Denali National Park

Trip Start May 01, 2013
Trip End May 01, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 109 - Today was the day for Denali National Park.  I have been looking forward to this for such a long time.  The weather has not been great of late, so we were hoping for a turn in our weather for today especially...and...we got it!  We saw Mt. McKinley in all it's glory.  There are wildfires in Fairbanks, so the air has some smoke in it, but we really did have a great view of this majestic mountain.

You are only allowed to drive your car 15 miles into the park and from there you have to take a bus.  I'm fine with that - it's nice not to have a line up of cars all along the road, BUT they could provide a much nicer bus with windows that are large enough to SEE out of ???? . It is a glorified school bus, and was not conducive to taking photographs.  I wasn't all too happy about that! We got up at 4:30 a.m. today to be ready to walk over to the hotel to get our bus by 6:00 a.m.  The bus ride was a 7 hour affair!!!

We were lucky to see the Big 4...Moose (about 6 or 7), Caribou (about 12); Dall Sheep (about 12-14) and Grizzly Bears (5 including 2 cubs). . . and #5 being Mt. McKinley.  So, we did very well and were pleased with what we saw.  There is only one road in and the same one out, and there were a few times when we had to pull over on the drop off side of the road to let another bus pass, that I was just a wee bit nervous of going to my death.  Those drop offs are large and with no railings to at least delay the nasty fall!  

Denali is made up of over 6 million acres and has a changing landscape from various trees and shrubs to just spruce trees, to tiny trees that have to battle the harsh elements, to tundra and then to valleys with streams cut out by a wide swath of a moving glazier many years ago.

The park is patrolled in the winter by dog sled in order to check the boundaries of certain areas of the part and their main objective is to stop poachers!!  How sad that this still goes on.  

Well, anyway - enjoy the photos.... 
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Claudia on

Sandy, amazing shots from your school bus window!!!!! I'm so glad you had good weather!!!

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