and braided channels that are typical of a glacial stream. Though only 35 miles from the summit of Denali, the flood plain of the Chulitna is but 550 feet in elevation. 
Matanuska River Alaska
Matanuska River Glenn Hwy Alaska
McKinley Park Alaska

Alaska Range and Ruth Glacier Denali State Park has superb vantage points for viewing the breathtaking heart of the Alaska Range. Perhaps the best roadside view anywhere of the Alaska Range is at mile 135.2 Parks Highway. An interpretive bulletin board at this site names the mountains and other terrain features. Other excellent views of Denali along the highway are at mile 147.1, 158.1, and 162.3. Day hikers on Kesugi Ridge or backpackers in the Peters Hills in the western end of the park have an unencumbered view of the Denali massif that is almost overwhelming in grandeur.

The beauty of Denali and the Alaska Range from the Peters Hills was captured on large canvas oil paintings by preeminent Alaskan artist Sydney Laurence in the early part of this century. When the railroad trip from Seward and Anchorage to Fairbanks took two days, travelers in the early 1900's sometimes stayed an extra day at Curry to ascend the east side of Curry Ridge and gaze upon Denali and its wonders from Curry Lookout. This small hexagonal-shaped building still weathers storms on the ridge.

The George Parks Highway (numbered Interstate A-4 and signed Alaska Route 3), usually called simply the Parks Highway, runs 323 miles (520 km) from the Glenn Highway 35 miles (56 km) north of Anchorage to Fairbanks in the Alaska Interior. The highway, originally known as the Anchorage-Fairbanks Highway, was completed in 1971, and given its current name in 1975. It is the principal access to Denali National Park and Preserve and Denali State Park, and the main highway in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. 
Denali State Park Scenic Drive
McKinley River Alaska

Located along Alaska Route 3 (the George Parks Highway), approximately 240 miles north of Anchorage, 187.6 miles south of Fairbanks, and 73.9 miles south of Healy. In Talkeetna, approximately 100 miles north of Anchorage.

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