Discover Denali National Park, Alaska

America’s National Parks offer plenty of variation in terms of landscape and terrain, and one of the most breathtaking of these American treasures is Denali National Park in Alaska. Although it is located in a very remote part of the country, getting it is relatively easy, and once you arrive, you will consider the trip well worth it. The key to making your trip fun and carefree is keeping your stuff organized and easy to carry, so when you are on the trail or traveling to and from Denali, you have everything you need – from your camera to your bear spray — near to hand.

Cruising to Alaska

If you want to get the full Pacific Northwest experience, there is no better way to go than booking a cruise tour that departs from Seattle or Vancouver, BC, and follows the coast to the northern reaches of the country. Once you reach your Alaska port of call, you and your crew can board a bus that takes you to the park. For this type of adventure, you need a portable backpack that you can easily transfer from ship to coach without a hitch.

Mystery Ranch Front Backpack

Made of rugged yet handsome 500D Cordura nylon and featuring three front zippers that provide lightning-quick access to your gear, the Mystery Ranch Front Backpack is ideal for a sea cruise and land travel too. It will only take a nanosecond to grab your phone and snap a photo of that pod of Orcas sounding off the bow and then safely stow it back in the top zippered pocket with your other small belongings.

Mystery Ranch Front Backpack

After lurking incognito in the woods all evening, searching for your next four-legged target, you suddenly notice a deer creep up into the spotlight. Quickly, unleash your Mystery Ranch Front pack and rip open its rugged YKK zippers to outpace your prey. Integrating the Mystery Ranch innovative three-zip design for quick access to your gear, this grade-A pack also entails MOLLE side webbing to clip accessories and custom torso fitting.


You will love the roomy lower cargo hold for your clothing, snacks, and books, and the vertical MOLLE webbing on the exterior of the pack provides plenty of space to snap on those things you will need easy access to once you reach the park, like your tripod, ice poles or crampons. The feather-light frame ensures your comfort, and the telescoping yoke lets you fine-tune the fit along your torso.

When you streamline your packing to travel light, that doesn’t have to mean you do without. One way to conserve space and weight is by bringing only what you need for the duration. That’s where the Matador Flatpak Toiletry Bottle comes in handy. Fill this indispensable, soft waterproof bottle with just the gel, shampoo or conditioner you will need. There is even a snap loop label you can mark so you know what is what. Be sure to get several FlatPaks because they are great for air travel too, and they are TSA approved.


Travel boundlessly with the Matador FlatPak Toiletry Bottle 3-Pack. These travel bottles are waterproof, and TSA approved, so it can be taken any and everywhere. Built with a large fill opening, fill them with pastes, liquids, and gels and easily identify your contents with its snap-loop label.


Train Travel to the Park

If you love the sightseeing experience, leave your car keys at home and hop aboard the Alaska express train, where you will enjoy the luxury of full service as you take in scenic nature like you have never seen it before. You can enjoy the wildlife, from moose to bald eagles, and the soaring, snow-topped mountains, including Denali Peak, the highest mountain in North America. The entire ride from Fairbanks to Denali takes only three hours and 55 minutes.

Driving to Denali National Park

Whether you are flying into the Fairbanks airport and picking up a rental car or driving from further afield, the road trip to the park takes just a couple of hours. The great part about driving is you can stop whenever you want to explore that glacial lake or scenic overlook along the way. You can bring your own snacks and water supply with you.

Stanley Go Ceramic Bottle

Just fill up your Stanley Go Ceramic Bottle with hot beverages or cold beverages before you start. The double vacuum design keeps your coffee or tea piping hot for up to nine hours or your water ice cold for 14 hours. It is perfect for car trips because it is spill proof, and its lift handle is ideal for the trail as well. This water bottle holds 24 ounces of hot or cold drinks. It is BPA-free, car compatible and comes with a lifetime warranty, so you know it will see you through Denali and beyond.


Infusing a ceramic-fire inside with a sleek stainless-steel exterior, this 24oz Go Ceramic Bottle from Stanley is grab-and-go ready. Crafted from Ceramivac™ Technology, double-vacuum insulation keeps your drinks warm up to 9 hours, cold for 14 hours, and iced 50 hours.


