The Denali National Park consists of 6 million acres of wilderness in the shadow of Mount McKinley. The park is located 240 miles north of Anchorage on SR 3 (aka George Parks Highway). The mountaineering headquarters is located in Talkeetna which is 100 miles north of Anchorage.
There is only one blazed backpack trail, so most other treks follow rivers and ridges. The 14 mile un-blazed Eielson loop runs right up to Mount McKinley. Start hiking southwest from the Eielson Visitor Center across five miles of open tundra thats home to caribou, moose, wolves, and grizzlies; then go over the shoulder of Mount Eielson to 4,500-foot Pass Summit, a grand overnight spot with incredible McKinley views. On the seven- to ten-mile return, head west toward McKinley and then north along the foot of the Muldrow Glacier.
Note: Bear resistant containers are required for all backcountry travelers.
To reach the trailhead from Anchorage, head north for four hours to the Riley Creek Visitor Center. Take the park shuttle bus 65 miles to the Eielson Visitor Center.
Other popular backcountry hiking ares include Primrose Ridge, Mount Wright, Igloo Mountain, Polychrome Cliffs Loop, Sunset Glacier and Wonder Lake.
Overall, Mount Eielson Loop is the 2nd most popular hiking trail of all 54 hikes in Alaska.