Saturday, July 20, 2013

Denali


Anchorage to Denali National Park is 239 miles, about 4-1/2 hours going through Sara Palin's hometown of Wasilla, and Talkeetna, sort of an Alaskan version of Arizona's Tombstone, except Talkeetna has better Espresso shops.

We stayed in a "Dwarf House" whose other name is The Perch, so named because it was on the perch of a mountain. But I kept thinking we were talking about the fish called Perch and that was very confusing since we were in Cod, Halibut, and Salmon country. That said, these friendly Moose directed us to our Dwarf House.





This is our Dwarf House; notice how light it is outside and it was 11:00 p.m.




But the inside was extra special:

Michelle's bed is up top, mine on the bottom

Signature Denali! Oh and we saw bear (in the binocs) Dall Sheep, Eagles.

Moose abound



A 0.8mi hike up 1,000'
Denali National Park is 6 million acres ( the size of New Hampshire) and as such is only the 3rd largest National Park in Alaska! Denali is a place where you need to go with your backpack and plan to immerse yourself in her wondrous beauty for many days.

We did the best we could given our time constraints. We took a Shuttle Bus 64 miles (8 hours) into the Park. Our bus driver has been a Park employee for 22 years so had great stories and info, like:
  • Park sled dogs cover 3,000 miles per winter
  • Bull Moose antlers are 5' wide
  • Only 20% of baby moose survice--good feast for the Grizzlies
  • Rainfall 15"; snow fall 80"
  • Forest fires are left to burn unless they are threatening an important physical structure. So far this year 1 million acres have burned
  • 15% of Denali National Park (DNP) is covered by glaciers
  • Anywhere from 50-2,500 Snow Shoe Hare / sq mile
  • Only 49 wolves in DNP and 300 Grizzlies
  • 1,152 hikers have attempted to summit Denali (20, 322') so far in 2013. 700+ summited. Averages 17-27 days to summit, winds can be 127 mph, temps can be -43
  • Denali is only visible 25% of the time
We were lucky enough to see it back lit from Anchorage as the sun was setting. It's a treasure.

Denali on the right










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