July 21, 2011:
Last night we boondocked north of the park entrance. We had to push through some brush b/c the trail was over grown a bit. But the spot we found was worth it…
…A really cool valley overlooking the Nenana river.
On the drive from Amchorage to Denali NP we pulled off and caught a great view of Mt McKinley (Denali).
We chose to have a guided tour today to get an intro to the park. The Tundra Wilderness Tour (TWT) goes about two-thirds of the way into the park.
I’m not a huge fan of guided tours but,
there is only one road into the park and no public vehicles are allowed in.
It is a uniquely beautiful place.
Fifty or so humans crawling over each other to see a moose can get old after an 8 hour day.
I’ve never seen a caribou and we came across one in an old river bed early in the morning. I felt like crawling over the other humans to get a look.
Later we saw a Mamma grizzly and her two cubs. Michel was hitting me so hard that I had to refocus my camera. Then they were gone…
We saw another grizzly and another caribou and a couple moose as well. On a cliff near the road was a pack of Dall Sheep. Gnarly fellows.
We are camping in Savage River campground tonight. It’s about 15 miles into the park. We chose Savage River over Teklanika because we wanted to be able to leave the park if necessary.
And. We ended the day in the really cute town of Denali at our favorite spot, Salmon Bake. We got halibut fish and chips – and one piece of the three was literally the best, buttery, flaky, tender pieces of fish I’ve ever tasted.