Denali road lottery canceled over landslide concerns

A narrow road cuts through valleys and mountains.
The lone road through Denali National Park and Preserve. Photographed on July 25, 2020. (Tegan Hanlon / Alaska Public Media)

The road lottery in Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve is canceled due to a landslide that forced the closure of much of the road that runs through the park, officials announced Thursday.

The lottery had been scheduled for Sept. 17 and Sept. 19-21. A military appreciation day, which had been set for Sept. 18, was also canceled.

Traditionally, lottery winners get to drive as much of the 92-mile park road as weather allows. This is seen as a treat since private vehicle access in the park is restricted, with buses the main way to travel. With this year’s lottery canceled, winners will be refunded a $25 fee they paid to drive the road.

RELATED: Landslide forces Denali National Park to close road near halfway point

The park on Tuesday restricted road access beyond mile 43 to travel essential for facilitating seasonal closures of operations. The park cited concerns with a fast-moving landslide in the Polychrome Pass area.

Buses will continue traveling to mile 42 through Sept. 16. Starting Sept. 17, private vehicle access will be allowed from mile 15 to mile 30 until weather and road conditions prompt the seasonal closure of the road at mile 3, according to a statement from the park.

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