Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Denali National Park


After taking the train to Ancharage and renting a car there we drove through the night (though it never really gets dark in Alaska at this time of year) to Denali National Park, arriving early in the morning.  Arriving too early to book a campsite we hiked the area of the visitor's center, the Taiga Trail, the Meadow View Trail and the Horseshoe Lake Trail.  We saw Moose and a Lynx and several orchid species, as well as numerous wildflowers and some beautiful scenery.  Finished hiking we took the camper's bus to our campsite near the Sanctuary River.  The road into Denali is open to vehicles for only twelve miles, beyond which only buses are available.  After setting up camp, going out to photograph a bull Caribou near the camp, and having our evening meal we caught a bus to Toklat, another sixty miles down the road.  The bus ride was wonderful.  We saw Caribou, Dall Sheep, Moose, a Red Fox and spectacular scenery.

Entrance Sign


Spruce Forest Trail


Dawn


Blunt-leaved Rein Orchis


Narrow-leaved Saw-wort


Larkspur


Marsh Marigold


view from Meadowview trail


Cow Moose at Horseshoe Lake



Dwarf Fireweed along the Nenana River


Elegant Paintbrush



 Moose again



Horseshoe Lake


old mining equipment?


Horseshoe Lake



 Beaver gnawed trees


dioramas at the visitor's center



Bull Caribou near Sanctuary River campground



Sanctuary River








Whorled Lousewort


Caribou


Raven


Red Fox




Gray Jay


Polychrome Overlook



Common Ringlet on Eskimo Potato


near Toklat



Caribou


Toklat





Whorled Lousewort


 evening



Toklat


Dall Sheep


The next day we caught the bus again, this time to Wonder Lake, ninety-two miles from the entrance and near the end of the road.  Again, we saw a lot of wildlife, did some hiking in the area of Wonder Lake, and enjoyed the scenery at the various stops along the way.  Polychrome Pass and Toklat were especially beautiful.  Our two disappointments in Denali, however, were that we saw no bears and that we never saw Mount McKinley.  The weather was mostly cloudy and there were wildfires burning in the park and the combination of the two completely obscured the mountain.  We spent three night and the better part of three days in the park and would love to go back again and spend even more time there.  If we went back, however, I think we would go a little earlier in the year, probably toward the end of May.  Denali is an amazing place, but very busy during the summer.

Polychrome Pass and overlook




Raven


Polychrome Pass


White-crowned Sparrow


Lessing's Arnica



Polychrome Pass


Eskimo Potato


Boreal Sweetvetch


Tall Lungwort


between Toklat and Eilson



Arctic Ground Squirrel at Eilson


park bus at Eilson


Wonder Lake




Alaska Cotton Grass


Wonder Lake




ponds near Wonder Lake









Polychrome Pass







Sitka Burnet


Dall Sheep


Fireweed

2 comments:

  1. What a wonderful adventure, thank you for sharing these beautiful images

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks you ever so much, my friend.

      Delete

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