Massive Landslide Closes Denali Park Road At Mile 37 In Denali National Park

Alternate Text
This landslide covers about 200 feet of the Denali Park Road under tons of dirt and rock. NPS photo.

A massive landslide has closed the Denali Park Road at Mile 37 in Denali National Park, covering the road with an estimated 30,000 yards of material that will take crews days if not weeks to remove.

The slide is west of Tattler Creek, on the section of road going up to Sable Pass. The slide, which covers approximately 200 feet of the road in depths of up to 35 feet, was released from a point 500 feet above the road and flowed south below the road, a park release said. The slide did not reach Igloo Creek.

Park staff, including the park geologist, made a thorough assessment of the slide on Thursday. The road crews were to stage equipment and begin operations Friday to clear the slide. Crews will work seven days a week to clear away as much of the slide as possible while the unseasonably mild weather conditions last.

The slope is unstable and visitors bicycling or hiking along the park road in the area should stay out of the work zone. Work will continue in the spring as needed, park officials said.

The Denali Park Road is currently open to Mile 30 (Teklanika Rest Area). The Murie Science and Learning Center is open daily from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. for park information and backcountry permits.

Comments

If there's any good news in this situation, it's that this slide didn't occur during the height of the visitor season, when (depending upon the time of day it happened) it could have left quite a few people stranded along the road. Based on the photo, it would be pretty difficult for most people to negotiate a "detour" around the slide on foot. Let's hope the weather will continue to allow good progress on the work before winter conditions arrive.