Those who have traveled the length of the Denali Park Road understand its telescopic nature first hand. The road is widest at its origin at the park entrance but narrows as it progresses deeper into the park. The first 15 miles of pavement give way to more than 80 miles of winding gravel road. The National Park Service is challenged with maintaining road safety while obeying the mandates of the road character definition in the Final Entrance Area and Road Corridor Plan EIS of 1997, which gives specific details of road structure and points to the role that the road plays in the visitor experience.
The section between Eielson Visitor Center (mile 66) and Kantishna is the most lightly used portion of the road. Some areas have weak shoulders or are too narrow for the largest of the concessioner’s buses to pass each other. NPS plans to improve safety on a 13-mile portion of this road section through the use of intervisible passing pullouts, which will allow vehicles ample time and space to pull over. The comment period has ended for this project.
In related road news, watch the Denali National Park website for news of the proposed alternatives in the Vehicle Management Plan, which determines the park bus system. The current concession contract for bus transport expires in 2012. Alternative systems will take into account the results of the Road Capacity Study EIS and public comments. Monitor the Park's news site to participate in the next comment opportunity. Because most visitors access the park by bus, any changes will invariably have significant impacts to the visitor experience.
Illustrations by William D. Berry and Amanda P. Devine
P.O. Box 67
Denali National Park, AK 99755
The enthusiasm of our staff is often what makes the guest experience so memorable. If you know of someone who would be a good fit for our organization, encourage him or her to view the employment pages of our website, www.campdenali.com. General staff positions are available for the 2013 season, as well as the following professional seasonal positions:
**Registered Nurses are encouraged to apply for any of our positions.
Denali is what America was; it’s the old and new, the real and ideal, the wild earth working itself into us on days stormy and calm, brutal and beautiful, unforgiving and blessed. It’s where we came from, long before agriculture, television and designer coffee, before our goofball ideas of having dominion over all living things, before our modern, paradoxical definitions of progress and prosperity, and too much stuff; it’s the lean, mean, primal place buried in our bones no matter how much we might deny it, no matter how fancy our homes, how busy our routines, how cherished our myths. Denali resides in each of us as the deep quiet, the profound moment, the childhood lost and found again, the open space and rare chance to be observant, truly alive.