Kantishna is a remote settlement deep in the heart of Denali National Park and Preserve.
For many, Kantishna provides the ultimate lodging location in Denali National Park and Preserve. Visitors here are surrounded by the best of Denali scenery and feel as close to nature as anywhere in Alaska. Located at the very end of the only road into Denali, Kantishna features several luxurious wilderness resorts, most of which feature meals and transportation from the park entrance about 90 miles away. One of the most sought-after photographs in Alaska can be easily captured on a clear day here: 20,310-foot Denali looming overhead.
The settlement of Kantishna was founded in 1905 as a mining camp near the juncture of Eureka and Moose creeks. Gold in the region brought a flurry of prospectors in the early days, but as the gold began to run out so did interest in mining the Kantishna Hills. Now it is exclusively geared toward recreation and seasonal tourism.
Several bus tours that follow the Park Road are available to visitors of Denali National Park and Preserve. The commercial tours are geared to viewing wildlife or to explore the length of the road to Kantishna, where interpretive programs, gold panning or lunch awaits passengers.
Denali Visitor Center
Opened in 2005, the Denali Visitor Center is 14,000-sq-foot facility to dedicated to a better understand of Denali National Park and Preserve. On the first floor are exhibits devoted to the area's natural and human history and a theater whose movies provide video glimpse of the park's wildlife and scenery. On the second floor is a giant table-top relief map that leaves no doubt in anybody's mind how rugged the national park is.
Eielson Visitor Center
Located at Mile 66 of the Park Road, Eielson Visitor Center is Denali National Park's newest and most impressive interpretive center. The 7400-square-foot facility was opened in 2008 and features exhibits on the natural history of the region, a massive model of Denali and huge viewing windows to see North America's highest peak.
From airstrips in and around the park, charter air companies offer flightseeing tours that usually include flying around Denali and possibly landing on one of its glaciers. Flights are offered in either small bush planes or helicopters.
Murie Science and Learning Center
Murie Science & Learning Center in Denali National Park features fascinating hands-on exhibits as well as an exhibit on current research taking place in the park. The staff stages programs throughout the week during the summer.
Denali National Park is the only national park in the country where rangers conduct winter patrols via dog team. During the summer, the huskies are enjoyed during the park's free daily tours of the sled-dog kennels. Tours end with teams being spirited down a trail pulling a specially-designed wheeled cart.
Denali National Park is home to 40 species of mammals and 167 varieties of birds. What most visitors want to view are moose, caribou, mountain sheep wolves and bears. It's possible to see them all on the park's shuttle buses that carry wildlife watchers, hikers and backpackers along the 92-mile-long Park Road that winds through the heart of this amazing wilderness.