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A Road More Traveled - Denali Train Depot - Denali National Park
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Lat34North
N 63° 43.820 W 148° 54.751
6V E 405564 N 7068378
Quick Description: This is one of several markers located on the platform at the Denali Train Depot. There is a set of the markers on the north and the south side of the depot. You do not need a ticket to view these markers.
Location: Alaska, United States
Date Posted: 9/17/2013 12:24:12 PM
Waymark Code: WMJ3GD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Waywizard
Views: 4

Long Description:
A Road More Traveled

As the number of ways to get to the park grew, so did the number of visitors.


If you wanted to visit the park prior to 1957, rail travel was not only a good option, it was about your only option. A few visitors arrived by chartered aircraft. Others, eager to drive their own cars in the park, shipped their cars by train.

In 1957, completion of the Denali Highway connected the park to the Richardson Highway, which at that time was the only road into Alaska’s interior. Surfaced with gravel, the 150-mile Denali Highway was (and is) a rough ride. That deterred some, but Park visitation rose from 5,200 in 1956 to about 25,900 in 1958.

In 1972, the George Parks Highway linked Anchorage, the park, and Fairbanks via a route that largely followed the rail line. Park visitation immediately doubled and continued to climb. Rail travel, on the other hand, plummeted, is the vast majority of park-goers opted for the highway. It wasn’t until the 1980s when the railroad began transporting tour operators’ private railcars, that rail travel reclaimed its former popularity, and then far surpassed it.

Birth of the Bus System
With increased visitation came increased pressure on the park. In 1972, anticipating that the number of visitors would skyrocket after the George Parks Highway opened, the park closed most of the Park Road to private vehicles and instituted a system of shuttle buses. In this way, the park reduced traffic congestion along the Park Road and preserved the opportunity to see wildlife at close range.


More Information:
NPS - Denali National Park
NPS - Denali National Park Information Guide
Wikipedia - Alaska Railroad
Wikipedia - Alaska Range
Wikipedia - George Parks Highway
Marker Name: A Road More Traveled

Marker Type: City

Addtional Information:
The highest point on the Alaska Railroad / George Parks Highway is at 2363 feet above sea level. From Wikipedia: George Parks Highway "The George Parks Highway (numbered Interstate A-4 and Alaska Route 3), usually called simply the Parks Highway, runs 323 miles (520 km) from the Glenn Highway 35 miles (56 km) north of Anchorage to Fairbanks in the Alaska Interior. The highway, originally known as the Anchorage-Fairbanks Highway, was completed in 1971, and given its current name in 1975. The highway, which mostly parallels the Alaska Railroad, is one of the most important roads in Alaska. It is the main route between Anchorage and Fairbanks (Alaska's two largest metropolitan areas), the principal access to Denali National Park and Preserve and Denali State Park, and the main highway in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. It is a common misconception that the name "Parks Highway" comes from the road's proximity to the Denali state and national parks; it is in fact in honor of George Alexander Parks, governor of the Territory of Alaska from 1925 to 1933. However, the aptness of the name was recognized when it was chosen." Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Parks_Highway


Date Dedicated / Placed: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Preferred would be to post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Alaska history please include that in your log.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Papou visited A Road More Traveled - Denali Train Depot - Denali National Park 6/25/2014 Papou visited it
tugies visited A Road More Traveled - Denali Train Depot - Denali National Park 6/1/2014 tugies visited it
Lat34North visited A Road More Traveled - Denali Train Depot - Denali National Park 9/4/2013 Lat34North visited it

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