Friday, September 12, 2014

August 25, 2014 Hiking in Denali National Park

We took the 7:30 Denali Shuttle Bus from the Wilderness Access Center to Eielson Visitor Center. We weren't on the bus for too long when this bull moose walked right across the road.
At a rest stop along the way

Sable Pass usually has bears in the area...

...well look what we found.

Dall Sheep above Toklat River

Caribou grazing along the road


The Eielson Visitors Center...66 miles from entrance. These two moose locked up their antlers during rut season and couldn't free themselves. They both died and now their story is told at the visitor center.

Scenes from the visitor center. Really low clouds blocked much of the amazing views.

The wide open spaces are hard to imagine in photographs until you see how small a person who is only 100 yards away looks in it. Finally a picture of me where my head doesn't look huge.

Back on the bus for our drive back.
This big boy searching for berries.


A table for one, please.
Karen & Ken at Toklat River rest stop.
There definitely is plenty to see from the shuttle bus, but getting off the bus and wandering in true wilderness is such a rare experience nowadays that I have to do it every time we come here. Today we had the bus driver drop us off near Polychrome Pass. Since there are not many trails in Denali, we decided to hike uphill along a drainage runoff to find a place to eat lunch.


We cut across a plateau and climbed up onto a bluff to enjoy our sandwiches...

...with this view down into the valley.


Lunch with an amazing view
Hey Ken, what are you doing over there?

We hiked down into the valley, then followed along a river bed...

...where we found these bear paw prints.

We got lucky on this hike because the sun broke through the clouds and the scenery was incredible.

The past few hours hiking out here is why I love coming to national parks especially Denali. It was complete relaxation surrounded by pure and wild beauty.
While waiting for a shuttle bus to pick us up, ptarmigans greeted us on the side of the road.

On our way back to our cabins...

...this happened.
Thank you Mother Nature for a wonderful day.





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