Denali National Park is open all year round, but the weather changes quite dramatically from season to season. One of the great things about Denali is that it never feels overcrowded. Thanks to how vast and remote the park is, the crowds are much smaller than other US national parks even in the peak season. You’ll feel like you have the Alaskan wilderness all to yourself.

Average temperatures in Denali National Park 

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH (°F)  

AVERAGE LOW (°F​)  

January 

11

-5

February

17

-2

March

26

1.2

April

39

16

May 54 31
June  64 41
July 67 45
August  61 40
September 50 31
October  32 14
November  17 -1
December  15 -1

When is the best time of year to visit Denali National Park?

Denali is spectacular all year round. Most people visit between June and September when the weather is mild, daylight is plentiful and all tours and accommodation are open. But the best time to plan your trip all depends on what you’d like to do. Do you want to hike across Matanuska Glacier on foot? Have you been waiting your whole life to see the northern lights? (Let’s be honest, who hasn’t?). Perhaps you’d love to see the stunning colors of the tundra in the fall. Check out this guide to seasonal weather in Denali National Park to help you plan your trip.

Spring

Best for: seeing the northern lights, winter sports (in March), wildlife watching, hiking 

Denali is still very chilly in the spring. Mountains are usually covered in snow, lakes are yet to thaw and many park services don’t open until late April. Life starts to blossom when the warmer weather arrives in May and green starts taking over the mountains. It can be a great time to see bears as they wake up from their winter slumber in search of their next meal. 

Summer

Best for: spotting wildlife, hiking, cycling, seeing wildflowers, white water rafting 

Summer days in Denali are long with more than 22 hours of sunlight around the summer solstice. The meadows and hillsides are lush green and filled with wildflowers. It’s also a great time to see wildlife as they’re out roaming, grazing and enjoying the warmth as much as you. Wildflowers bloom in July and the landscapes erupt in color. Lodgings and accommodation get booked up quite quickly so be sure to plan ahead. Oh, and remember to bring plenty of insect repellent and long-sleeved t-shirts and trousers as mosquitoes are rife in June and July. 

Fall

Best for: hiking, seeing the northern lights, fall colors, spotting wildlife 

Summer winds down pretty early in Denali and it has been known to snow in August. The days start to get chilly and shorter from September. The plus side? It's much easier to see the northern lights! Hiking in the fall is a feast for the eyes with brilliant red, orange and yellow tundra. Many of Denali's animals are preparing for hibernation and you might see bears out hunting to fatten themselves up for the colder months. It’s also mating season for moose and you’ll see plenty of them roaming the hillsides in the mornings and evenings. 

Winter 

Best for: skiing, snowshoeing, sledging, seeing the northern lights, hot springs 

For all the chionophiles (winter lovers) out there, you’re about to fall madly, deeply in love with Denali. The whole park turns into a snow-covered winter wonderland that would give Santa Claus a run for his money. It’s also when you have the best chance of seeing the northern lights. Spend your days snowshoeing across glaciers followed by evening soaks in Chena Hot Springs to soothe your muscles. Some animals like bears and arctic squirrels go into hibernation or dormancy, but you’ll see plenty of huskies running around as well as wild caribou, bison, musk oxen, wolves and coyotes.

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