Added by Mike Mihalik
No better way to stretch the legs after riding the bus to Eielson Visitor Center in Denali National Park! This trails gains over 1000 feet in 1 mile and provides great views of Denali if it's out.
To get to this trailhead, you are going to have to take the Denali Park shuttle bus to the Eielson Visitor Center. The shuttle system is great, but it's also the only way you're going into the park in the summer months. Once you're on the bus, you can get out at any point, go for a hike, and catch a bus back to the Wilderness Access Center at the end of the day. This is obviously much easier to do with 2 people than 18, but I've done this every year with 18. We might have to split up between 3 consecutive buses, but it works. Don't let it be an excuse - go out and enjoy the backcountry!
Once at Eielson, go in and enjoy the visitor center. When you're ready to hit the trail, cross the road and you can't miss the trail that goes uphill. This trail goes up over 1,000 feet in one mile and takes you through some serious switchbacks. When you get to the top, you can walk along the ridgeline to get some different views. If Denali is out, I can't imagine a cooler place to be. If the mountain is covered by clouds, you'll still have some awesome views below of the visitor center and distant river valleys. Depending on the time of year, you might also see some pretty cool wildflowers along the trail.
You're going to have to go down the same way you came back up. Once you're back at the visitor center, check in with one of the employees in the bus lot. Let him/her know how many people are in your group and that you're looking for a ride back to the WAC.
- Bus ticket to Eielson Visitor Center
- Food and water for the day (no food for sale once you're on the bus)
- Hiking shoes
- First aid kid
- Bug spray
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