Hike the McKinley Bar Trail

Rate this Adventure Alaska McKinley Bar Trailhead

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Scenic views of Denali & the Alaska Range. Visit site where pioneering mountaineers started Mt McKinley climbs. Spot wildlife like bears, moose, and caribou. Ponds and wildflowers. 5 miles roundtrip. Negligible elevation gain.

McKinley Bar Trail is a 5 mile roundtrip hike that is located 1/4 mile before Wonder Lake Campground. This hike is a great way to stretch your legs out after a long bus ride. This easy trail meanders through a spruce forest and past many small ponds before reaching the McKinley Bar on the McKinley river. The mile-wide gravel bar was crossed by some of the pioneering climbers to start their ascent of Denali.

On a clear day, Denali dominates the view, but even when "The Great One" is shrouded by clouds there may be good views of other mountains in the Alaska range. Be on the lookout for water fowl and other animals like bear, moose, and caribou and be sure to follow guidelines for wildlife and bear safety.

This area can have mosquitos during parts of the summer so bug repellent and mosquito head nets are recommended.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Camera
  • Water
  • 10 Essentials
  • Bear & Wildlife Awareness
  • Bug Spray & Headnets
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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

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Activities:

Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Summer

Features:

River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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