We spent the past three nights camping in the heart of Denali National Park, along the Teklanika River. The road into the park is closed to vehicles after the first 15 miles, unless you are a park bus or one of the lucky people to camp where we did. (We made those reservations back in February!). It was a gorgeous spot, with lots of space, access to the river, and interesting evening programs led by park rangers. We attended a talk on moose, another on wolverines, and half of one on Aurora Borealis…which was disrupted by a bear that sent us all back to our campers! There is lots of wildlife to see in the park, and as it should be, people are expected to give them the right of way. Here are some photos from our bus trip and hikes around the park with more to come! We are staying in the area for 4 more nights, outside the park, as we are about to be joined by Scott’s mom, brother and sister-in-law.
Our first closeup view of Denali, from about 40 miles away – at 20, 308 feet, it looks more like a cloud than a mountain!
Teklanika River – There are not really many hiking trails in the park so we made use of the riverbed for exploring.
Wonder Lake – The end of the road in Denali, at mile 85. We took an epic 9 hour bus ride to go all they way out there. We were rewarded with lots of animal sightings, and some gorgeous views of Denali before the clouds rolled in.
Denali above the clouds
Mama bear and cubs. We saw so many bears in the park- a true sign of healthy wilderness. There was a wonderful quote about bears at the Eilson Visitor Center: “What mattered was not so much the bear himself as what the bear implied. He was the predominant thing in that country, and for him to be in it at all meant that there had to be more country like it in every directions and more of the same kind of country all around that. He implied a world.” – John McPhee.
Picking blueberries at Wonder Lake! YESSSSSS!
Finally saw a caribou…aka reindeer. I was beginning to think they were fake.
Big bull moose!
These two bears were running around and playing. It’s amazing to see how fast they can really go.
Stunning Denali quilt in the visitor center (this one is for Millie).