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Annual Denali Park road lottery is going online-only this year

Mike Campbell
MARC LESTER / Anchorage Daily News archive

The wildly popular Denali Road Lottery will accept applications in June, but there's a new wrinkle this year.

All applications must be made online by 11:59 p.m. June 30.

"We decided to go all online, as the numbers of folks using the online system was increasing over mail-ins already, and it will allow for increased overall efficiency," said Kris Fister, a spokeswoman for Denali National Park and Preserve.

Winners can drive Denali Park Road on Sept. 16, 17, 18 or 19, weather permitting.

Each day during that period about 400 vehicles drive the road, which most of the year is open only to tour buses for most of its 92 miles to Wonder Lake.

Win or lose, a nonrefundable entry fee of $10 will be charged to applicants' credit cards. Lottery winners will be billed an additional $25 fee at the time of the drawing.

All applicants will learn the status of their entry by email. Winners will also receive a letter confirming the day of their permit, with additional information on how to obtain the road permit and prepare for the trip.

Last year, nearly 10,000 entries were submitted with about 80 percent of those online. Since the park service began charging an application fee in 2004, the 10,061 entries in 2009 is the most. Before the fee, as many as 18,000 applied.

Permit winners' names will be posted on the park website by July 15. Check nps.gov.

Entries must be made online during June at www.recreation.gov.

Permits are transferable.

Check the park website or call headquarters at 1-907-683-2294 for information.


By MIKE CAMPBELL
mcampbell@adn.com