Hike the Eielson Alpine Trail, Denali NP

Rate this Adventure Alaska Eielson Visitor Center

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.

Pack List

  • Bus ticket to Eielson Visitor Center
  • Food and water for the day (no food for sale once you're on the bus)
  • Camera
  • Hiking shoes
  • Backpack
  • First aid kid
  • Bug spray
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1000 Feet

Features:

Groups
Scenic
Wildflowers

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Mike Mihalik

Mike is based out of Pennsylvania, but most adventures take place in national parks. You'll find that most of Mike's adventures are perfect for a husband and wife pair, or great hikes while leading groups of high school students through national parks.

More Adventures Nearby

Camp at Boy Scout Beach in Juneau

Alaska / Boy Scout Beach Parking

Far from where the tourists venture, this is an incredible hang out and camping spot in Juneau. The trailhead is at the 25 mile marker on Glacier Hwy.

Carter Clark
3 Saves

Summit Harp Mountain in Chugach State Park

Alaska / Harp Mountain Trailhead

Starting from the South Eagle River valley east of Anchorage, trudge 2650 ft. up to the summit of Harp Mountain for unbeatable views of the Chugach and the Knik arm. Park at the end of Hiland Rd.

Brian Pinkard
10 Saves

Hike Spruce Cape

Alaska / Spruce Cape Trailhead

This hike is 1.4 mile out and back hike that leads to great island views and a fun beach to explore. This is one of the easiest hikes on Kodiak Island.

Harrison Finds
4 Saves