Teams of sled dogs patrol Denali National Park every winter for the past 99 years.
Denali’s first superintendent Harry Karstens was a dog musher. He acquired the park’s first seven sled dogs in 1922 and the kennel has been in existence since then. It is the only national park with a working sled dog kennel.
Motor vehicles, like snowmachines, are not allowed in the wilderness section of the park, so dog teams are a great alternative. They can access remote areas, contact winter visitors, transport materials and supplies, gather scientific data and even pick up litter.
Visitors can usually learn about the kennel with in-person visits, but the kennel has been closed to the public since the onset of COVID-19. However, the work of the kennel has not stopped and teams routinely head into the wilderness of Denali National Park this winter.