Mount McKinley or Denali - "The Great One" - is the highest mountain peak in North America at approximately 20,320 feet. It is the centrepiece of Denali National Park and Preserve which is larger than the state of Massachusetts with six million acres of pristine wilderness.
The varied terrain includes crystal clear rivers, mountain lakes, expansive tundra, alpine meadows, sweeping vistas and abundant wildlife. Visitor services are available along the Parks Highway, near the park entrance, at campgrounds and in remote lodges.
What is interesting about Mount McKinley in comparison to Mount Everest is even though the summit of Everest is about 9,000 feet higher as measured from sea level, its base sits on the Tibetan Plateau at about 17,000 feet which gives it a real vertical rise of a little more than 12,000 feet. The base of Mount McKinley is roughly a 2,000-foot plateau, giving it an actual rise of 18,000 feet.
The mountain is also characterized by extremely cold weather. A thermometer left exposed at an elevation of 15,000 feet on Mount McKinley over 19 years recorded a temperature of −73.3 °C at some point during its exposure.
Driving from Anchorage or Fairbanks must be one of the most visually stunning drives in America. Alternatively, a train-trip on the "Midnight Sun Express" in either direction is equally as impressive. This is not your normal train ride, the car is a full-domed private rail car pulled behind the Alaska Railroad's daily train. The cars are custom-designed for great views of Denali from any vantage point.