Time for the Denali Road Lottery

Most people who have ever traveled the Denali Park Road that leads to the old mining site of Kantishna have gone by bus (and what a great trip that is!). The road lies in the heart of  6-million-acre Denali National Park and Preserve.

It starts at the Parks  Highway at 237 Mile and travels 92 miles through some of the thickest wildlife  and greatest scenery Alaska has to offer. While the first 15 miles of the road  is open to private traffic, the only way to see what lies beyond is usually on  one of the park’s shuttle buses, which transport thousands of tourists into the  park each summer.

Unless you happen to be one of the lucky winners in the  annual Denali Park Road lottery. And now is your chance to enter!

The 2011 road lottery is scheduled for Sept. 16-19. The application period is  June 1-30. Online application forms will be available at

http://www.recreation.gov/permits/Denali_National_Park/r/wildernessAreaDetails.do?page=detail&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72314&topTabIndex=Permits

from 12:01 a.m. June 1 until midnight on June 30. There is a  non-refundable entry fee of $10 for each application.

As part of the all  online application process, lottery winners also will be billed the $25 road  lottery fee when they are drawn instead of paying it when they show up at the  park. Lottery winners will pay the $25 fee whether or not they  show up to drive the road. There are always lottery winners who don’t show up andthey have never had 400 people on the road.

The $25 fee will only be  refunded if the road does not open by 2 p.m. because of weather or road  conditions on the day of the permit. And if itis passable just part way you’ll only go that far.

In addition to the $25 road lottery  fee, all permit winners must pay a $20 park entrance fee.

Everyone who  submits an entry will be notified by email. Lottery winners also will receive a  letter confirming the day of their permit, with additional information on how to  obtain the road permit and how to prepare for the drive into the  park.

Names of lottery winners will be posted on the park’s website by  July 15.

Permits will still be transferable in that the person awarded the permit can give it to someone else if they are not able to go. 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 to get their permit.