I can’t begin to put into words how awesome Denali National Park and Preserve is. I hadn’t known what to expect, and everything was better than imagined. Denali NP&P is a 6 million acre wilderness only intruded by a single road that runs east west. Common folk can’t even get past the ranger station without riding a bus, and only the most daring campers, carrying everything they’ll need on their backs, are allowed to camp in the park’s interior.
Some of the views across valley floor from mountain to mountain were greater than 5 miles, and at the apex of the tour stood a vista that overlooked the highest point in North America. Animals are not plentiful, but our bus was lucky. We saw 3 moose, a white wolf, and 8 healthy grizzly bears. Upon entering the bus our guide suggested we not get our hopes up on either seeing Denali itself or any bears at all. She drives the road 6 or 7 days a week for the entire season, and we were only the 11th time this year she saw the mountain. She has never seen 8 bears in one day, not to mention the Dall Sheep, Ptarmigan, and other critters.
I can’t put into words the awesomeness, so I’ll just post the photos. Enjoy, and don’t forget to click the link to the photo gallery which has more photos.
The highest point in North America lies there.
One of those 5 mile views
There was some debate if this was an elusive white wolf or an even more rarely seen coyote.
I was thoroughly impressed to say the least. It was an awesome day. I finished my hike back from the visitor center to the car around 3:30PM and drove the next 100 miles or so to Fairbanks. The sky was blue, and the road smooth. I snapped some more photos on the way up before dedicating myself to a few hours of work preparing for my talk on Monday afternoon.