The Denali Highway is Open for Public Travel
The opening was delayed this year due to heavy snowpack and several late spring storms.
(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) –The Denali Highway is now open from Cantwell on the Parks Highway to Paxson on the Richardson Highway. The opening of the Denali Highway, originally scheduled for May 15, was delayed due to above-average snowpack and several late spring storms that significantly slowed plowing efforts.
Beginning in mid-April, maintenance and operations crews with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) removed snow, thawed culverts and completed repairs along the 135-mile road. Working from both ends, crews met up on the afternoon of Friday, May 18 at milepost 37, just east of Maclaren Summit, opening the road to through-traffic.
Before traveling, please visit 511.alaska.gov or call 511 for the latest road condition and construction information. DOT&PF cautions drivers that conditions along the road are still rough in some sections. Be prepared for remote travel by carrying extra food and water, seasonally appropriate clothing, and a first aid kit. Seasonal weight restrictions are in effect; more information is available here.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – The summer opening of the Denali Highway has been delayed until June 1, 2018. The 135-mile road runs between Cantwell on the Parks Highway, to Paxson on the Richardson Highway and was scheduled to open on May 15.
Beginning in mid-April, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) maintenance and operations crews from Cantwell and Paxson began removing snow, thawing culverts, and completing repairs along the road from both sides. However, due to heavy snowfall throughout the year and several late spring storms, road clearing has been slower than expected.
The Paxson maintenance station has recorded 88 inches of snowfall this winter. According to the National Weather Service, the heavy snowfall combined with a cool spring have resulted in an above-average snowpack for early May.
As of May 9, the highway is open from the Cantwell end up to milepost 60, about ten miles east of Alpine Lodge, and from the Paxson end up to milepost 20 near Tangle Lakes. Both the Cantwell and Paxson maintenance crews continue to work to open the road from both ends as soon as possible.
This bald eagle just landed in this black spruce tree in Paxson, probably hoping to find some remains of salmon to snack on. Photo Courtesy Scott Skaleski
A beautiful Paxson sunrise. Photo Courtesy Scott Skaleski
A stunning sunset over Paxson. Photo Courtesy Scott Skaleski