Denali park opens for summer tourists

FAIRBANKS — Denali National Park and Preserve’s entrance area facilities opened Wednesday for the summer visitor season, despite some lingering snow cover.

KUAC reports the popular sled dog demonstrations also were scheduled to begin that day, though park spokeswoman Kris Fister said officials were trying to remove snow from the track used for the demonstrations.

Fister said the short, circular track is harder to handle with a real sled, and interpreters who do the demonstrations typically aren’t mushers and are trained using a wheeled sled.

Meanwhile, work continues to clear snow from the 92-mile road. So far, crews have gotten to mile 66, the Eielson Visitor Center.

Shuttle buses, which are used to bring in most summer visitors, are scheduled to begin running Monday. Initially, they will provide access as far as Toklat River, at mile 53. Buses are set to begin running the entire length of the road on June 8. Most campgrounds are scheduled to be open by Monday, with the campground at Wonder Lake set to open June 8.