Overlooked animals of Denali National Park and Preserve

05/18/2022 Back To Blog

Denali is the tallest mountain in North America and Denali National Park and Preserve boasts 6.1 million acres of land to explore. It is no surprise that a park this big is home to some of the most prominent four-legged residents of North America. Most people know they can expect to see moose, bears, sheep, caribou, wolves, and rabbits in the park, but what about the lesser-known animals and critters that call the park home? Do you think you could name all the living things inside Denali National Park?

According to the National Park Service, more than 90% of the park’s wildlife is made up of creature that are often overlooked — arthropods! Bees, butterflies, spiders and crawly critters all enjoy life in Denali National Park.


Bee landing on fireweed

Like the rest of the world, much of Denali’s ecosystem relies on the pollination of bumblebees. There are 17 species of bees in the park and five of those species live almost exclusively in the alpine tundra. The bees in the park help pollinate the blueberries that become fat and juicy for bears to feast on before their winter hibernation.



Would you believe us if we told you that there are over 50 species of butterflies in Denali National Park? It’s true! Butterflies not only add color to the airy spaces surrounding us, but they also contribute to the park’s displays of beautiful wildflowers in the spring and throughout the summer season. For the plants to keep reproducing year after year, they rely on pollinators such as butterflies.


Spiders may not be everyone’s favorite critter, but they also have an important role to play. As a predator in the environment, spiders help keep other insect populations in check. Spiders aren’t the only spineless creatures crawling around the park. There are various insects, centipedes, slugs and more!


wood frog

Another often overlooked creature in Denali is in the amphibian class. Over centuries of evolution, only the wood frog has adapted to the chilly winters in the park. The wood frog is Denali National Park’s lone amphibian. To survive winter, the wood frog freezes solid until spring rolls around and the frog thaws, returning to the ponds to begin its breeding season.

To begin your journey discovering all the park’s living beings, book your trip to visit Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge today!