The park announced Tuesday that roads will be restricted in an Alaskan national park. This is due to a long-running issue with landslides, which has been made worse by climate change.
It runs through Denali National Park and Preserve for 92 miles (148 km). According to a statement by the park, nearly half of the road west of mile 43 was closed Tuesday to all vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes due to unsafe conditions created by a landslide at the Polychrome Pass.
The main route for visitors to the park is by bus, which will continue to run up to mile 42.
Don Striker, park superintendent, stated that the National Park Service was working with the Federal Highway Administration (and other agencies) to find a long-term solution for maintaining road access in the area.
According to the statement, backcountry access and front-country trails will remain open. The Kantishna airport strip is also available. The park’s visitor center will continue to provide daily ranger services.
Meanwhile, campers in Wonder Lake Campground and backcountry areas west Polychrome Pass will be moved to areas east of closure in the next few days, a statement said.
For the remainder of the year, the Wonder Lake Campground and the Eielson Visitor Center at mile 66 were closed on Tuesday.
The park road is usually closed to vehicular traffic after mile 30 in September.
A special lottery has traditionally set aside several days in September for the winners to drive the entire road, as long as it is possible. Paul Ollig, park official, stated that he didn’t have any updates Tuesday regarding this year’s lottery.
In 2019, more than 601,100 people visited Denali National Park.