Further North - Denali

Trip Start Jun 30, 2010
Trip End Jul 20, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Friday, July 9, 2010

Despite the weather forecast, the skies were sunny so I headed north toward Denali National Park, 240 miles north of Anchorage. Denali was the mountain's name before it was re-named after our 25th President. It was a clear day, with 100% visibility of Mount McKinley. 100% visibility of the mountain occurs on average only 1 day a month in July, so I was very fortunate. Several long-time Alaskan residents said they had never seen the mountain as clear as it was today.

I stopped at Denali STATE Park (south of the National Park) for an excellent view of the south peak, which is the taller of the two McKinley peaks. Within the NATIONAL Park the view is of the south side of the mountain and the taller peak is viewable but obstructed by the south peak in front of it, so many consider the south side the better vantage point for viewing the mountain.

When it is visible, Mount McKinley dominates the sky. My photos of Mount McKinley don't do it justice. My photography skills are limited and the sun was so bright reflecting off the snow and ice-covered peaks that it was difficult to photograph. Following is some of what I managed to get.

I spent so much time taking photos of this spectacular mountain that I didn't get checked into my Denali National Park campsite until about 10:00 p.m. I stayed at the Riley Creek Campground in the park. It is convenient to the Denali Mercantile Center which has food, hot showers, and Internet access!

Slideshow Report as Spam


Tim Dillon on

Hi Dave..... I just returned from Ireland/Scotland last night. I had been awake for over forty hours, so I crashed and burned when I got home. Slept 14 hours straight. Your trip looks great and it seems you are having fun and meeting some good people. I'll have my photos of my journey up on facebook in a few days. Ride safely.... Tim

Bill Reiman on

The clarity of the mountain is amazing. It wasn't that clear when from viewing from a helicopter. How far are you from the base?

K on

I'm so glad that you decided to go to Denali. The photos are worth the effort! Be sure you stay aware of your surroundings though. It sounds like wildlife isn't the only to worry about. On 7/8/10 the military had to evacuate an 'erratic' Mt. McKinley climber (see http://www.nps.gov/dena/parknews/militaryassist.htm). :-)

K on

The National Park Service webcam isn't showing very clear weather this morning in Denali. Boo. (see http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/webcams/parks/denacam/denacam.cfm)

davidrman on

Bill, apparently this clear view of the mountain is extremely rare, but there were 3 days in a row - this being the last one - where it was very clear. This day apparently was the clearest, though. This is about 30 miles from the base. The river bed in the foreground of one of these photos was actually the path in that the first expedition took to climb the south peak. After successfully climbing the south summit the group of 4 climbers was on its way back down and they fell into a glacier crevass. Sadly, the team leader, a park ranger, was killed and another climber was seriously injured.

davidrman on

Karen, you're right, I'm very glad I made the trip to Denali. The views and wildlife have been excellent. I do stay aware. I'm told that bear spray works on grizzlies AND erratic humans!

davidrman on

Tim, welcome back from Ireland! I'm looking forward to seeing your photos. Could you send me a facebook link? dreiman@bex.net.

davidrman on

Karen, I just read the story about the crazed climber. It's amazing they waited as long as they did to get him off the mountain. He sounded like a tragedy in the making.

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