Looking up the Tokositna Glacier.



Denali a mountain in Alaska

  • Description

    Elevation 20,310 ft.; the highest point in North America

    Getting There

    By far the easiest way to reach Mt. McKinley (Denali) is hopping a flight. Most of the air taxi's that land on the Kahiltna Glacier, base camp for Mt. McKinley, operate out of Talkeetna. Tourist are usually not permitted to land at the Kahiltna Glacier base camp, as to preserve the tranquility for the climbers and to preserve the runway, so that climbing may operate longer into the season, before the crevasses open in the runway.

    A flight from Talkeetna takes around 50 minutes to reach the mountain. On hot summer days flights crossing the valley can be even hotter inside the plane, so be sure to have water handy for the flight.


    Mt. McKinley is the tallest mountain in North America.

    Named in 1896 by William A. Dickey, prospector, "after William McKinley of Ohio, who had been nominated for the Presidency and that was the first news we received on our way out of that wonderful wilderness." McKinley, 1854-1901, was the 25th President of the United States. The first mention of the massif was by Captain George Vancouver, who when seeing it from Cook Inlet in 1794, referred to the "stupendous snow mountains." The Russians descriptively called it "Bolshaya (Bulshaia) Gora" or "big mountain." Alfred Mayo and Arthur Harper, pioneer Alaska traders, after a trip up the Tanana River in 1878, reported, "a great ice mountain to the south," but did not name it. A prospector, Frank Densmore, spoke so enthusiastically after seeing the mountain from Lake Minchumina in 1889, that it was known for years among prospectors as "Densmores Peak." The north summit was first reached on April 3, 1913, by Archdeacon Hudson Stuck, Walter Harper, Robert Tatum, and Harry Karstens (later park superintendent). On August

  • Topo Maps
  • Lifeforms

  • Ratings

    Sign in to leave a rating.

  • Feedback

    Sign in to send us feedback. Let us know how you think this page on Denali could be improved, or offer insight. If you have concerns about Denali, send those in and we will forward those on to proper care takers.

    Please let us know how we can improve this page or if you have questions. What additional information you may have been looking for. Have information you would like to provide. Or address concerns about Denali. Concerns will be passed to proper care takers.


Pictures of, from, or near Denali.