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Denali National Park and Preserve is north of Anchorage and can be reached via car or Alaska Railroad. Established in 1917 as Mt. McKinley National Park, it is the home of the highest peak in North America, the crowning jewel and awe-inspiring 20,320 foot Mount McKinley.
The Denali National Park and Preserve was created on December 2, 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. At the same time, the 2,146,580 acre (8,687 km²) Denali Wilderness was established within the park. The national park is located near Denali State Park.
The size of the national park is over 6 million acres (24,500 km²), of which 4,724,735.16 acres (19,120 km²) are federally owned. The national preserve is 1,334,200 acres (543 km²), of which 1,304,132 acres (5,278 km²) are federally owned.
The Denali habitat is a mix of forest at the lowest elevations, including deciduous taiga. The preserve is also home to tundra at middle elevations, and glaciers, rock, and snow at the highest elevations.
Denali is well-known for its diversity of wildlife. There are 39 species of mammals, 167 species of birds, 10 species of fish, and one species of amphibian known in Denali. Not to be outdone, more than 650 species of flowering plants as well as many species of mosses, lichens, fungi, algae, and others grace the slopes and valleys of Denali.
Today, the park hosts more than 400,000 visitors who enjoy wildlife viewing, mountaineering, and backpacking. Wintertime recreation includes dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling where allowed.
For more information, visit the National Park Service website.