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Lottery offers Alaskans chance to drive scenic Denali Park road

Alaska Dispatch

You can't drive the road in Alaska's oh-so-popular Denali National Park and Preserve right now, but just wait and you might get lucky.

The annual lottery for road permits is open through the end of the month. Lottery permit winners are given the opportunity to drive the normally bus-only road for four days in September.

There are permits for 400 vehicles per day to drive the 92-mile ride on Sept. 14-17. Weather permitting, of course. Early snow is always a possibility in the Alaska Range.

Lottery entries may be submitted online at www.recreation.gov until midnight June 30. Entries can also be completed by phone at (877) 444-6777 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There is a non-refundable fee of $10 to enter, and $25 Road Lottery Fee to be paid if you win. The road fee is refunded if the Park Road is closed by weather past 2 p.m. on the day of the permit.

By July 15, the park says, the names of individuals drawn for permits will be posted on the park website. You can also go to that website now to find instructions on how to enter the lottery by mail.

All permit winners will be required to pay the park entrance fee of $10 per person (for visitors age 16 or older) on the day of their permit -- unless they have a federal recreation pass, such as the Denali Annual Pass or an America the Beautiful–National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

Road permits are transferable, so if your plans change and you can't go, you can gift the permit to friends or family.