Photo of Denali
Photo uploaded by Josh Garner

Mount McKinley is the highest peak in North America. It is a huge snowy mass, flanked by five giant glaciers and countless icefalls. It dominates the horizon from as far south as Cook Inlet, 200 miles away, and as far north as Fairbanks, 150 miles away. Its steep unbroken south slope rises 17,000 feet in twelve miles. Five major ridges extend from the summit, and many spurs and buttresses extend from these. The mountain is increasingly known by its native name, Denali, which means The Great One in the Athabaskan language. Denali is not an especially difficult climb technically, but the weather is more severe here than anywhere else in the world, and many lives have been lost attempting the ascent. The number of attempts on the summit have increased dramatically in recent years, and a greater percentage of these are ending in failure.

Elevation (feet): 20,320
Elevation (meters): 6,194
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Alaska Range
State: Alaska
Latitude: 63.0694
Longitude: -151.004
Difficulty: Major Mountain Expedition
Best months for climbing: Apr, May, Jun
Year first climbed: 1913
First successful climber(s): Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, W. Harper, R. Tatum
Nearest major airport: Anchorage, Alaska
Convenient Center: Talkeetna, Alaska

Thanks to KMC for contributing to these details. (View history)

Trip Reports

There are 45 trip reports for Denali.

  • Log #5414 - by John R. Leicester on Nov 10, 20043.00 stars
    First ascent "Kamikaze Gulch" Denali '77 Expeditiion from Seattle Washington
  • Log #5418 - by ashley, ashley, jasmin and ben on Sep 30, 20043.00 stars
    we're students in mrs west's biology class at Gallatin high School. We're researching Mount McKinley for a project. your site has been very helpful thanx
  • Log #5420 - by Chris Bourne on Sep 20, 20043.00 stars
    One of my best climbs. Climbed with Vern Tejas...The Lamb of Denali.
  • Log #5423 - by James Wilde on July 12, 20043.00 stars
    We were very lucky to enjoy two solid weeks of balmy weather on Denali. Excellent program run by the Alaska Mountaineering School. Thanks to Colby, Mike and Dan for organizing and getting my team to...
  • Log #5424 - by Josh Skeens on June 22, 20043.00 stars
    it was a hard struggle but with the brilliance of my fellow companions we made it up to the top first
  • Log #5426 - by berry van welzen on June 17, 20043.00 stars
    Climbed with American Alpine Institute. Good guides, good organisation, great trip! The views were magnificent!
  • Log #5427 - by Jann Stoeckl on June 10, 20043.00 stars
    Summited with a full moon rocking over Mt. Foraker. The ambient temperature was well below -40 Farenheit with a 30 mile an hour wind and slightly dark. The windchill temperature was fathomless! The 4...
  • Log #5428 - by Nicholas Rice on May 02, 20043.00 stars
    GREAT CLIMB. be ready for some major bruising from the heavy gear (shoulders from the pack, hips from the sled). I lost a toe nail on the way down. Make sure you check the fit of your boots on...
  • Log #5429 - by Gary M. Roth on Feb 25, 20043.00 stars
    My first ascent was with my wonderful brother Greg & my best friend Gary Klick. This was a great climb. My second summit was via a traverse of the Muldrow Glacier from Katisna completely...
  • Log #5430 - by John Beech on Feb 13, 20043.00 stars
    Landed on the glacier on the evening of 14 June - perfect weather. Climbed via the West Buttress route to 14,000 feet camp with Steve Griffith but summitted on 28 June with Dave Hamilton from...
  • Log #5431 - by Patrice Levee on Jan 01, 20043.00 stars
    Quick ascent in 6 days. Good conditions at the summit with a sea of clouds on the base camp. Running into the snow fields below the final arest during downhill, dangerous conditions to cross denali...
  • Log #5432 - by Francois Langlois on Dec 06, 20033.00 stars
    with my brother Yves, in 5 days alpine style, in & out of the mountain. Mother Nature was with us...
  • Log #5433 - by Deacon Bremer on Nov 13, 20033.00 stars
    Had a really enjoyable climb, but felt the altitude over 16,000'. West Buttress is a crowded route, so I'd do the West Rib if I had a chance to do it again.
  • Log #5434 - by Jay Meyer on Nov 12, 20033.00 stars
    For further detail regarding the ascent described in my 6/18/03 post, see the following:
  • Log #5435 - by Garrett on Sep 01, 20033.00 stars
    The trip of a lifetime! We reached the summit in 14 days, thanks to a well-timed weather window. The Upper West Rib is fantastic, but much steeper than we had anticipated. Only two of our team of...
  • Log #5436 - by asmrz on Aug 28, 20033.00 stars
    Took 15 days to climb the big one in April 1983. We had superb conditions with 13 out of 15 days clear, with temperatures down to -37 F. Took 11 days RT from Kahiltna Glacier to the top and back and...
  • Log #5437 - by Pascaronout on Aug 27, 20033.00 stars
    Our experience, please visit web pages on:
  • Log #5438 - by William Tyler on July 23, 20033.00 stars
    Me and my buddy summitted on day 13 of our climb at 8:40 pm. Denali is a great experience. Hard as hell when there is only two of you, but the summit is worth it. Met some cool folks along the way.
  • Log #5440 - by Bastiaan Hendrikse on July 15, 20033.00 stars
    Great expedition team, all of us summitted: Collin, Ulrik, Will, Pat, Wes, George, Travis, Drew (guide), Bill (guide), Daymond (guide) and myself. secret of a succesful expedition: good team, good...
  • Log #5441 - by James Coleridge on July 08, 20033.00 stars
