Denali National Park and Preserve


July 2006


The mile-long strip near the park, aptly called Glitter Gulch, offers all sorts of tourist services, including the campground where we stayed.  River adventure trips and flightseeing by helicopter or plane are offered as well as all sorts of shops and restaurants.  We opted to take a bus tour that goes to Kantishna, 95 miles into the park.  Private vehicles are not allowed beyond the 15-mile mark, except those camping in the park, and then those vehicles cannot go beyond mile 29.  The road, though traveled frequently by busses during the summer months, is narrow, winding, often steep, and with no guardrails. The photos were taken with our old 2.1 megapixel camera since our Olympus (with the 10X optical zoom) bit the dust the night before.  Our only consolation is that no one was really able to capture the grandeur of the place.  It was spectacular!   The highlight of the day was having two young wolves come up on the road right beside the bus.  We saw what had to be a huge grizzly bear up on a hillside and lots of Dall sheep and caribou.  The bus played hide-and-seek with a monstrous moose beside the road, but he moved too quickly for anyone to get a good picture.    They say that only about 10 percent of visitors actually get a good view of the park's elusive peak, Denali, AKA Mt. McKinley.  We were not among the fortunate ones the day we went.   The second day we went back to check out the new Visitors Center, the Railroad Station, and to see a sled dog demonstration held at the park kennels.  In the winter months the rangers use the dogs to patrol the park.  They love to run!

Click on each thumbnail to see larger picture.