Denali, formerly Mount McKinley, peak, 20,310 ft (6,190 m) high, S central Alaska, in the Alaska Range; highest point in North America. Permanent snowfields cover more than half the mountain and feed numerous glaciers. Though it was known locally as Denali [
the Great One], a prospector named it Mt. McKinley in 1896 after he learned that the former Ohio governor had been nominated for president, and the name was adopted officially in 1917. Denali was first scaled successfully by the American explorer Hudson Stuck and three others in 1913. Beginning in 1975 Alaskans attempted to have the local native name of the peak restored as its official name, but their efforts were blocked by Ohio's congressional delegation until it was renamed in 2015 by President Obama. Denali is included in Denali National Park and Preserve.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Physical Geography