When I checked my electronic inbox recently, I found an informative news release from John Quinley, who is the Assistant Regional Director, Communications and Partnerships, of the Alaska Regional National Park Service.
In his release, Mr. Quinley reported that the Alaska region of the National Park Service saw about 2.32 million recreational visits in 2011. This was an increase of about 2% from 2010. The two parks with the largest increases for 2011 were Kenai Fjords National Park, which is headquartered in Seward, and Denali National Park. Both of these parks are on the road system in Alaska so they are fairly easy to access with a car, trailer, or RV.
I have had the good fortune of visiting both of these parks with my children at my side. I first visited them during the summer of 2006. Our family camping trip to Denali was a highlight that summer and indeed my children still talk about it. Last July, we returned to Alaska and while we were staying in Anchorage, we decided to take a day trip to Kenai Fjords National Park. A return trek to Exit Glacier was in order and we were all shocked at how much smaller the glacier had gotten since we first visited five years ago.
Even though my visits to these parks only took place during the summer months, it is worth noting that the parks remain open and active yearround. In that email, Mr. Quinley noted that Exit Glacier is popular destination for snowmachine enthusiasts. He also noted that there is a public use cabin available. In Denali, skiers and dog mushers use the massive park road corridor to access the interior of the park during the winter.
For additional information on Alaska’s National Parks, check out the official website.
Photo of Denali National Park by Melissa A. Trainer
–Melissa A. Trainer|