Denali National Park Animals
Denali National Park is home to some of the most iconic animals on the planet. These animals include large mammals, like the Grizzly Bear and Moose, small mammals, such as the lynx and flying squirrels, a multitude of birds and fish, and a single amphibian. This document has been created to provide some insight of what you can expect to see while at Denali.
Being one of the largest species of bear would definitely have its perks. The Grizzly can grow up to 8 feet and weigh 800 pounds. Grizzly's are also exceptionally fast. They have been clocked up to 30 miles per hour. These magnificent creatures will usually keep to themselves. However, there have been many instances in the past where a mother has attacked when someone has gotten to close to her cubs.
Moose generally travel alone, but you may see more than one together during certain situations. These include mating season and while a mother is raising her children. A bull mooses antlers will become covered in velvet each summer. These antlers will be shed once each year during December.
The body of the Dall Sheep is covered with a white woolly coat. This coat helps them camouflage during the winter while also keeping them warm in these harsh climates. Male Dall Sheep (rams) can reach 70 inches in length and weigh almost 250 pounds. Both males and females have horns made from keratin (the same substance as human nails).
Denali National Park has been recognized as one of the worlds best places to see wolves in the wild. Wolves travel in packs of 6-10 adults. a wolf pack also follows a strict hierarchy with a male at the top and his female mate not far behind. As a pack these animals work together to bring down other large animals, such as moose and caribou.
Wolverines are carnivores with a thick, multi-colored fur coat. They most often prey on smaller animals, such as mice, rats, and birds, but have also been known to take down large animals, such as caribou and moose. While wolverines are able to hunt their own prey, they will also scavenge the hunts from bears and wolves as well. Wolverines generally weigh approximately 35-50 pounds and can reach a length of nearly three feet.
There are four species of lynx across the world. Of these four species, the Canada Lynx can be found at Denali National Park. The Canada Lynx weighs approximately 22 pounds for both males and females. This animal has a thick, yellow-brownish fur with a white underside. The backs of their ears is darker than the rest of their body.
Porcupines are a medium sized mammal from the rodent family. These animals can grow to a length of 20 inches and weigh up to 28 pounds. Porcupines are nocturnal creatures that have over 1,000 quills covering their bodies. Porcupines are most often found in trees.
Another nocturnal animal of Denali National Park is the Northern Flying Squirrel. These animals are able to move up to 130 feet per glide. Because of this, they have been mentioned as being one of the most aerodynamic flying mammals on the planet.
- For a full list of Mammals at Denali National Park, please visit our Mammals of Denali Page.
The trumpeter swan is the largest North American waterfowl. Large males (or cobs) can weigh up to 35 pounds and have a wingspan over seven feet! These birds can reach a height of four feet while standing.
Golden eagles have a dark brown appearance with a golden sheen on the back of the head and neck. They are also one of the largest birds in North America. They are often seen either alone or in pairs.
Great Horned Owl
The great horned owl is a wonderful sight to see while at Denali. These majestic birds are able to turn their heads all the way around. This is due to an exceptionally long neck (14 vertebrae). Because these owls scrunch their necks into an S shape, they can often appear not to have necks at all!
Bald Eagles usually weigh between 6 and 14 pounds. When fully extended, a bald eagles wingspan can reach 8.5 feet. You can usually find bald eagles around large bodies of water and the associated grasslands, streams, marshes and rivers. Bald eagles possess powerful legs equipped with talons and a strong, sharp beak.
- For a full list of Birds at Denali National Park, please visit our Birds of Denali Page.
These fish can grow up to 3 feet long and weigh up to 36 pounds. These fish are an example of an anadromous fish. Anadromous fish are born in freshwater travel to the ocean during their adult life, and return to the freshwater to bread.
The burbot is a nocturnal fish being most active at night. These fish can dramatically range in size. In Alaska, burbots usually weigh between 6 and 8 pounds. Burbots are fish remaining from the ice age and still spawn their eggs once the lakes have frozen over.
The northern pike is a predator fish who preys on smaller fish a third to half their size. They have bright yellow eyes and a nice set of sharp teeth. They actually have very few natural predators. A few of these predators include humans and lampreys.
These rather small fish are only 1 to 3 inches in length. These animals are unable to swim very well. Rather, they somewhat hop, between and on top of rocks to avoid predators.
- For a full list of Fish at Denali National Park, please visit our Fish of Denali Page.
The Lone Amphibian
The Wood Frog
These frogs are the only frog species that lives above the arctic circle and can withstand temperatures as low as 42 degrees below Fahrenheit. The wood frog is also the only amphibian that can be found in Denali National Park. They are rather small animals being only 1.4 to 3.25 inches in length.