More than a mountain Denali is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along it see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America's tallest peak, 20,320' Mount McKinley. Wild animals large and small roam unfenced lands, living as they have for ages. Solitude, tranquility and wilderness await.
We started by the park headquarters / sled dog area and hiked down toward the visitors center (and then up another trail). This is a decent hike... we used it more to get from point A to point B and then back again. It was fairly busy in the early afternoon and then more quiet in the evening on our way back. There is one area with a bench and great view of the surrounding area. We did see moose droppings a couple of times along the hike, but we didn't actually run into any large animals.
While most people do this by raft I decided to spend July and September 1979 hiking the Kantishna River. One of my favorite things to do is follow rivers from beginning to end. Be prepared for difficult hiking conditions. Hiking this route will push you to your limits.
Nice trail right above the Park Road between Headquarters and the Visitor's Center complex closer to the entrance. You hike up about 600 feet for a commanding view of the river valley and the Alaska Range on the far side. There are spectacular views of the Railroad trestle over Riley Creek. At the high point of the trail there is a bench to rest and take in the views. A really nice 2-3 hour walk.