Healy is the closest full-service, year-round community to the world-famous Denali National Park and Preserve and offers an abundance of lodging and activities to park visitors and highway travelers in Interior Alaska.
Healy is located about 11 miles north of the entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve along the George Parks Highway in Interior Alaska. Originally established as a coal-mining town in the early 1900s, many of Healy’s 1,025 residents still earn their livings from the nearby Usibelli Coal Mine. Tourism is the second-largest industry for this small town, though, and Healy features several restaurants, hotels, motels and lodges along with flightseeing operators that take visitors on scenic tours of Mount McKinley.
Things to do
To the north of Healy, on the highway's western side, is the historic Stampede Trail, originally built in the 1930s as a route to the Stampede Mine, once Alaska's prime producer of antimony. The mine ceased operations in 1970, and since 1980 its abandoned mill and other buildings have been located within Denali National Park and Preserve’s expanded borders. Today the trail is a rugged track used primarily by snowmobilers, mushers and skiers in late winter, when travel is easier. The wilderness trail does draw a number of summer visitors who want to view the Fairbanks City bus where Chris McCandless, the subject of Jon Krakauer’s 1997 bestseller Into The Wild, lived and died. In Healy, visitors can arrange ATV tours of the trail for stunning views of Mount McKinley and the Savage and Teklanika rivers.
Usibelli Coal Mine conducts daily one-hour tours throughout the summer. Guests visit its quality-control office, main shop, warehouse, coal hopper and crusher.