Cell phone coverage is so important to people today who live with a smart phone. You will have great coverage outside the park and in the park entrance area (Visitor Center, train depot, store, and restaurant). Once you head into the park a little past the Park Head Quarters you will lose all cell coverage. Many people use the camera, music and other apps in their phone but as far as a communication device you are out of luck. The GPS will still work. When returning on the bus, as you pass into the coverage area, you hear beeping and chirping as people’s phone reconnect with civilization. Be happy someone isn’t sitting on the bus the whole time yakking on their phone.
Cell coverage along the Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Anchorage has a number of dead zones. Every year the coverage has improved. You can stay connected on an iPad about 75% of the time between Fairbanks and Anchorage. Where you are connected varies depending on your provider. Remember you came to Alaska to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. Put the phone in your pocket and enjoy this great state.
Here are links to coverage maps. There are many little holes in the coverage they show. As you see the are pretty matched for coverage. Not all outside companies have their data plan supported, voice and text only, but this may change.
AT&T – Search using McKinley Park, AK – supports T-mobile
GCI – GCI supports – supports T-mobile
ACS Alaska – ACS supports – supports Verizon