Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Denali National Park And Preserve

Denali National Park and Preserve, only 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle, is composed of the mountains of the Alaska Range and large areas of subarctic wet and dry tundra.

After checking in at the visitors center, we drove 29 miles into the park, the farthest you can drive in your own vehicle without a special permit.

We had an exceptionally good day, seeing much wildlife even before reaching our camp.

                                       Ptarmigan--The Alaska state bird

                                                           Grizzly Bear


                                                                Wolf pack

                                      Most Denali wolves are grey-brown

                               Black colored wolf with tracking collar

                                            Snowshoe hare

                                          Camp on the Teklanika River

                        We hailed a bus and finished the day riding further into the park.

During our 4 day stay we learned that perhaps this is the most popular driver in the park. We sure felt so. His enthusiasm and love for the park made our visit a true joy. We waited for his bus every day.

The 95 mile road follows glacier fed rivers and snow capped mountains of the Alaska Range.

                                        Arctic Ground Squirrel


                                     Me scouting for Dall sheep--

                                                --seen high on ridge tops--

                                                 --and in high mountain meadows.

                                         The new visitors center on a sunny day.

                                           Beautiful quilt in the center

                                      Mt. McKinley, or Denali, as Alaskans will say.

                                            Alaska Range

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