Backcountry camping is the best way to appreciate Denali’s scenery and its inhabitants. Don’t expect it to be easy though, as there are no formal trails and with thick spongy tundra and frequent river crossings even hardy hikers find themselves limited to five miles a day. The park is divided into 87 units with only a limited number of campers allowed in 41 of them. Free permits are available one day in advance from the Backcountry Information Center, facing the Wilderness Access Center, though high demand means you should be prepared to hike in the less popular areas. The BIC will also teach you about avoiding run-ins with bears and issue you with bear-resistant food containers.

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