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Denali Packing List

Denali Packing List

Are you looking for the perfect Denali Packing list for summer? This guide tells you EXACTLY what to pack and what to wear in Denali National Park whether you are visiting in May, June, July, August or September.

Denali National Park, and Alaska more generally, is renowned for its changeable weather, even in Summer. But fear not with this guide you will find out:

  • What the weather is like in Denali National Park in Summer
  • What to wear in Denali in summer for hiking, driving and more and
  • other travel essentials to pack for Denali and Alaska in summer

Note: this packing list is not intended as a camping packing list, instead for those in lodges and hotels who spend their days in the park. If you plan to camp in the national park check out this post. Also not intended as a climbing packing list for those who plan on going higher up Denali.

Also if you plan to visit Alaska on a cruise be sure to check out our Alaska cruise packing list.

Summer Weather in Denali

View of the denali national park sign in summer
Denali Packing List

But before we get into what to wear and travel essentials for Denali in summer, it is important to know what the weather is going to be like. The weather in Denali in summer averages between between 33-75 degrees Fahrenheit with July usually the hottest month in Alaska.

However in Denali, especially at higher elevations and along the coast you will find it feels cooler especially if you plan on getting into the park for sunrise.

Also you will find that Summer is the rainiest time to visit Denali with July and August usually having around 15 days of rainfall across each month.

What to wear in Denali in Summer

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Woman stood in t shirt with denali national park in background
What to wear in Denali In Summer

So now you know about the weather, we will tell you what to wear in Denali in Summer. Normally when we put together our packing list guides we split them into men, women and children. However for Denali we recommend a very practical packing list as you will be doing lots of hiking and outdoor activities. For this reason the packing list is universal.


Layers are the most important thing to add to your Denali packing list. Everyone knows how changeable the weather in Alaska can be and Denali is no exception. For this reason, we recommend always having top layers with you even on a sunny day.

My favorite top layer for any national park vacation is a lightweight fleece. They are very warm but pack away neatly into your day pack when you aren’t wearing them. They also dry quicker than hoodies for instance if you happen to caught in one of the infamous Denali downfalls.


Rain is always a risk in Alaska so we always add a lightweight rain jacket to all our Alaska packing lists. We recommend having a pack-away rain jacket that you can easily store in your day pack for when its not raining.

T Shirts

T shirts are my favorite base layer for Denali no matter what time of year you visit. As the weather can be changeable it is a good idea to have a mix of short sleeve, long sleeve and tank tops with you.

For areas where there are likely to be ticks you may want to stick to long sleeve tees and full length trousers as added protection.

Convertible Walking Trousers

Again, any trip to Denali involves walking, hiking and outdoor time. And as you will be in the park early to late you need to be prepared for a range of weather conditions. For this reason we recommend wearing convertible walking trousers.

This way you can wear them as trousers in the mornings and change them into shorts for later in the day when it gets warmer.


Denali may not be the first place you think of when you want to swim however there are some popular swimming spots in the park especially on the Horseshoe Lake Trail.

If you fancy you dipping your toes in the water you will want to bring some swim gear with you but we warned the water temperatures are very cold and you should always check for any advisoieys issued by the park service about swimming.


The sun can be strong in Denali so we recommend having a hat with a wide brim or a baseball cap to protect your eyes.

As there are a lot of mosquitos and midgies in summer you may want to pick a hat with a mosquito nte.

Hiking Socks

If you plan on wearing hiking boots in the park then you will also need hiking socks.

Best Shoes to wear to Denali National Park

Having the right shoes can definitely make or break a trip. Now depending on what sort of trails you plan on going to we recommend selecting from the below shoes for your Denali trip.

Hiking Boots

No matter the national park I am traveling to I always take hiking boots with me. Now if you plan on doing little hiking and sticking to good trails with boardwalks, these might not be necessary. However I like to have them with me for using after rain even on these trails and for hikes that may involve scrambling over rocks.


Sneakers are the best comfortable walking shoes for any vacation. Sneakers are great for boardwalk trails, the lodges and in towns near Denali.

Hiking Sandals

In hotter weather hiking sandals are a good pick especially on beaches. Our favorite brand of hiking sandals are Tevas.

Other Essentials for your Denali Packing List for Summer

So now you know what to wear in Denali and the best Denali outfits we will turn our attention to other essentials to add to your Denali Packing List for Summer.

Day pack with rain cover

Days in Denali are long so you will want a day pack with you. We like Columbia backpacks but this is a personal choice. However it is worth packing a rain cover for your day pack too in case you get caught in a rain storm.

Power Bank

Days are long in Denali and Alaska as a whole is infamous for its’ bad signal. So be sure to have a charged power bank with you to recharge your phone during the day as you will find your battery drains quickly in the park.

Sun protection

The sun is strong in Denali so be sure to have lots of sun protection with a high SPF with you.

Bug Spray / Insect Repellant

The mosquitos are pretty fierce in Denali in summer so be sure to pack plenty of bug spray and insect repellant. My favorite brand is DEET.

You may also want to consider packing a tick removal kit just in case as there are known to be ticks in the area.

Bear Bells / Bear Spray

You probably wont need this but it is better safe than sorry. This can easily be picked up in an outdoor store in Alaska on arrival though.


Again the sun is strong so sunglasses are an essential.


The birdwatching in Denali National park is amazing. If you want to do any birdwatching during your trip we recommend packing a good pair of travel binoculars.

Reusable Water Bottle and Extra Water

We recommend always having a reuable water bottle and extra water with you for any naitonal park visit especially in Summer.

Coffee Thermos and Mug

Your days start early in Denali and for me therefore a coffee thermos and mug is absolutely a must pack.


Although there are stops in Denali where you can grab snacks but they are few and far between so we recommend packing ample snacks, food and drinks for your visit.

Cooler and food containers

As the temperatures are hot and you will be taking food into the park so you will want a cooler and food containers with you.

First Aid Kit

Although no one wants to use a first aid kit on vacation, it is a good idea to pack a first aid kit with you on any national park vacation just in case.

Quick Dry Towel

If you plan on doing any water based activities or swimming in Denali we recommend packing a quick dry towel.


A camera is a necessity for any visitor to Denali.

Toilet Paper, Hand Sanitizer and a She wee

The toilets in Denali outside of the main visitors center are pretty primitive. For this reason we recommend packing toilet paper, hand sanitizer and a she wee with you.

What not to pack for Denali National Park

So now you know what to pack for Denali, we will turn our attention to what not to pack.


Leave the drone at home as these are banned in the park.

Complete Denali Packing Checklist

  • Layers
  • T Shirts
  • Walking Trousers
  • Rain Jacket
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimwear
  • Hiking Boots
  • Shoes – either sneakers or hiking sandals
  • Backpack and rain cover
  • camera
  • binoculars
  • sun protection
  • insect repellant
  • quick dry towel
  • coffee thermos and mug
  • resuable water bottle
  • food
  • first aid kit

Further National Park Reading

And if you are planning on visiting more national parks then be sure to check our other national park packing lists