If you're planning to visit Denali National Park in Alaska this fall, you just might want to get an application in for the Denali Park Road Lottery. Winners of these treasured permits are allowed to drive the length of the road on one day in September.
The 2014 permits are good for September 12, 13, 14, or 15 (Friday through Monday), weather permitting. Each day 400 vehicles may use their day-long permits, obtained through the lottery system, to travel the road. If weather permits, the road may be open for its entire 92-mile length, offering exceptional opportunities for experiencing the heart of the park.
Entries may be made online at www.recreation.gov beginning at 12:01 am on May 1 until midnight, May 31, 2014 (Alaska time). Entries can also be done by phone at (877) 444-6777 between the hours of 6:00 am ' 8:00 pm (Alaska time) from May 1 - 31. Entries are no longer accepted by regular mail.
The non-refundable entry fee payment of $10 is charged to a credit or debit card during the online or phone application process. Winners will be charged the $25 Road Lottery Fee to the same card at the time of the drawing in June. The $25 fee will not be refunded if the Park Road does not open on the day of the permit due to weather or road conditions.
Everyone who submitted an entry will be notified about their entry status. Those who are drawn in the lottery will also receive an email confirming the day of their permit, with additional information on how to obtain the road permit and how to prepare for their visit to the park.
By June 15, the names of individuals drawn for permits will also be posted on the park website.
All permit holders must pay the park entrance fee of $10 per person (for visitors age 16 or older) on the day of their permit unless they have a federal recreation pass such as the Denali Annual Pass, America the Beautiful ' National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass (Annual, Senior, Access, or Volunteer) or the free U.S. Military annual pass.
Permits are transferable, i.e. the person awarded the permit can give it to someone else if they are not able to participate that weekend. The person transferring the permit must provide the original notification and a short note explaining the transfer to the new permit holder, who must bring that documentation to the park when they check in for their road permit.
The possibility of inclement weather in September is always a factor. Some years the road has only been partially open because of snow. Lottery participants are encouraged to contact the park for updated road and weather information the day before or the morning of their permit.
The Riley Creek, Savage River, and Teklanika River campgrounds will be open through the road lottery weekend, weather permitting. Campsites are not included in the road permit, but can be reserved in advance via www.reservedenali.com or 800- 622-7275. Information on campgrounds and accommodations outside the park is available through the Denali Chamber of Commerce at www.denalichamber.com or 907- 683-4636.
Additional lottery information is available on the park website or by calling park headquarters at 907- 683-9532 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.