Set at the stunning foothills of the Alaska Range, Denali National Park and Preserve is a wonderland of abundant nature and pristine terrains. It is as beautiful and untouched today as it was the day when naturalist Charles Sheldon first visited the lands over a hundred years prior - whose goal was to ensure its protection for future generations to enjoy. Through his dedication and tireless effort, his aim was fulfilled, leading to the establishment of Denali National Park and Preserve on February 26, 1917.

Visitors to the park today can enjoy its serene natural environment that's been properly preserved over a long period of time, participating in untold adventures and activities entailing expert-led hikes, sightseeing bus tours, backcountry camping, and cycling along the wild and lengthy Denali Park Road for enjoying the region's spectacular ride-by scenery.

Related: Denali National Park Is One Of Alaska's Most Beautiful Spots

However one chooses to discover Denali's diversity and beauty, taking advantage of its designated and dedicated information center is the perfect complement to one's trip to the reserve. The Denali Visitor Center is a place of fascination that's open to the public, offering intrigued visitors an exclusive opportunity to learn all about the park, its nature, and its history from those in the know. Of the many things to uncover within this hidden gem of stories, science, and information, the following are some of the interesting topics one can learn about during a visit.

9 There Are One Million Acres Of Glaciers In Denali

Around one whole sixth of the park is covered by mighty glaciers that flow away from the mountains from as high as 19,000 feet above sea level. And the marvel doesn't quite end there; spanning a whopping 44 miles down Denali's south west side, Kahiltna Glacier isn't solely the longest glacier in the park, it's also the lengthiest in Alaska Range's entirety.

Related: This National Park Has The Most Glacial Hikes Outside Of Alaska

8 Some Denali Rangers Have Four Legs

Sled dogs and official good boys and girls have been assisting rangers in patrolling the reserve ever since it first opened in the 1920s. And they're not just cute dogs in uniform performing for the public; they're legitimate employees and are the only sled dogs in the USA to work in a national park. What's more, visitors can even watch sled dog demonstrations in the summer season, as well as observe them on duty in winter.

Visitors can also visit their kennels all year round for an extra dose of adorable. And for Internet users who can't quite make it to Denali right away, the park’s puppy cam is available to watch, along with pup obsessed folk being able to follow the park on Facebook - the account often posts updates on Denali's sled dogs for their adoring fans to enjoy.

7 Mountaineering Is One Of The Park's Top Activities

Mountaineering is among the park's popular pastimes, with Denali peak officially being the tallest in all of North America measuring a massive 20,310 feet. There has been no lack of challengers to scale its summit; the first climbers to accomplish reaching the top managed the feat in 1913, and ever since there have been droves of mountaineers from around the globe descending to tackle the task. Years of training and expedition experience are required to attempt this climb - a round-trip expedition that takes on average 17-21 days to complete.

Although Denali peak is indeed the final boss, many climbers also hone their skills on other innumerable peaks and ice walls dotted throughout the park, allowing potential challengers to gain all-important skills and experience before taking on the ultimate goal.

Related: This Is How To Reach Denali, The Home Of The Tallest Mountain In America

6 Denali Has Only One Road

There's only one road that sections Denali, making it truly a place of untouched wilderness. Construction on the 92 mile-long Denali Park Road first started in 1923 and was finally completed in 1938. It spans the entire park's terrain and serves as the main access point for visitors.

Private vehicles have limited access, with them only being permitted to drive up to mile 15 and no further. However, the park's four-day annual lottery grants single day-long permits to winners who are then able to drive for as long as they like.

Related: Flightseeing Tours Are The Best Way To See This Alaska Park

5 The Wildlife Is Diverse And Abundant

Many people's reason for visiting Denali is to discover its wildlife, which is as diverse as it is abundant. In fact, scientists have marked 39 species of mammals that inhabit the reserve's vastness, however, what most people come to witness its huge animals, including caribou, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, and grizzly bears - the latter can regularly be spotted eating blueberries in the late summer. Furthermore, visitors can also see 169 species of birds and over 1,500 species of plants within the park's confines, making it a place of natural awe and extreme wildlife diversity.

4 Only One Single Species Of Amphibian Can Survive In Denali

The seven-or-so-centimeter-long wood frog is the one sole amphibian that's managed to thrive in Alaska's cold winter temperatures. The species is tough, hardy, and extremely adapted to the climate, and undergoes what most animals simply could not survive; the body of the wood frog freezes solid throughout winter, their hearts non-beating, and their lungs not breathing at all during this time.

What keeps them alive is their cryoprotectant chemicals, which protect the frogs’ cells throughout their period of winter hibernation. Then, come spring, the frogs thaw and hop back to the ponds to fulfill the circle of life, breeding and spawning Denali's next generation of cold-resistant froggies.

Related: 10 Places You Need To See In Alaska To Truly Appreciate It

3 Denali Boasts Intense History And Remains Important For Alaskan Natives

Alaska Natives have called the land surrounding the Denali area home for thousands of years, employing its resources for shelter, food, clothing, handicrafts, transportation, and trade. In fact, the name "Denali" itself is loaned from native Athabaskan languages and can be translated to mean “the tall one” or “mountain big.”

And it's in the Denali Visitor Center that guests can study more about the native cultures; there are amazing exhibits of the park's human history, about which guests can learn from the experts themselves. There are also ranger talks on offer, allowing visitors to hear all about the history and indigenous communities in an informative, intimate way.

Related: These Are Some of The Best Pre-USA Historical Sites In Alaska

2 Denali Is One Of The Top Spots In The USA For Watching The Aurora Borealis

The unearthly spectacle of the Northern Lights occurs year-round in Denali, but with a sprinkling of luck and good planning, they're the most visible only in fall, winter, and early spring - the months when the night sky is dark enough to see the mesmeric showcases of color and light. Alas, those that don't manage to catch the elusive phenomenon that's often difficult to predict can still enjoy some stunning stargazing on clear, chilly nights within the reserve.

1 Dinosaur Fossils Abound

Guests of Denali and its visitor center can walk with dinosaurs - not quite literally of course, but close enough. It's dinosaur fossils galore in the park, especially at its 70 million-year-old Cantwell Formation.

Also of note, in 2005, a prehistoric carnivore called a theropod was the very first fossil unearthed in interior Alaska, followed by thousands of trace fossils having been found ever since. Visitors to the reserve can get up close to many of such fossils at Denali’s Murie Science and Learning Center, where ancient Denali and its eons of natural history can be seen and experienced.

Next: 10 Tallest Mountains In The World (& Facts About Them)