Camp at Wonder Lake

Rate this Adventure Alaska Wonder Lake Campground, Denali National Park

Added by Lorene Voskinarian

  • Best chance to view Denali (Mt. McKinley)
  • Scenic campground
  • Easy access from Camper Bus
  • Running water and toilets
  • Short walk to Wonder Lake

Sitting at mile 85 of the 92 mile park road through Denali National Park, Wonder Lake Campground is an oasis in the wilderness. Wonder Lake is also the the closest you can get to Denali. (Note: You may see the big mountain called Mt. McKinley on maps, but everyone in Alaska calls it Denali.) Private vehicle access is prohibited after mile 15, so you must be on a tour, shuttle, or camper bus to reach Wonder Lake. The bus ride takes 5 hours due to stops and breaks along the road, so camping at Wonder Lake is a great way to break up a long drive.

Wonder Lake has 28 campsites equipped with tent pads and a picnic tables. Most sites have views of Denali, but specific sites are not reservable. Taking the earlier camper buses means getting your pick. The bus drops off at the campground entrance and it's a short walk up a smooth gravel path to the campsites. Smaller paths lead through the trees to individual campsites. Pulling a wheeled suitcase on these paths is no problem, except where the bushes encroach on the paths, so you can bring as much gear as you like.

Wonder Lake Campground has two Cooking Stations which have a large walk-in bear proof pantry and 6 covered picnic tables. Grizzly bears and other wildlife are in and around the campground so food storage and cooking rules are strictly enforces. There are also two bathrooms with flush toilets, potable water and dishwashing stations. There are no campfires allowed in the campground.

Once you are camped at Wonder Lake you can ride any green bus in the park during your stay. This is a good way to do day hike explorations and have areas deep in the park to yourself. There are also several spots nearby for exploring like Wonder Lake, Reflection Pond, McKinley Bar Trail, and off trail hikes. Spend at least 2 nights at Wonder Lake so that you have time to explore this area on your second day. Nightly presentations are given by Park Rangers at the amphitheater in the campground.

Mosquitos can be problematic, especially in June and early July. So bring bug repellent and mosquito head nets.

Find out more information about the campground on NPS.gov or book your campsite

here.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Food & Cooking equipment
  • Insect Repellent
  • Mosquito Head Net
  • Camera
  • Hiking Boots
  • Rain Gear
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Activities:

Camping

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer

Features:

Bathrooms
Handicap Accessible
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildlife

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