    Climbing the Seven Summits and this was one heck of a beauty. Took 23 days and the storms ate up most of it. Stuck at 7,800, 14,200 and 17,200 it was a clear and cold day for the Summit. We were a...
  • Log #5442 - by Asheley Kinsey on July 02, 20033.00 stars
    Long day of climbing from 17 Camp, but made it to the top. Hazy but beautiful on the summit at a balmy 3 degrees F. Watch out for the fixed lines, fellow fell on the descent and took me out. My...
  • Log #5443 - by Hrair Ray Yeritsian on June 19, 20033.00 stars
    Solo ascent of "West Rib Variation" route from Basin Camp. Descended "West Buttress" route.
  • Log #5444 - by Jay Meyer on June 18, 20033.00 stars
    I and 7 other members of a 12 member American Alpine Institute guided team summited Denali via the West Buttress on a 21 day trip that began May 25. After flying in to base camp at 7,200', we...
  • Log #5445 - by Klaus Tscherrig on June 08, 20033.00 stars
    9 days from Talkeetna to summit and back to Talkeetna Visit Zermatt,Switzerland for more great Peaks! (Matterhorn,Weisshorn,Täschhorn and many more)
  • Log #5446 - by Dan Lochner on May 29, 20033.00 stars
    Great Experience. Time for Cho Oyu
  • Log #5448 - by Tom Beek on Dec 19, 20023.00 stars
    Na een even memorabel ontbijt als aankleedsessie (sommigen hadden echter met al hun kleren inclusief goretex overall aan geslapen) zijn we deze keer om 10.00 uur op pad. Het is bewolkt en koud. Er...
  • Log #5449 - by vibhas rahul on Nov 28, 20023.00 stars
    Hi,guys ...nothing big but i am just a regular treker/musician and was quite happy with myself,when i did the Everest base camp trek this january [2002] all by my self in temp like -27&-30 and...
  • Log #5451 - by Bob Wallis on Oct 08, 20023.00 stars
    It was tough at first. But after a few hours i got used to it.
  • Log #5452 - by Bobby Miller on Sep 24, 20023.00 stars
    I have not, but my Uncle has. His name is Daryl Miller and is a Ranger for Denali National Park. I am a school teacher in Nebraska teaching 3rd Grade and we are studying mountains, so my students...
  • Log #5453 - by Linda Strawn on behalf of Kev Strawn on Sep 20, 20023.00 stars
    Kevin summited Denali on week after proposing to me. He was on his way to Denali via Mt. Foraker June 2002 with two of his brothers, one of whom had also summited Denali, when the three of them were...
  • Log #21685 - by Vik Sahney on June 01, 20093.00 stars
    Climbed the West Buttress route as an independent team of 3.
  • Log #18761 - by Mark Duncan, The CLIMBS Project on Feb 14, 20063.00 stars
    I have a full account of this ascent, along with photographs and video clips on my web site at
  • Log #19283 - by Kevin Downie on Sep 27, 20063.00 stars
    The climb was perfect. The good weather followed us to the top. When it was storming on other parts of the mountain, it was nice were we were climbing. Our summit day was +10 degrees and no wind.
  • Log #19267 - by Vikram Sahney on Sep 27, 20063.00 stars
    Team of 3 climbers from Seattle summited Denali via the standard West Butress route. Summited on June 17th in beautiful sun and mild temperatures. High winds and snow then pinned us at high camp for...
  • Log #20932 - by Justin Carreno on Aug 06, 20073.00 stars
    This was an epic climb lasting 25 days. There were seven in our team. One member got HAPE at the 11,000-foot camp. He felt immediately better upon descending a couple thousand feet, but still decided...
  • Log #20945 - by Ryan Wells on Aug 10, 20073.00 stars
    Standard West Buttress route. Took only 10 days from Talkeetna to summit and back to Talkeetna. Pretty amazing! Group consisted of myself (29), Zac (23), Craig (45+), and Cole (45+).
  • Log #21090 - by Jeremy Aschenbach on Nov 17, 20073.00 stars
    we got stuck at the 14,000ft camp for 5 days because of snow and winds that hit 100mph. we summited from the 14,000ft camp in 17 hours round trip. the views are amazing! Denali is a sick mountain!
  • Log #21207 - by TA Loeffler on Mar 05, 20083.00 stars
    We climbed the Muldrow Glacier route on McKinley. There was only one other party on the mountain a few days behind us. It was amazing having the place to ourselves. We summitted on June 26, 2005.
  • Log #21339 - by George Kierspe on July 10, 20083.00 stars
    Had great weather for summit day!
  • Log #21390 - by ortwin volcke on Aug 16, 20083.00 stars
    My wife and I started the trip the end of April. It was cold but sunny. Day 6, we started from the high camp. Above the head wall, we slept in an ice cave.
  • Log #21795 - by Earl Redman on Oct 31, 20093.00 stars
    We flew in to Kantishna on 26 March 1975 and skied over McGonnegal Pass. Most of our supplies were taken to the Lower Icefall on the Muldrow by dogsled. We followed the usual Muldrow route then...
  • Log #21849 - by Caj E Svensson on Jan 08, 20103.00 stars
    My wife and I and three friends went on a guided climb with the Montain Trip company. One friend got sick and had to descend from ABC and leave. Another friend summitted June 6 in bad weather and...
  • Log #22370 - by tbacon251 on Jan 20, 20133.00 stars
    Reached the summit on May 21, 2010 at 7:00 PM with three other friends. The weather was great and the views were spectacular! The expedition was unguided and self supported.
  • Log #22392 - by Steve Gruhn on July 15, 20133.00 stars
    Summitted with Tom Choate.
  • Log #22516 - by Rick Witting on Sep 15, 20153.00 stars
    Traversed the peak. Up the Muldrow and down the West Buttress. Didn't see anyone until we were near the West Buttress.