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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Garner

Stargazing in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

If you're a fan of stargazing, then the Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska should be at the top of your list. As one of the wildest and least populated states in the U.S., Alaska is known for its desolate terrain, making it an ideal place to watch stars and witness other night sky marvels like the Aurora Borealis. On my recent trip to Denali, I experienced some truly unforgettable stargazing moments that I'll never forget.

The Night Sky In Denali

The night sky in Denali is simply breathtaking. With no lights around for miles, there is nothing standing between you and an endless expanse of stars. On clear nights—which are surprisingly common—the Milky Way can be seen stretching across the entire sky in all its glory. Even if you don't have any astronomy knowledge, it's hard not to be awe-struck by the sheer number of stars on display here. It's a feeling that will stay with you long after you've left Denali.

The Northern Lights

Of course, one of the most exciting things about visiting Denali is getting to witness the Aurora Borealis—aka the northern lights—with your own eyes. This phenomenon occurs when charged particles from solar winds interact with Earth’s atmosphere creating an ethereal light show that dances across the night sky in different shapes and colors ranging from green to pink to purple depending on where you're standing at what time. Experiencing this incredible event firsthand is truly something special and makes for a unique experience every time.

My Experience In Denali

I was lucky enough to visit Denali during peak season for both star-watching and aurora borealis viewing (between September and April). To ensure that I got an unobstructed view of both events, I booked myself into an airbnb cabin situated far away from any major cities or towns so as to minimize light pollution as much as possible. This turned out to be a great move as I was able to get spectacular views of both events without having to battle against light pollution or crowds! All-in-all, it was definitely one of my favorite trips ever!

Can you see the Milky Way in Denali?

As long as the sky is clear above and dark enough for visibility to be good, you’re sure to have an unforgettable stargazing experience - including (for some) a chance to take in the breathtaking sight that is the Milky Way!

On my own stargazing trip to Denali, I was fortunate enough to catch a clear view of the Milky Way in its full glory. Interestingly though, impressive stargazing opportunities don't end here; with its pristine darkness and cloudless weather conditions, most nights here will guarantee optimal stargazing conditions regardless of season or time of year.

Where is the best place to see the northern lights in Denali?

To optimize your chances of seeing this natural phenomenon you should look out for clear views to the north horizon with no obstructions - such as buildings, trees or mountains blocking your way! Although visible anywhere across the sky on high auroral activity levels, most displays start off by appearing towards a northerly direction. Moving further away from Denali? Fear not; sightings around Fairbanks offer a higher likelihood than Anchorage but both make perfect spots to bask in nature's mesmerizing spectacle! With the spectacular night skies free from human light pollution that are seen in Denali and surrounding areas, there is huge potential for witnessing an awe-inspiring northern lights show.

Northern Lights

This Is Such A Magical Stargazing Adventure!

If you love stargazing or observing natural phenomena like auroras, then a trip to Denali National Park should definitely be on your bucket list! Not only is this pristine national park home to some truly spectacular starry nights but it also offers thrilling opportunities for witnessing rare events like auroras without having too fight too much against light pollution or crowds! My recent trip there was certainly one of my most memorable experiences ever!

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