Mount McKinley renamed Denali

By ,   September 2, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

The tallest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley - a popular stop on cruisetours in Alaska, will be renamed Denali, its native Alaskan name.

The change is the first step of the historic visit of President Obama to the Alaskan Arctic - the first sitting president to do so. Obama's agenda is mostly due to climate change. The White House announced that it was expanding government support for Alaskan Natives in order to develop their own natural resources.

In native Athabascan, the meaning of Denali is "the great one" or "the high one". The "Mount McKinley" name has long been disputable to Alaskans. They see its namesake, William McKinley (candidate for president in 1896 - when the mountain was christened), as having little to do with the state. McKinley, assassinated during his second term in 1901, had never visited Alaska.

Alaska's national park where the mountain sits was renamed Denali in 1980. Lawmakers in Alaska have had a standing request to change the moniker of the peak since 1975. However, lawmakers from the more powerful Ohio state, where President McKinley was born, blocked the move.

One of the highlights of all Alaska cruisetours is a visit to Denali National Park. It is considered something really special if travelers actually see the mountain, as its 20,322 ft peak is usually shrouded by clouds and only 30% of visitors get a glimpse.