Saturday, July 10, 2010

Denali National Park

Denali National Park is accessible by one road and that one road is only accessible by bus.  So, if you are going to stay in the park you need to think ahead.  Fortunately we did.  You are allowed to drive in to your campground but there you must stay.

Denali contains 6 million acres of wilderness and yet it is not the largest park in Alaska, just the most accessible.

It's almost impossible to take in the vast amount of space contained within the park.

Unfortunately some of these views are obstructed by people in the bus.

The bus drivers are good about looking for wildlife and stopping for pictures but you have to jostle around people and their cameras.  Sometimes they let the passengers out.

Sometimes when you do see the wildlife they are quite far away.  These are Dall sheep, the little white dots on the hillside.

I was surprised to see a fox as well.

He didn't appear to mind getting his picture taken, but I'm not sure he was healthy.  Maybe it was the heat that day.  He didn't say.

This cow moose posed for awhile too.

And so did this ground squirrel.  I love the entrance to his house, very well done.

This truck was coming down from a hotel deep in the park.  They were getting ready to open for visitors.  Again, we were early in the season and the farthest point out on the bus was not yet open so we went as far as we could that day.

We met a really nice guy with a huge camera lens named Bud.  He took us to this spot because there was a wolf den nearby but we didn't see any wolves that day.  He was a great tour guide and big lover of Denali.  He and his wife come from Fairbanks often.  He also highly recommended going to Valdez.  It was good advice.

We also saw some grizzlies but they were so far away they looked like little dots on the landscape, not good for anything but professional photographers with massive lenses!  Other animal pictures from near and far can be found at Camera Critters.


Nikki-ann said...

Great critters! Wonderful scenery too :)

Sylvia K said...

The immensity of Denali is mind boggling! What a great trip! And your photos are fantastic. Love the wildlife shots! Again, thanks for sharing your incredible trip with us, Loran! Have a lovely weekend!


Lisa Wilson said...

You saw a lot of wildlife! I've always wanted to go there and hopefully see Dall sheep.

Anna said...

What gorgeous pictures. I would love to visit there some day.

That fox is gorgeous. I hope he isn't sick.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There Loran, I have always heard that DeNali is the place to go in Alaska.. But--I hate the idea of having to ride a bus up there... Sounds like the tour guides were good though --and glad you met some interesting people.

You'll have to tell me sometime exactly what you recommend--on the entire trip.

Beautiful pictures... Yes, that fox looked kinda strange... Maybe not though!

Love seeing those huge mountains in the background...

Thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

Quite an amazing expanse of wilderness - I can hardly take in the extent of it.

Janie said...

You found some very cute critters in Denali. The scenery really is massive and gorgeous.

Kay said...

What wonderful photos. I love the wildlife.

Dar said...

My sister talks often of Alaska and all that she misses since moving to the lower states again. You captured some awesome scenery...I love.LOVE that last shot. The fox may well just be so not used to people, and decided to let you photograph him. If he was sick, he should be kept a distance from. Thanks for taking us along on this fabulous trip.

Gaelyn said...

This is so fantastic! I'm in awe. I really, really want to go to Denali. I even had a dog by that name long ago.


christopher said...

Long live the wilderness!