No, dispersed camping is not allowed in Denali National Park. The National Park Service restricts all camping to its six (6) developed campgrounds. Three (3) of those campgrounds are open to cars, vans, and RVs. The other three are restricted to tents only.
Is Dispersed Camping Allowed in Denali National Park?
The National Park Service (NPS) does not allow dispersed camping or boondocking anywhere within Denali National Park. Even backcountry camping for hikers and bicyclists is limited (see more about this below).
All camping is restricted to one of six developed campgrounds…
- Riley Creek Campground (vehicles allowed) – read more at NPS.gov
- Savage River Campground (vehicles allowed) – read more at NPS.gov
- Teklanika Campground (vehicles allowed) – read more at NPS.gov
- Sanctuary River Campground (tents only) – read more at NPS.gov
- Igloo Creek Campground (tents only) – read more at NPS.gov
- Wonder Lake Campground (tents only) – read more at NPS.gov
Backcountry Camping is allowed throughout the park, but you must obtain a backcountry permit at the Backcountry Desk in the Denali Visitor Center. Permits are free, but will take about an hour to obtain. Backcountry camping is restricted by foot, bicycle, or boat only.
Once you have a permit, you’re allowed to set up a tent or just sleep under the stars. However, some rules apply…
- You are required to keep all food enclosed in a bear-proof storage container.
- Your tent must at least 1/2 mile from any road, and it must be NOT visible from a road. If your camp is still visible from 1/2 mile or more from a road, then you have to move it further.
Is There Free Camping Outside of Denali National Park?
Not really. Much of the land along the Parks Highway (AK 3) with a decent view of Mt. Denali is either privately owned, or is state trust land, or simply has no access road that leads you to boondocking sites.
There is BLM land right along Parks Highway, right at Summit Airport, just south of Cantwell, AK. But there are no roads leading from the highway.