Denali, Alaska

Prominence: 20146 ft, 6140 m

Elevation: 20,310 feet, 6190 meters

True Isolation: 4629.37 mi, 7450.24 km
Local or Alternate Name(s)Former Name (English): Mount McKinley
Highest SummitSouth Peak
SubpeaksArchdeacons Tower (19,600 ft/5974 m)
Denali - North Peak (19,470 ft/5934 m)
Peak 18735 (18,735 ft/5710 m)
Peak 17400 (17,400 ft/5304 m)
West Buttress (16,030 ft/4886 m)
South Buttress (15,885 ft/4842 m)
East Buttress (14,730 ft/4490 m)
Browne Tower (14,600 ft/4450 m)
Southeast Spur (13,100 ft/3993 m)
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)63° 4' 9'' N, 151° 0' 23'' W
63.069042, -151.006347 (Dec Deg)
600733 E 6994844 N, Zone 5 (UTM)
CountryUnited States (Highest Point)
State/ProvinceAlaska (Highest Point)
County/Second Level RegionDenali (Highest Point)

Search Engines - search the web for "Denali":
     Wikipedia Search
     Microsoft Bing Search
     Google Search
     Yahoo Search

Other Web Sites
     Denali (Mount McKinley) at
     Denali at
     Weather for Mount McKinley at
     Denali at Summits on the Air (Amateur Radio)
     Denali Trip by George Kashouh

Weather and Snow
     National Weather Service Forecast
     NOAA Snow Depth Map

Lists that contain Denali:
     U.S. State High Points (Rank #1)
     United States State/Territory High Points (Rank #1)
     Fred Beckey's Great Peaks of the Continent (Rank #1)
     Most Prominent Peaks of the U.S. States (Rank #1)
     EPIC List - States of the USA (Rank #1)
     Most Isolated Peaks of the U.S. States (Rank #1)
     5000 foot Prominence CoHPs (Rank #1)
     Combined USA-Canada-Mexico State/Province High Points (Rank #1)
     United States Peaks with 100 miles of Isolation (Rank #1)
     USA Peaks with 6000 feet of Prominence (Rank #1)
     U.S. County High Points over 13,000 feet (Rank #1)
     United States 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
     Fifty Highest CoHPs (Rank #1)
     Top 10 Prominence Grid for U.S. States (Rank #1)
     Top 10 County High Points Grid for U.S. States (Rank #1)
     North America 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
     Top 10 Elevation Grid for U.S. States (Rank #1)
     5000 foot gain CoHPs (Rank #1)
     CoHP High Five List (Rank #1)
     Top 10 Isolation Grid for U.S. States (Rank #1)
     100 Highest CoHPs (Rank #1)
     North America Range3 High Points (Rank #1)
     USA/Canada Peaks with 7000 feet of Prominence (Rank #1)
     Most Prominent Peaks of US National Parks (Rank #1)
     U.S. National Park High Points (Rank #1)
     Peaks on "America the Beautiful" Quarters (Rank #1)
     United States 13,750-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
     USA/Canada Range4 High Points (Rank #1)
     North America Peaks with 200 km of Isolation (Rank #1)
     North America Peaks with 2000 meters of Prominence (Rank #1)
     Western USA CoHPs (Rank #1)
     Ultras of North America (Rank #1)
     North America UN Member High Points (Rank #1)
     North America Country High Points (Rank #1)
     Alaska Peaks with 100 Miles of Isolation (Rank #1)
     Alaska Borough/Census Area Prominence Peaks (Rank #1)
     Alaska Borough/Census Area High Points (Rank #1)
     Alaska 13,000-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
     Alaska Peaks with 5000 feet of Prominence (Rank #1)
     Ultras of Alaska (Rank #1)
     Alaska Wilderness High Points (Rank #1)
(Peak is on over 20 lists; Not all shown here.)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       Denali Climbing Guide (Secor)
       Fifty State Summits, Guide with Maps to State Highpoints (Zumwalt)
       Highpoints of the United States: A Guide to the Fifty State Summits (Holmes)
       Mount McKinley Climber's Handbook (Randall)
       Denali's West Buttress: A Climber's Guide to Mount McKinley's Classic Route (Coombs)
       Highpoint Adventures: The Complete Guide to the 50 State Highpoints (Winger)

Ascent Info

Total ascents/attempts logged by registered users: 378
     Show all viewable ascents/attempts (Total: 328)

Selected Trip Reports:
     1987-07-01 by Tom Sewell (Unsuccessful)
     1995-06-24 by Robert Garneau (Unsuccessful)
     1997-05-27 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     1998-05-15 by Stephen Wark (Unsuccessful)
     2000-06-23 by Dennis Stewart
     2005-06-23 by Kevin Downie
     2006-05-20 by Dennis Poulin (Unsuccessful)
     2008-06-07 by Caj Svensson
     2010-05-26 by Eric Gilbertson
     2010-06-01 by Bob Kerr
     2012-05-20 by Darren Knezek
     2015-06-15 by Ken Curtis
     2016-05-31 by Petro Ksondzyk (GPS Track)
     2016-06-16 by Aharon Elston (GPS Track)
     2017-06-15 by Jeffrey Wright
     2018-05-31 by Nicklas Anthony
     2018-06-09 by Priti Wright (GPS Track)
     2018-06-09 by Jeffrey Wright (GPS Track)
     2018-06-14 by Karthik Krish (Unsuccessful) (GPS Track)
     2019-05-30 by Serguei Okountsev (GPS Track)
     2019-06-05 by Bryan Kercher (Unsuccessful)
     2019-06-09 by Dustin Wittmier
     2019-06-12 by Jared McCullough
     2021-05-30 by Nick Magill
     2021-05-31 by Harry H
     2021-06-11 by Alan Bernier (Unsuccessful)
     2021-06-11 by Jacob Winey (GPS Track)
     2021-06-11 by Joe Merlone
     2021-06-12 by Ben Baumann
     2021-06-14 by Denis Dean (Unsuccessful)
     2021-06-21 by David Darby (GPS Track)
     2022-05-28 by Josh Gagner
     2022-06-01 by Mark Akers

