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Home to 39 species of mammal – including grizzly bear and grey wolf – and 167 birds, the activity of Denali’s wildlife is dictated by the seasons.

In spring many birds return and bears stir from hibernation in readiness for the summer bonanza. By late summer the rivers are awash with salmon heading upstream to spawn and the bears take full advantage. Denali is also home to wolves, moose and herds of caribou, but as the park has only one road, any encounter may be fleeting.

Denali was the first national park created to protect wildlife and was designated an international biosphere reserve in 1976. North America’s highest peak towers over the park, and in 2015 its name was changed from Mount McKinley to Mount Denali in tribute to the Athabaskan people – Denali meaning ‘the tall one’ in their native language.

View suggested itinerary

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: American black bear, brown bear, caribou, moose, wolf
  • Where: Alaska interior, Alaska

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itinerary:

Wilderness Adventure

Embark this outstanding ‘Access All Areas’ itinerary to visit Alaska’s national parks, by car, boat, plane, train and bus. Search for wolves and bears in the shadow of Mount McKinley at Denali National Park, be amazed at towering glaciers and icebergs in the Kenai Fjords, before photographing grizzlies at Brook Falls.

  • When to go: Jun-Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,545 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Kantishna Roadhouse

Kantishna Roadhouse was developed from a gold miners’ tented camp to a modern resort with cosy cabins, and is one of only three lodges inside Denali National Park. There are many activities available from the property, including hiking, mountain biking, gold-panning and flightseeing trips.