Denali – Alaska

Date of Visits: July 29 – August 1, 2014

How we got there: Drove from Kenai Fjords National Park, about 6.5 hours.

Lodging: Carlo Creek Cabins

Favorites:

  • Narrated bus tour to Eielson Visitor Center – 66 miles into park. Employees provide interpretive information and wildlife spotting. Visitors can get off anywhere they want to do backcountry hiking and flag down any bus to get a ride back. Private cars are only allowed as far as the Savage River Trailhead at mile 15.
  • Eielson Alpine Trail – Steep 1.6 mile out and back hike with nearly 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Trailhead is at the Elelson Visitor Center. Provides direct views of all of Denali and the Alaska Range (on clear days). Summit of Thorofare Ridge makes a perfect picnic spot.
  • Savage Alpine Trail – 4-mile one-way hike ascends a high ridge and then drops back down to the Savage River Campground on the other side. Steep hiking with 1,500 feet of vertical climb. Free shuttle buses provide transportation to both trailheads along the park road.
  • Sled Dog Kennels – Visit the famous Denali sled dog team and watch a ranger demonstrate their pulling abilities.

Tips: Reserve an early morning shuttle bus to get the most of your day in the park.

Next time: Off-trail hiking. Visit Wonder Lake at the remote end of the park road. Backpacking trek to McGonegal Pass overlooking Muldrow Glacier at the base of Denali.

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