Riley Creek CG - Denali NP

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by generok, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Feb 7, 2013
    Anchorage, AK
    Riley Creek CG is the first CG in Denali NP. It is the nearest to the mercantile, which has flushing toilets, running water, showers ($4.50 for token, $0.50 for towel) and laundry. It is close enough to the highway to still have 4G cell phone service too, which was nice because the Park Service has some nice content on their website.

    The CG is primitive, no hookups. There are "A" sites which are fairly long, and "B" sites which are SHORT. If you choose a "B" site, understand you will not likely be able to keep the TV and PUP in line and not be out in the road. Those spots work well for tent campers, buf if you have a long PUP, and a long TV, you may not have enough room to park side by side and you could be in trouble.

    The spots may be narrow, but they are VERY deep. The main part of each site was BEHIND, not beside the parking pad. So, if you tend to put up an awning and hang out there, you could have a problem with a "B" site.

    The CG is NICE!!! It is wooded and mostly level. There are a smattering of flushing bathrooms in Riley Creek, with outdoor slop sinks for dishwashing (no hot water). But most of the bathrooms are vault toilets, but still very clean. It is bear country, so I was a little surprised there were not bear lockers at the site, but you have to keep things in your TV anyway.

    The check in process can be painfully slow, or just take a second, depending on the line. You reserve a "spot", but not a particular space. So once you check in, you drive around and find a spot that it unmarked and take it, and post your plaque.

    The park is, of course, spectacular. I won't go in to all the park tips, but do some homework before you come in prime season.

    All in all, we had a wonderful time at this beautiful campground.
  2. patahern

    patahern New Member

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    Feb 23, 2014
    I've been to Denali about 15 times, including 3 winter trips where we skied for multiple nights. This year will be the first time to bring a PUP. We have one night at RC and then 3 nights at Teklanika. Its a wonderful par, as you mentioned. Thanks for the heads up on the size of the sites.
  3. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    Thanks for the info. We are harboring the idea of driving to Alaska one of these summers.
  4. Tukee44

    Tukee44 Member

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    Apr 28, 2012
    Just spent 3 night in this park. It is one of the best CG. The bathroom was clean and probably the nicest looking with all new wood stain. Each side is separated by trees, pines and young aspen. All looks pristine. There were moose with cubs walking around the CG each day (no night in the summer) nipping on aspen leaves. Very very ice.

    Mobile GSM works great (ATT I think). Wifi is at the Mercantile store. If you plan to visit Denali, buy an annual pass will save you $10 per head (for up to 4) on shuttle bus.

    The CG is filled up fast in the winter. Reserve well in advance.

    In late May/early June, the mosquitoes (Alaskan state bird) have not been out. But I heard later months, they are getting pretty nasty.

    The Mercantile store carries a lot of good local craft beer. One of my favorite is the Sockeye Red IPA. I kicked myself now for not soaking enough of it.

    Good hiking trails: Horseshoe lakes (created by beavers), Rock Creek trail to the Dog Sledge, and Healy peak.

    Best activity - Whitewater rafting on the Nenana river (Denali Rafting Adventure company).

    If you drive from Anchorage and it is a sunny day, make sure you stop at around milepost 135 to view the Denali peak (McKinley).

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