The area known as McKinley Park Village is 8 miles south of the entrance to Denali National Park, borders park lands directly, with the Nenana River acting as a natural divide.
In 1958 the Denali Highway was completed, providing the first road access to the region. The first individuals to capitalize on this, in the McKinley Village area were Gary Crabb and Jack and Ede Reisland.
Gary Crabb homesteaded land to the east of the current Parks Highway. His initial property use included a man camp for highway surveyors/workers, as they completed the George Parks Hwy. This property is known today as Denali Park Village.
The Reislands filed a Homestead Act claim in 1958, on 40 acres of land to the west of the current Parks Highway. During the early 1960’s the Reisland family cleared their land and slowly developed the property, adding cabins and roads. These cabins were seasonally rented to McKinley Park Rangers (as Denali National Park was then known).
In 1968, the Reisland family opened a small campground, to service the minimal number of visitors to McKinley National Park. They are still in operation today, which makes them the oldest continually operated tourism business within the Denali Borough.
Other homesteads gradually grew in this area, and many of them were subdivided into residential lots. Today, numerous tourism based businesses, and larger residential neighborhoods line both sides of the highway. It is a wonderful option for being close to Denali National Park, without the bustle and hustle.