Denali National Park and Preserve (True Books)
What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer
the Following Questions:
1. What is the highest peak in North America?
Denali (also known as Mount McKinley). It is 20,320 feet (6,190
meters) above sea level. The word Denali means "The Great One."
Did you know Denali is known
as Mount McKinley outside Alaska?
Here are some Alaska Facts:
Alaska is the largest state in the United States
Alaska lies 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of the Arctic Circle
The average temperature in January is -7 degrees Fahrenheit
or -22 degrees Celsius. This is why most people visit Denali
in the summer.
2. What was the original
name of Denali National Park and Preserve?
a) Mount McKinley National Park
b) Denalistone National Park
c) Alaska Canyon National Park
d) The Coldest National Park
a) Mount McKinley National Park. President
William McKinley wanted to create a national park to protect the
animals from human settlement and over-hunting. In 1917, the national
park was established and called Mount McKinley National Park.
In 1980, the park was enlarged to its present size and its name
changed to Denali National Park and Preserve.
Denali National Park and Preserve stretches
across six million acres (2.4 million hectares) of Alaska. It
is a beautiful and rich wildlife region in North America. Every
year, more than 600,000 people visit Denali.
Did you know
visitors cannot drive their cars in the Denali National Park and
Preserve? Visitors can drive 15 miles (24 km) inside the park
to Savage River. Here, they park their cars and ride on shuttle
buses. These buses transport the visitors along Denali's single
Hiking is a great way for visitors to see
the park. They can enjoy hiking on their own or as part of a ranger-guided
walk. In the summer, rangers guide Denali Discovery hikes.
Young visitors can become a Denali Junior
Ranger. The first step is to take a Denali Discovery hike. Learn
more about how to become a Denali Junior Ranger at the Visitor
Access Center or in the park newspaper, the Denali Alpenglow.
ONE of the native wild animals living in Denali National Park
Caribou, moose, Dall sheep, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves,
golden eagles, and Alaska jays.
Did you know
Denali is home to 37 kinds of animals and 159 species of birds?
The caribou is a large-antlered deer. It
is a cousin of the European reindeer. Thousands of caribou roam
free throughout Denali.
Did you know
moose is the largest deer? The males weigh 1,500 pounds (680 kg)
and their antlers can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 m) wide. Moose can
be seen in abundance throughout the park.
Dall sheep are big and white. They are
cliff-dwellers which mean they live on cliffs. They are difficult
to see because they live very high in the mountains.
The grizzly bear is the most popular animal
at Denali. Grizzlies can been seen along the road almost every
day during the summer. Newborn grizzlies are as small as puppies.
Full size grizzlies can be eight feet (2.4 m) long and weigh more
than 500 pounds (227 kg). Their thick, woolly fur can range in
color from light tan to almost black. Most grizzly bears try to
avoid contact with people. They are the most dangerous mammal
in North America.
Wolves can been seen at Denali, and their
howls can be heard at night.
Denali has many birds including the golden
eagle and the Alaska jay.
4. Denali National Park
and Preserve lies along which mountain range?
The Alaska Range. This mountain range
was created between 2 million and 5 million years ago. The land
was pushed up by great pressure within the earth.
The Alaska Range has thick glaciers. Did
you know glaciers form when more snow falls in the
winter than melts during the summer? Over a long time, the snow
becomes compressed into a thick sheet of ice. Glaciers gouge and
carve the earth and rocks as they slowly flow downhill. This changes
the shape of the land.
Muldrow is one of Denali's largest glaciers.
It is 35 miles (56 km) long. It comes to within one-half of a
mile (.8 km) of the park road.
5. True or False: There
are three life zones at Denali National Park and Preserve.
Naturalists divide Denali into three life zones. Different life
forms live in each zone. The first life zone is called the taiga,
the second life zone is called the moist tundra, and the third
life zone is called the dry alpine tundra.
The first life zone is the lowest zone.
It is called the taiga. Taiga is a Russian word meaning "land
of little sticks." In this zone, there are dense forests of spruce,
aspen, poplar, birch, and larch trees. Beneath the trees are blueberries,
cranberries, crowberries, and other wild shrubs. In the fall,
animals and birds eat the food in the taiga. Grizzlies and black
bears eat the berries. This food helps the bears gain weight for
their winter hibernation. Hibernation is a long winter sleep.
Did you know
the taiga and the tundra are separated by the timberline? Above
the timberline the weather is too harsh for trees to grow. In
Denali the timberline occurs at about 2,800 feet (853 m). The
tundra is hilly and almost treeless. Tundra comes from a Lapp
word meaning "hill." Did you know
a Lapp is a person from northern Scandinavia? In the tundra, there
is a short growing season, strong winds, deep snow, and intense
The second life zone is the middle zone.
It is called the moist tundra. This zone begins just above the
timberline. There are thick growths of birch and willow. Moose
eat the twigs and bark in the winter, and caribou eat these plants
in the summer.
The third life zone is the highest zone.
It is called the dry alpine tundra. It starts at 3,400 feet (1,036
m). Only the smallest plant life grows here. However, these plants
produce flowers. In June and July, the dry alpine tundra is covered
with beautiful purple, white, and yellow flowers. There are 430
kinds of plants found in Denali, including the Alaska state flower,
What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the
Arctic Circle: Cold, icy area surrounding the North Pole
Athabascan: Language of the American
Indians who live in the northernmost regions of North America
Dense: Crowded together
Lapp: Person from northern Scandinavia
Mammal: Warm-blooded animal that
gives live birth and nurses its young; dogs, bears, whales, and
humans are mammals
Naturalist: Scientist who studies
Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the
Following Questions for Your FREE
many miles is the Alaska Iditarod Trail Sled-Dog Race?
1,100 miles or 1,770 kilometers. The Alaska Iditarod Trail Sled-Dog
Race is held every February. It runs from Anchorage to Nome.
Fifteen minutes from the Visitor Access
Center, park rangers give daily dog-sledding demonstrations. Sled-dogs
are strong, hearty, and courageous. They have great endurance
allowing them to pull sleds over long distances. Did
you know a sled-dog team can travel 20 to 40 miles
(32 to 64 km) a day?
A sled-dog team usually has three to eight
dogs. Each dog is hitched one behind the other. Sometimes, two
dogs are hitched side by side. The lead dog takes commands from
the driver. The driver walks or runs along side the sled and hops
on the back of the sled every few minutes.
b. Use five of the words
in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers may vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
The Arctic Circle is near
the North Pole, and it is very cold.
I do not speak Athabascan.
Our city is very dense.
A Lapp is a person from Scandinavia.
Elephants are mammals.
My aunt is a naturalist, and
she studies nature.
c. Have a parent or friend give you
a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.
More Valuable Information about Independence
Park and Preserve (NPS)
of Denali National Park and Preserve (NPS)
National Park, Alaska
National Park (Alaskan.com)