The sled dogs of Denali have been important to the park for so long that they have become a part of the resource, and a cultural tradition worthy of protection. The dogs, and the kennels where they live, represent important pieces of the American story. They have cultural significance, representing both the Native Alaskan and the pioneer experience in the far north; and have a role in the history of Alaska's first national park. These are the only sled dogs in the United States that help protect a national park and the wildlife, scenery, and wilderness therein, and it has been this way nearly as long as there has been a park here. How to Visit the Kennels Located about 3 miles inside the park, the kennels are open year-round to visitors, generally from 8 am - 5 pm. In winter, the dogs and rangers are frequently in the park rather than at the kennels, so you may wish to inquire at the visitor center before coming to see if the dogs are around. You can reach the kennels any of the following ways: By car If you have a vehicle, you may drive here. There is a parking lot at Mile 3 on the Denali Park Road. Signs indicate that it is the Headquarters area; park anywhere near that sign and the flagpole, and take a short walk ( By bus In summer (May 15 - mid-September), you can use a free courtesy bus to travel here. The bus will drop you off at the Headquarters parking lot, a short walk from the kennels. You can also use a bus to attend a sled dog demonstration in summer On foot From the Denali Visitor Center, you can hike either the Roadside or Rock Creek Trail to reach the kennels. The hike is mainly uphill from the visitor center to the kennels. You could also ride a bus here, visit the kennels, and then walk (downhill!) back to the visitor center. Please note that there is no food or water for sale here, but we are happy to refill your water bottle from our tap.
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