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Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

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USA
Destination Expert
for Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,465
reviews: 44
Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

I am going to link this to the Top Questions for Denali National Park. If anyone has experience with any of these campgrounds, please jump in to add your views.

There are 3 campgrounds that accommodate RVs and Tent /Car Camping in the park. Campers using only shuttle buses can access all 3 campgrounds too.

#1 Riley Creek Campground at the entrance

Near showers, laundry, wifi, cell service, ice cream, lattes, snacks at Riley Creek Mercantile

Near visitor center, bookstore & park cafe

Easy drive or 2 mile walk to restaurants & shops in Glitter Gulch

Hooked to a whole network of entrance hiking trails

Can get better choice of shuttle seat if first in line at Wilderness Access Center

Moose (+other animal) viewing potential in area

nps.gov/dena/…campground-riley.htm

#2 Savage River Campground, mile 14

On Savage River

Adjacent new trail system

Can take free Savage River loop shuttle to Savage Loop 2 mile trail

Can see mountain from group site road or from river when out

Can drive to Glitter Gulch for restaurants & shops

Can take freeSavage Loop shuttle to entrance or dog sled demo

Saves you 30 miles of riding on shuttle each day

Caribou, bear, lynx, dall sheep (+ other) viewing potential in area

nps.gov/dena/…campground-savage.htm

#3 Teklanika Campground, mile 30

on Teklanika River

best deal is TEK pass, 1 shuttle price to use for whole stay

Saves you 60 miles of riding on shuttle each day

Cannot drive out until ready to leave for good

Lynx, wolf, bear (+ other) viewing potential in area

Additional info regarding Tek CG from Top Questions:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g143022-i1271-k369…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g143022-i1271-k360…

nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/campground-tek.htm

Edited: 6:41 pm, February 10, 2013
29 replies to this topic
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,967
reviews: 29
1. Re: Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

I've only camped at TEK, once in an RV (Aug 2010) and then again by Suburban car camping (Sept 2011). I really did enjoy the use of the TEK pass for our RV adventure. For the Sept trip it was over the road lottery weekend and I was fortunate to have a pass for three of the four days.

When we were there in 2010 there had been an overnight report of a bear in the campground the night prior to our arrival. I still hopeful that some day we will see a lynx . . . maybe on our 2014 RV trip.

USA
Destination Expert
for Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,465
reviews: 44
2. Re: Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

I've stay at all 3 with Tek being my favorite due to the TEK pass & that it's so conducive to easy access to hiking within the park.

However, 1 year when Tek flooded they gave us Savage River CG with the TEK pass. My hiking friends loved Savage River since they could take the free shuttle back to Riley Mercantile for showers. One of my friends with children with her ended up taking the free shuttle to the doggie demo twice! We were also able to drive out for pizza!

Often when a group of us drives up from Anchorage we spend the first night at Riley CG, before getting our backpacking units or going in to primitive campgrounds.

All three have nice sites and each has its own pluses.

Edited: 9:03 pm, February 10, 2013
Toronto, Canada
posts: 187
3. Re: Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

Thank you for posting these very helpful information.

Just a few questions. Does it mean I cannot drive my RV to the Riley Creek CG to use the dumping station if I stay in the TEK campground? Is it allowed if I stay in Savage River CG?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,967
reviews: 29
4. Re: Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

That's correct . . . once you arrive at TEK you cannot drive back out to the entrance area (or anywhere for that matter) until you are leaving for good.

USA
Destination Expert
for Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,465
reviews: 44
5. Re: Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

Yes, you can drive back to the entrance & Riley dump station if you stay at Savage River CG.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 187
6. Re: Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

Thank you for the information, Von and Denalicat!

Cadiz, Kentucky
posts: 1,474
reviews: 122
7. Re: Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

We've stayed at both Tek and Savage River, and done a drive-through at Riley Creek. You have done a GREAT job of summarizing the differences Denalicat! The only thing I might add is that although there is a 3 day minimum at Tek, many people leave after 2 days. As reasonable as the campsites are, you don't have to feel guilty about paying for an extra night, and saving that 60 miles on the shuttle every day really is a great help. On the other hand, when we stayed at Savage River, the mountain was out the whole time, and until you see that you can never know what that adds to the experience. I think any of the 3 campgrounds beat any other public or private campground by leaps and bounds!

