Denali Alaska
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Denali, Alaska

June 9, 2003
The 6,914-meter-tall (20,320-foot) Mt. McKinley is a towering double-peaked mountain in the middle of the Alaska Range, made all the more impressive for rising thousands of feet above its neighbors. As the tallest mountain in North America, it is one of the world’s Seven Summits (the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents). The plains immediately to its north, at an elevation of 600 m (2,000 feet), give Mt. McKinley more vertical relief than any of the other Seven Summits. Named after the United States senator and president, William McKinley, the area around the mountain was designated the McKinley Wilderness Area in 1917. However, the peak is known as Denali, or “the high one,” in the local Athabascan language. When the area was expanded and converted to a national park in 1980, the area was renamed the Denali National Park and Preserve. There remains discussion of renaming the peak itself as most mountaineers refer to it as Denali.

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