4 Day Denali National Park Itinerary With Kids

Here is our 4-day Denali National Park Itinerary. We were on a 6-week road trip, so our trip included downtime to do some work, hang out at our RV, and enjoy a campfire.

Mt Healy Hike

If you needed to, you could shorten this to a 3-day itinerary.

We took this trip with 4 kids ages: 11, 13, 13 and 15.

You can only drive 15 miles into the park with your own vehicle. From there, you must get on a tour or the transit bus to go further into the park. (as of now you can’t go all the way into the park in the bus/tour due to a landslide – but you can go to the East Fork area which is 43 miles – compared to 92 into the park).

This means it takes some planning to see the park but it is worth it! Plus there are a variety of things you can do in the main area of the park that you can drive to.

Savage Ridge Trail

Arrival Day 1:

  • Savage Ridge Trail
    • This is not an easy trail, but it is beautiful. If the weather cooperates, you can even see Denali in the distance on this hike!
  • Dinner: 49th State Brewery
    • A fun brewery located a few miles outside of Denali National Park.
Sled dog demonstration

Day 2:

  • Park at the Visitors Center
  • Hike on the Rock Creek Trail to get to the Sled Dog Demonstration
    • If you don’t want to hike, you can also get a bus from the visitor center to the sled dog demonstration.
  • Hike back on the River Road Trail
    • Same – you don’t have to hike back you can take the bus.
  • Eat Lunch outside the Visitor Center area – either your picnic lunch or buy lunch there
  • Horseshoe Lake Trail
    • It’s a pretty easy trail with some elevation gain that takes you to a beaver dam!
  • Head back to enjoy your campsite and have dinner at your camper

3rd Day:

East Fork Stop - steps down into the hiking area.

Note that even if you can’t go back 92 miles into the park, the East Fork Transit Bus is a long trip – you can definitely get up early and do something in the morning before getting on the bus if you would like.

But if you are like us, you will be tired when you return – something about being on a bus all day does that to us!

Mt Healy hike

Day 4:

  • Mt Healy Trail—This is a harder trail that takes you up the mountain the whole way, but it is worth it when you get to the top for the amazing views.
  • Get ice cream at the Mercantile to reward yourself for a well-done hike!

Where To Stay

We stayed at the Riley Campground in our RV, and it was a great spot to stay – we were in the park and close to everything.

Here are the places the National Park recommends that you stay – all located outside of the park.

To learn more about Denali National Park and planning a trip here check our out Denali page here.

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