USA
Destination Expert
for Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,465
reviews: 44
8. Re: Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

Excellent addition, cjnky, thanks!

And the mountain from Savage River is indeed divine. One year Tek CG flooded & iced over, an outhouse destroyed. So Tek was shut down. I was SO disappointed since I had a large group of hiking girlfriends coming up from outside.

But they gave us Savage River CG with the Tek pass for the week. My friends loved it because they could go back to the dog sled demo on the free shuttle & to Riley for showers.

It was June, so the mountain was out the whole time! We even had an early morning bear encounter in our campsite & a lynx encounter down at the river, so it was an exciting stay at Savage River.

Edited: 8:27 am, April 26, 2013
bedford
posts: 1,113
reviews: 5
9. Re: Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

this is an awesome thread.

can you guys explain the TEK PASS and why it is beneficial. A few questions:

1. Can you explain why the TEK PASS is a savings. Meaning what would you have to pay for if you did not that. Example staying at Savage River.

2. Can you make reservations at TEK for 3 nights, AND book one of those nights at Savage or Riley. Example if you wanted to leave early or want to split your stay for either water/hookups/shower or even being 60 miles closer to leaving the next day.

Example if you reserve M, T, W at TEK and T at Savage.

3. In regards to the one above, you probably can't split the stay tho if they monitor you coming and going.

Example if you reserve M, T, W at TEK and T at Savage won't work.

BUT if you did M, T, W at TEK and W at Savage you could right?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,967
reviews: 29
10. Re: Campgrounds for RVs/Tent Car Camping in Denali National Park

As I explained in another thread or maybe by PM, the TEK pass is good for your entire stay while camping at TEK C/G. It is $34.50 (in 2014) per person and is good for multiple days. The price for a single day on the shuttle is about that (or a little more) if you are traveling from the park entrance or Savage C/G.

Yes you can book at other CGs too. We are doing four nights at TEK plus one (at the end of our Denali time) at Riley CG. Note, there are no "hook ups" at any of the CGs inside Denali NP. The showers at the Riley Mercantile plus the ability to dump and refill H2O is why we are doing the final night there.

I don't know what you are asking about splitting the stay. If you are asking if you can do two nights at TEK then one at Riley and then two more at TEK . . . no. Each TEK reservation must be made (and paid) for minimum of three nights. Once you exit TEK and head back east towards the entrance, you will not be permitted back to TEK.

>>>Example if you reserve M, T, W at TEK and T at Savage won't work. BUT if you did M, T, W at TEK and W at Savage you could right?<<<

Wrong on both scenarios. Our reservations are TEK for Sat, Sun, Mon & Tues . . . and Riley on Wed. We will be able to use our TEK (shuttle) passes for rides into the park on Sun, Mon and Tues. We could do it on Sat if we were so inclined and arrived early enough to catch a shuttle on that day too.

Be aware, your first trip on the TEK pass must be reserved. For our trip, we are not sure what time we will get to TEK so to reserved a seat on Sat. made little sense to us. So our TEK passes will begin on Sun with our first reserved seat. On the other days (Mon and Tues) it is space available when the bus arrives at the TEK C/G stop. If you were to do this, you could not use your TEK pass during your stay at Riley (or Savage).

I have looked at our schedule and the posted shuttle schedule for our time next July. It does appear possible to take a shuttle from TEK on our TEK departure day (Tues in our case) IF and ONLY IF, we took the first shuttle of the day . . . and only went as far as Toklat and then turned back around to return to TEK. The check-out at TEK is 11am . . . and the timing, while tight (about 30 minutes at Toklat), could work. I could see me doing that! Mr. Timeshare? Aww, maybe not.

Does that help or confuse you?

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