What to Do and See at Denali National Park

Once you arrive at the park and experience the vast six-million-acre wilderness stretching out in all directions, you may be so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start. Despite its vast size, Denali National Park has just one road that takes you in and then back out. From the end of May through September, you can drive 15 miles into the park. From that point on, you can take one of the tour buses to get an overview of the area. Following are some of the best ways to get the most from your visit to Denali.

Take a tour. If the thought of being confined to a tour bus after you traveled for hours is not attractive to you, take a bike tour, an ATV tour, a flightseeing tour or a rafting trip instead. You can get a bird’s eye view of the Alaska Range with its majestic peaks, plunging waterfalls and wealth of wildlife on an airplane or helicopter tour. Guided rafting adventures on the nearby Nenana River are also a great open-air option. Different trips are geared toward various skill levels.

Matador Droplet Wet Bag Keychain

Pack your essentials in your water-resistant Droplet Wet Bag Keychain, a lightweight, sealed nylon drawstring wet dry bag inside a compact water drop holder. Even if you get soaked, your snacks, windbreaker, and maps will stay dry.

Get educated. The Denali National Park Visitors Center has a lot to offer, including historic exhibits, a book store, and a restaurant. In the gift shop, you can purchase Denali apparel and keepsakes like a plush Alaska Moose. At the Eielson Visitor Center, located near mile 66, you can get some of the best views of Mount Denali as well as helpful information about the park’s terrain, trails, history, and habitats. Sign on for a ranger-guided hike or spend time on your own drinking in the high-alpine tundra landscape.


Experience on-the-go functionality like you’ve never seen before. Reveal a three-liter wet bag from the insidious Matador droplet keychain and keep your dripping swimsuit and travel essentials from leaking inside your duffel bag. Take this waterproof Nylon cinch bag with you to festivals, beaches, hikes and summer trips by the lake to keep your necessities intact.


Take a hike. You are welcome to ramble for a few hours or a few days at your leisure through the wilderness of Denali National Park. If you just want to sample the Denali outdoor experience, try one of the day hikes such as the three-mile Horseshoe Lake Trail. This groomed pathway, a favorite with park visitors, leads you to a panoramic view of the lake. Before you set out, make sure everyone in your group is supplied with ample water and maybe some high-protein snacks. If you are up for a long day hike, try the Triple Lakes Trail at milepost 231. As the trail name suggests, this pathway meanders past three pristine glacier-fed lakes and through the cool shade of evergreen forests.

Camelbak Cloud Walker 18 Backpack

Denali National Park is located largely at high elevations, and most hikes demand some degree of climbing. Staying hydrated is essential, and with a hydration backpack, you can take the safe, clean water you need. The ergonomic Camelbak Cloud Walker 18 Backpack features a detachable reservoir that holds enough water for two hours of hiking. What’s more, this pack has plenty of cargo space for your other gear, food, clothing layers, and your trusty gazetteer.

Camelbak Cloud Walker 18 Backpack

Whether worn in the urban jungle or rural wild, the Camelbak Cloud Walker 18 is for part-time adventure but full-time performance. Grab it for your every day or throw in its Crux reservoir and take it for a day hike. Organize your lunch, snacks, and trail essentials inside its multiple zippered compartments and remain hydrated with its updated Crux handle, delivering 20% more water.


Watch the wildlife. Grizzlies, wolves, caribou, moose, dall sheep and scores of smaller mammals and birds call the park their home. You are likely to spot some of these wild animals anywhere in Denali National Park, but if you venture into the back country, you are sure to catch sight of some wild residents. For example, the birding is good along the Sable Mountain Trail, which follows Tattler Creek up an incline to the ridge above. From there, you can choose which path to take, and the views are spectacular in every direction. Watch for such bird species as the Wandering Tattler, the Northern Wheatear, the Arctic Warbler, and Townsend’s Solitaire. Make sure to bring ample food and water in your camping backpack as well as your binoculars and photography gear.


These are just a few of the options for your wild Alaska adventure. You will find that Denali National Park offers enough variety and beauty to fit just about anyone’s bucket list. Be sure to keep all your gear organized and secure in your backpack, bring plenty of water and have a wet dry bag on hand in case of rain or rapids.


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