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Mount McKinley is North America’s tallest peak, exceeding 20, 320 feet! It is the dominant feature in the Alaska range mountains and is visible from hundreds of miles away in many directions. Mt Mckinley offers an abundance of photo opportunities both near and far, with numerous and diverse views of its many faces possible. Changing seasons, light, and scenery offer new possibilities every year.
Mt Mckinley is among the tallest three mountains in the world from base to peak, significantly greater by this measure and in bulk even than mount Everest.
Mount Mckinley is often referred to by Alaskans as Denali, which is its native Athabaskan name, meaning “the high one”. Some interest in officially renaming the mountain to Denali has existed in varying degrees throughout the years, sometimes sparking debate.
Mt Mckinley has two prominent peaks, visible in the photo at right. The South Summit is the highest, and Mt Mckinley’s North summit (right in photo) has an elevation of 19,470 feet.
Weather on the mountain is extreme. Temperatures of -75.5 degrees F have been recorded, with wind chills well below -100 degrees Farenheight.
Five large glaciers flow from the slopes of Mt Mckinley. One, The Ruth Glacier, flows to the southeast into the Ruth Amphitheater, where adventurers can stay in the remote Don Sheldon mountain house.
Denali National Park
Mt. Mckinley resides in Alaska’s 6 million acre Denali National Park in the interior of the state.
Life abounds in the park surrounding Mt. Mckinley. Hundreds of species of flowering plants as well as mosses, lichens, and fungi cover the ground. Caribou, moose, and grizzly bears roam the land, and smaller rodents and birds occupy the earth and sky.
Mt. Mckinley towers over Alaskas interior landscape, making it visible from vantage points on all sides, spanning hundreds of miles. The Parks Highway connects Alaska’s two biggest cities, Fairbanks and Anchorage. Along this 350 mile roadway, Mt. McKinley is visible from numerous vantage points.
Tourists and residents alike are often treated to a view of McKinley on their drive North as they come through Willow, Alaska. The mountain is seldom completely clear, but often glimpses are seen through the clouds.
McKinley is sometimes visible from the hills all the way in Eagle River, near Anchorage, and also 350 miles north in Fairbanks.