About 15 miles west of Paxson, the Denali Highway enters the Tangle Lakes region. This land of tundra-covered rolling hills forms the divide between two wild and scenic rivers, the Delta and the Gulkana. A series of long narrow lakes connected by the Tangle River, the area offers a smooth float in the headwaters of the Delta. From the Tangle Lakes Campground at mile 22 from Paxson, boaters and canoeists can paddle through Round, Long and Lower Lakes to the river itself. Fishermen crowd into the area aiming for grayling, plus the occasional lake trout, burbot and whitefish. Rafters can keep going into the Delta for a 29 mile run to the Richardson Highway. The float takes 2 to 3 days with Class I, II and III rapids .
A leisurely pedal is one of the best ways to enjoy the spectacular land along the Denali Highway. Cyclists should be prepared for a rugged ride once the pavement ends 21 miles from Paxson. The road is improved gravel, but that does not preclude long washboard and potted stretches. The high point is Mclaren Summit at 4,086 feet. The summit does not sound terribly high, but it is the second highest pass on an Alaskan road. The highway has plenty of opportunities for camping and limited facilities. Check with the BLM for an update on the services you will find along the way.