ribbon cutting at Denali State Park
Steve Zada with Holland America Princess (second from right) helps cut the ribbon at the K’esugi Ken Campground’s grand opening. From Left to right: Bill Evans, former landscape architect; Ben Ellis, former Parks director; Ed Fogels, former Natural Resources deputy commissioner; Wayne Biessel, Mat-Su/Copper Basin superintendent; John Moosey, Mat-Su Borough manager; Chris Love, ranger; Bonnie Quill, Mat-Su Convention & Visitors Bureau; Mike Seidl, former chief of design and construction; Audrey Miranda; Luke Randall, project manager; Zadra; and Matt Wedeking, acting director for Parks. Photo courtesy State of Alaska

Another part of the South Denali project is complete and open to the public.

The K’esugi Ken Campground in Denali State Park includes tent and RV parking, public-use cabins, an interpretive center and hiking trails for all ages and abilities.

The new campground is equipped with electric hook-ups, bear-resistant food containers, a hand-pump water well and picnic tables.

The complex sits on a bluff overlooking the Chulitna River to the west, offering vistas of the entire Alaska Range — including Denali.

To support the project, Holland America Princess donated $1 million to extend the electrical grid along the Parks Highway.

Alaska State Parks said it chose the site for various reasons, including visibility along trails to reduce surprise wildlife encounters and a variety of natural features that will “enhance the visitor’s understanding and appreciation” for the Denali region, including unique glacial features, beaver ponds, rocky knolls and Lake 1787.

The topography offers accessibility to visitors of varied physical abilities for activities such as nature trails, scenic viewpoints and trails to and around the lake. 

Alaska State Parks anticipates the development would bring 230,600 more tourists per year to Denali State Park, which on average gets about 325,000 annual visitors.

For more on the project, click here.




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