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Denali
     Elevation Ladder from Denali
     Prominence Ladder from Denali


Denali is the highest mountain in North America and perhaps the single most impressive mountain in the world--all higher peaks are in the greater Himalaya or in the Andes, part of enormous mountain ranges. Denali rises almost alone, 16,000 feet above the snowline, with only nearby Mount Foraker even close to it in height. Although part of the Alaska Range, a massive ice-clad range of spectacular peaks, Denali so utterly dominates its area that what would otherwise be major ice peaks sometimes seem like mere foothills.

Denali is also perhaps the coldest mountain in the world outside of Antarctica--its combination of great height, high latitude, and terrible weather are literally unique. The summit area is below zero degrees Fahrenheit almost all of the time, and ferocious wind lashes the peak virtually incessantly.

Climbing Notes

Although considered a technically easy climb by the most popular routes, an ascent of Denali is a serious undertaking made difficult by the cold, the weather, and the sheer scale of the massive mountain. On average during the past few years, about 1000 climbers attempt the summit per season, 500 make it, and 3 die. The climbing season runs from mid-April until mid-July, since before then it is too cold, and after that too stormy and the snow too mushy and unstable from too much sun. Theoretically, early season (May) is colder but less stormy, and later (June) is warmer with more snowfall, but in a given year anything can happen. Success percentages for a year have gone as low as 31% (1987) or as high as 67% (1983).

The standard route is the technically easy West Buttress, which starts at a glacier airplane runway at 7200'--virtually everyone flies on to the glacier to avoid an arduous approach. The standard rule is to allow three weeks for the climb, and to be prepared to spend a week of that holed up in your tent waiting for the weather to clear. Other routes include: the Muldrow Glacier route, technically easy but involving a long approach over the tundra from the north; the West Rib, a more challenging climb involving a steep couloir; and the Cassin Ridge, a committing and difficult rock climb.


On August 30, 2015, the US Department of the Interior, with the support of the US president, changed the official name of the mountain to "Denali" from "Mount McKinley". This change ratifies the name that has long been used by many in the mountain climbing community, as wells as by the Alaskan Natives. To many it had long seemed a more fitting name than one memorializing the obscure 25th U.S. president, William McKinley. The U.S. Congress changed the name of the surrounding park to Denali National Park in 1980, but congressmen from Ohio (McKinley's home state) blocked the name change for the mountain itself for many years. Although the peak was named by a partisan prospector before McKinley was even elected president, his subsequent 1901 assassination helped make the name stick.

Perhaps the best justification for naming the peak after McKinley was that he selected Theodore Roosevelt as his vice-president, and therefore his assassination put the first environment-minded president into office.

Climbers make their way along the very summit ridge of the South Peak of Mount McKinley, nearing the 20,320' top of North America (1997-05-27).
Web Map LinksPeakfinder Panorama
GeoHack Links   CalTopo   MyTopo   Bing Maps
Google Maps   Open Street Map
ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 20,146 ft/6140 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 20,178 ft/6150 m
  Line Parent: Volcán Chimborazo
  Key Col: Rivas, Nicaragua    164 ft/50 m
IsolationIsolation Page  (Detailed isolation information)
   Distance: 4629.37 mi/7450.24 km
   Isolation Limit Point: 42.287483, 81.042242
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Yanamax  (NW)
RangesContinent: North America (Highest Point)
Range2: Alaska-Yukon Ranges (Highest Point)
Range3: Alaska Range (Highest Point)
Range4: West-Central Alaska Range (Highest Point)
Ridges/DividesAlaska-Yukon Divide (Highest Point)
Drainage Basins
Susitna (HP)
Cook Inlet (HP)
Gulf of Alaska (HP)
Pacific Ocean
Yukon (HP)
Bering Sea (HP)
Pacific Ocean
OwnershipLand: Denali National Park and Preserve (Highest Point)
Wilderness/Special Area: Denali Wilderness Area (Highest Point)
Topo MapMount McKinley A-3 I63151a1 1:63,360
First AscentJune 07, 1913
    Harper, Walter
    Karstens, Henry
    Stuck, Hudson (United States)
    Tatum, Robert
Route #1 Glacier Climb: West Buttress
Trailhead: Southeast Fork Kahiltna Glacier (Airplane Flight) 7200 ft/2195 m
Vertical Gain: 13,560 ft/4132 m
Data Source1:62,500 Topographic Survey Map
Dynamic Map

 Denali    Other Peaks
Click Here for a Full Screen Map

Other Photos

Looking down the broad Kahiltna Glacier (1997-05).

The treacherous slopes leading up to Denali Pass (1997-05-27).

Standing on the Summit of North America (1997-05-27).

Washburn's Thumb on the West Buttress (1997-05).

Camp is well dug-in at 11,000 feet on Denali (1997-05).
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Ken on the Summit of Denali (2015-06-15). Photo by Ken Curtis.
Click here for larger-size photo.

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The summit of Denali on May 31, 2016 (2016-05-31). Photo by Petro Ksondzyk.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
11k Camp (2016-06-07). Photo by Aharon Elston.
Click here for larger-size photo.

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
14k Camp (2016-06-08). Photo by Aharon Elston.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Edge of the World (2016-06-13). Photo by Aharon Elston.
Click here for larger-size photo.

This page has been served 431615 times since 2004-11-01.

Copyright © 1987-2023 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service