Denali National Park and Preserve spreads out across 6 million acres in the Alaskan Range, a 600-mile arc of mountains that divides south-central Alaska from the interior plateau. At the peak of this range stands Mount McKinley, the Alaskan landscape's most impressive feature. It is the highest mountain on the North American continent and has the greatest vertical relief of any mountain in the world. Measuring from base to summit (not from sea level) -- Denali beats Everest! The vertical relief of 18,000 feet tops out on a snowy summit at 20,320 feet, and its north summit is North America's second highest peak at 19,470 feet.
The park consists of wide, low plains, dark, somber mountains, brightly colored peaks and sheer granite domes. This contrasting landscape is home to large caribou, moose and grizzly bears, more than 650 species of flowering plants, and countless mosses, lichens and fungi. These plants and animals have been able to adapt to survive the dramatic terrain and seasonal weather changes.
See the seasonal changes of Denali in this panoramic time-lapsed video clip. Download the QuickTime movie (273K)