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


Blunt-leaved Rein Orchis

Narrow-leaved Saw-wort


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



Red Fox

Gray Jay

Polychrome Overlook

Common Ringlet on Eskimo Potato

near Toklat



Whorled Lousewort



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


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



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

    1. Thanks you ever so much, my friend.


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