– Henry David Thoreau
National parks are rooted deeply in American culture and they shine bright in Alaska. In 1872, the US Government established Yellowstone National Park as “a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”
Soon after, the United States authorized the establishment of more parks and historic monuments, but they were not managed by a central agency. In 1910, the first national park in Alaska was created—the Sitka National Historic Park. Today, there are 19 national parks and national historic areas in Alaska, covering 54 million acres of land. These include some of the most iconic in the country—Denali, Kenai Fjords, Wrangell-St. Elias and Glacier Bay, to name just a few.
Mount McKinley National Park was created in 1917. In 1978, the Denali National Monument was created, and the two were joined in 1980 to become Denali National Park and Preserve. Today, more than 500,000 people enjoy Denali National Park annually, experiencing the grand vistas of mountains and tundra, and searching for the untamed wildlife. Preservation efforts are paramount in Denali to ensure this sensitive ecosystem endures for generations. And access to the park is restricted to park-approved tours, such as the Denali Backcountry Adventure.
Most visitors to Denali will limit their stay to the Park entrance, and explore the many trails near the Visitors Center. However, adventure seekers and those who are looking for a unique way to experience Denali National Park choose to stay at the Denali Backcountry Lodge. Located within the park’s wilderness boundaries, the property offers visitors the opportunity to explore the backcountry and enjoy unrivaled views, and relax in comfortable accommodations after a day’s adventure.
The Kenai Fjords National Park was established in 1980 on the Kenai Peninsula in southcentral Alaska. It contains the Harding Glacier, one of the largest ice fields in the United States, as well as at least 38 glaciers. The park is predominantly accessible only by boat or foot.
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