Explore the most popular birding trails in Denali National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Love this trail. Easy enough for the little ones. Well groomed trail, with many educational opportunities as well. We loved learning about the beavers and seeing their hard work. If you’re lucky there will be moose out eating in the lake.

Awesome view at the top!

Highly recommend this loop trail for a gentle introduction to the park. I can only imagine how busy it is in the summer, but we had it all to ourselves. Saw beaver noses and enjoyed the views and getting to walk along the Nenana River. Also 4 willow ptarmigans.

We walked in from the north the first day to where the trail sharply rises, past the suspension bridge, along Riley Creek, and above it. Very pleasant with nice fall colors. A very doable couple of hours stopping to take pictures and enjoy the foliage, including some amazing mushrooms. The second day we started at the south trailhead and walked to Lake 1 (after that the trail rises sharply). This was a great walk. Just a bit of a climb at the outset, but one foot in front of the other gets it done. After the turn to the west all the car noise from the road disappears (nice views of Nenana River along that bit). Not required to take the spurs down to the lake shores to make the walk worthwhile as there are good views from main trail above each lake. We took 4 hours, but took many pictures and did not walk fast. Highly recommend coming from the south for folks who want to see the lakes and want a manageable walk.

It’s uphill all the way but the views are 100% worth it.

really steep to climb but worth it.. amazing view..

We made it to the second lake starting from the Denali Village. Didn't have a ton of time to hike, but beautiful views and easy to follow trail. If you have a little time to spend, this is well worth it!

Hiked this trail on 8/20. Definitely not easy on the way up, but well worth it! We hiked past the end of the maintained trail for a couple of miles. Views were beautiful.

Really nice for overlook

A bit difficult incline for seniors. A lot of steps to climb but well worth the view. There is a bench at the top of the steps on your way out so you can stop and rest. We did not do the loop, we hiked back out the way we came in.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice walk back from the Kennels, lots of biodiversity! You’ll go through spruce groves and transition to Alder, all along the way you’ll see plenty of gorgeous undergrowth and wild berries. There are only 2 clearings where you can see the landscape, one of which is an Earth Geocache spot. I think there are two, we missed one of them. We went when it was raining off and on, not too bad. I definitely recommend!

Good afternoon hike

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail! Walked in casually with friends at a leisurely pace. Taking our time, we got to the top in just under an hour and the views are definitely worth it!

This hike is a moderately strenuous hike. It’s uphill the entire way and gets pretty steep towards the end. I thought I was in okay shape but after hiking this I would say that I’m definitely not in shape at all. That being said this is not an impossible hike...children were doing it and a woman with a one month old baby and a 3 year old in tow did it. It’s totally worth making it to the top.

This trail is challenging but absolutely worth the views. I would do it again in a heartbeat! Took about 3 hours to hit the top w/ stopping to take pictures. Completed the hike in late July so it was fairly hot. Rated strenuous by the NPS.

hiking
2 months ago

We left the car at Denali Village and took the resort shuttle to the Park Visitor Center. Hiked the trail one-way back to the village resort (southward - 9.5 Miles)

Lovely path along the river and a moderately strenuous climb up to beautiful views of the foothills (bring water). Three lakes toward the end are a treat and great lunch stop with a few moose sitings.

A few mosquitos toward the lake (early July) but otherwise bug-free walk.

hiking
2 months ago

Best option for heading back to the visitor center from the dog sled center. Nice vista views.

hiking
2 months ago

Wonderful easy walk around a significant beaver habitat. Great with children.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail. Nice view!

hiking
2 months ago

Really nice trail. We saw our first wild Moose at the lake. It was so close. We sat there for a bit while the Moose was having its lunch.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked the the Roadside and Rock Creek as a loop. Only a few places where you could see anything because forest is so thick.

hiking
2 months ago

I used this trail to make a big loop that included the Roadside trail and the Rock Creek trail from the Riley Creek campground.

hiking
2 months ago

Seeing the river was the best part of the hike. The river was high because of all the rain the last few days.

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of my favorite front country trails in all of Denali National Park and Preserve. There are some elevation changes but each uphill is rewarded by some amazing views on both sides of the ridge. Plus, when you get to the end you can either walk over to the Sled Dog Demonstration or hop on the Roadside Trail and walk back to the visitors center.

I didn't see any signs of bear or moose for that matter.

hiking
2 months ago

Great little trail for anyone wanting a step up from the average.

The trail starts at either the visitor center or the railroad track near Horseshoe Lake and can be used to connect several other trails. There are some good views on the trail and, during the short spring and summer, plenty of wildflowers.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun little hike!

The trail starts near the post office and can be tricky at times with roads and loops coming off in different directions. The highlight is tundra, a mountain stream and the huge railroad bridge. There is not a lot of elevation change so it's a good trail for anyone.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun little trail good for almost anyone.

The trail head is at the railroad tracks on the Park Road. That throws some people off when the bus drops them off there but don't be discouraged. Walk along the tracks for about 75 yards and you come to the real start to the trail. It's just across the track. From there a short uphill takes you to the gradual decline into the lake area and then the stunning lake. Look for moose in the lake but be careful to keep your distance and don't get between mom and baby.

The path takes you along the banks of the Nenana River too where you can build your own cairn and eventually loops back around the lake. Trains come through at the top of the canyon often but they don't scare the beavers at all.

Wonderful and easy. Have fun.

hiking
2 months ago

I started from the trail head nearest to the Visitor Center just off of McKinley Station Trail.

The river flows alongside the trail for a mile or more including a crossing on a suspension bridge. From there, it was a pretty steep climb but with very well-maintained switchbacks. Once on top of the ridges, you could see for miles and there was no one else around.

On the back side, the hike down to the village was gradual and stunning with beautiful views of all three lakes and then the river. I had lunch at the Mariochi Moose food truck at the campground and rested a few minutes before hiking back to the visitor center from where I started.

The total trip including the side trails to the lakes and the approach to the park and the McKinley Station Trail was 22 miles and I did it in about nine hours including the lunch stop. I would highly recommend this trail for it's views and solitude.

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike. Easy. Great scenery. Came here while camping at wonder lake. Would do again.

P.s. bring deet and mosquito nets. It’s worth looking crazy in exchange for not going insane

Easy hike after long day in park. Beautiful views!!! Really enjoyed watching the beaver working on his dam.

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