Tell me about Denali

A couple months back I started a thread asking dopers to help me decide which of three national parks I should take a summer job at. Thanks partially to the resulting advice, I’ve accepted a position at Denali in Alaska. I’ll be working at McKinley Chalet Resort, which is just outside the park entrance, from May 7 until August 15.

So now I need to know what do to while I’m there. What are the best hiking trails, rafting companies, and so forth in and around the park? Which restraunts should I frequent, and which ones should I avoid? What are the secrets that they don’t tell you about in the guide books?

Your choices for restaurants is going to be limited pretty much to the hotels, unless you have a car, and even then the only other choice is going to be in Cantwell. As you can see, there’s not much there.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as a bad hiking trail in Denali. Make sure you actuall go into the Park. If you’re there in the fall, that’s the most spectacular time of year there. There’s good fishing in the area, particularly on the Denali Highway, which is not inside the Park boundaries, so doesn’t require you to take a tour bus.

Lots of photography opportunities, both scenery and wildlife (moose, caribou, Toklat grizzlies, wolves, etc.).

It may be the only National Park that has an SUV and a brand of bottled water named after it.