Billie's Backpackers Hostel - Denali Park
Helpful Travel Fact:

Fairbanks is HALF the distance from Denali National Park compared to Anchorage. There are daily departures near or directly from the hostel to Denali - either by train or shuttle bus. Either way, you will get there far earlier than those arriving from Anchorage, allowing you to get a head start in reserving campgrounds, buses or backcountry permits in the park.

Distance Between Denali Park Visitor Center and:

 Denali State Park  68 mi / 111 km 

 Anchorage    237 mi / 381 km
 121 mi / 195 km
 Elevation at :
Park Entrance = 1,730 ft / 527 m
      Wonder Lake Campground = 2,090 ft / 637 m
      Denali Summit = 20,320 ft / 6,158 m

Denali Park Shuttle Bus

Established in 1917, Denali National Park and Preserve is huge....more than 6 million acres (about the size of Massachusetts), it contains some of the most remote and scenic wilderness in North America.

Denali Park and Preserve offers unbelievable wildlife viewing, unmatched scenery, white water rafting, flight seeing of some of the highest mountains on earth including 20,320' Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) and much more.

Denali National Park and the surrounding entrance area have too many activities to list here. Most of the services are located near the park entrance along the Parks Highway. There are a range of activities including free hiking trails and river rafting.


"The great mountain rose above me desolate, magnificent, overpowering...I felt, as never before, completely alone in the presence of this mighty mountain; no words can describe my feelings."
Charles Sheldon, - The Wilderness of Denali
 - 1906

If you are planning on hiking, overnight camping, or just a short bus trip into the Park, then start by Visiting The Denali Park Website for the most current information. 

Denali is located at mile 237 Parks Highway, approximately 2.5 hours south of Fairbanks or 5 hours north of Anchorage.   

Contact Us:

Billies Backpackers Hostel

2895 Mack Blvd.

Fairbanks, AK 99709



There are several private campgrounds, hotels and lodges just outside the Park entrance (along the Parks Highway). There is also one hostel Denali Hostel
 15 miles south of the park entrance at mile 224 of the Parks Highway. 

Other accommodations include several hotels, lodges and Bed and Breakfasts in the area (both north and south of the park entrance). Be advised however that without prior planning, lodging may be extremely limited in the high season (June - August) and advanced reservations are strongly advised.


The town of Healy, 10 miles north of the entrance offers a good alternative for lodging if you find it difficult to locate a place nearer the park entrance. For more information on lodges, B&B's, places to stay or other general information check out the Fairbanks Visitor Center


For complete information on all the options that are available to you, including reservations for campgrounds, backcountry permits and shuttles into the park, contact the National Park Service at 1-800-622-7275 or visit the official Denali National Park Website  OR contact the Fairbanks Visitor Center. 

Denali Visitor Center

Open in summer only, this is the main visitor center near the park entrance. Here, you can watch the park film; check out a variety of exhibits about the natural and cultural history of the Denali area; and join a variety of ranger walks or talks. Backpackers may also receive their required, free permit to backpack in the park.


Denali Bus Depot

Located at Mile 0.5 on the park's sole road, the Denali Bus Depot is where you can purchase bus tickets and arrange to stay in a park campground.  All non-narrated buses (transits, campers) depart from this building, as well as some of the narrated tour buses.


How To Explore Denali National Park

Denali is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along it see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America's tallest peak, 20,310' Denali. Wild animals large and small roam un-fenced lands, living as they have for ages. Solitude, tranquility and wilderness await.

Transit Buses    

Provides access to those staying in campgrounds and the backcountry. These busses have space for

your gear/packs/bicycle. You may only reserve space by FIRST making a reservation for a

campground or backcountry camping permit.


Tour Buses
Unlike transit buses, which are not narrated, tour buses feature a trained naturalist who both drives the bus and narrates during the trip. Trips begin and end at various locations around the entrance of the park—they do not pick up at campgrounds along the Denali Park Road, and they are not set up for passengers to disembark and re-board. Transit buses are a better option for passengers who want to get off the bus to hike, picnic, etc.

All tours are conducted by certified driver-naturalists who will provide a guided, informative trip into the park. Tour buses are tan-colored, to help them stand out from a distance. Descriptions of each tour are below.

Free Buses  

In the summer, there are three free bus lines around the park entrance area to help visitors travel between the visitor center and other facilities. They are called the Savage River Shuttle, the Riley Loop Shuttle and the Sled Dog Demonstration Shuttle.

As the visitor center, Rail Depot, Riley Creek Campground and other facilities are spread out, the free buses eliminate excess traffic, confusion, and parking challenges. All operate daily in summer and are free.


Camping in Denali offers a great way to experience this spectacular park. You may make reservations online!  Whether you wish to tent-camp, or camp with an RV or other vehicle, one or more of the park campgrounds should suit your interests. Please note that vehicles can only camp in established, open campgrounds in the park - not along pullouts or the side of the road.