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Denali State Park Safety

Except for roadside facilities, the park is essentially a wilderness. Proper equipment, good physical condition, and appropriate knowledge are necessary for safe backcountry travel. Hiking routes may not be clearly marked, so the ability to use topographic maps is essential, especially in poor weather.

The park is large, and emergency aid may be many hours away. Backcountry users should be prepared to handle their own emergencies. Hikers should always carry warm clothing and good quality rain gear, as inclement weather can set in quickly and last for days.

Awareness of your actual location on a map can be critical in whiteout conditions, which can occur in any season. Use of USGS topographic maps will enhance your appreciation of the park's terrain and help you keep track of your whereabouts. USGS maps for Denali are Talkeetna C-1, C-2, and D-1 and Talkeetna Mountains C-6 and D-6. They are available at USGS offices in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Glacial and snow-melt streams can rise radically between morning and midday, so planning and caution are needed when crossing rivers. Safe travel near glacial or avalanche terrain requires experience and special equipment. Backcountry travelers should never travel alone, especially in winter. They should inform a friend of planned travel routes and return time. In addition, a trip information slip should be filled out at the trail register boxes located at the trailheads.


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