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ANCHORAGE - National Park officials say mild weather and low levels of ice and snow mean a longer stretch of Denali Park Road can open to visitors earlier than usual.
The road between Savage River at mile 15 and the Teklanika River rest area at mile 30 is opening at 8 a.m. Saturday, weather permitting. The stretch to mile 15 opened last week.
Park spokeswoman Kris Fister says the longer stretch is usually open in mid April.
Officials say that although snow conditions have deteriorated, there is still enough snow for skiing on north-facing slopes.
Also, some portions of the opened road still have snow, ice and mud - particularly shaded areas.
After tour buses begin running on May 20, the road will be open to private vehicles only to mile 15.