Sunday, July 8, 2012

Denali National Park, Part 1

July 1, 2012
Day 1, Riley Creek

We stayed 1 night at Riley Creek near the entrance of Denali Park. Jennifer, Ashley and I hiked the trail down to Horseshoe Lake.
 We saw many signs of beaver....the dam,
 Ashley looks over the beaver's handiwork.
 Or maybe we should call it teethworks.
 We found the beaver lodge, but no beaver sightings.
 The smoke is from the train coming into Denali.
 Day 2 Savage River Campground
We stayed 2 nights at Savage River. Trails led to the river...left to right: Tina, Ashley, Jennifer.
 Gray Jay in the campground.
 Tina's dog, Stuart, enjoys the campfire circle.
Every night there is a Ranger program. This one is about the Collared Pika, an animal that lives high above the tree line in Denali.
 After the program we walked back to the river and saw this caribou.

Ashley...can you tell it's kind of cold?
On the second day there we all hiked the Savage River Trail.

 Several Arctic Ground Squirrels were munching plants along the river.

 Nan and Tina have started the return trail on the other side of the river.

 Jennifer and Ashley....jackets off now.
 Swiftly flowing river.
 We caught up with Nan and Tina at this rest stop.
July 4, 2012
The last 4 days were spent at Teklanika Campground...the farthest RVs can travel into the park.
 Alaska cotton grass and bluebells in the campground.
 Walking down the park road.
 July 5, 2012
Jennifer, Ashley and I took the early shuttle to Kantishna and Wonder Lake, the end of the park road. These are Dall Sheep high on the mountaintops.
 Grizzly #1
 Grizzly with cubs

 Willow Ptarmigan, Alaska's state bird.
 This is the male (red around eye). There was a female with babies that ran into the grass.
 The view from Polychrome Pass

 The road we just came can see another bus on the far curve.
 Snow-capped peaks of the Alaska Range.
 Can you find the 3 caribou on this hillside?
 Both males and females have antlers.
 The male has larger antlers than the female.
 Caribou often lay in the snow to avoid insects that torment them.
 Our view of Denali. It's rare to have a clear view as it is usually shrouded in clouds as we see it today.
 This is what it would look like on a clear day.
 Golden Eagle
 Ashley finding out what it feels like to have antlers on your head.
 The three of us at the Eielson Visitor's Center
 Another Willow Ptarmigan....female with chick (upper left).
 You can see her feathered feet in this pic.
 This old cabin belonged to Fannie and Joe Quigley who came to Kantishna in 1905 during the gold rush, and stayed on when the rush was over.
 Jennifer checking out the oven.

 Jennifer and Ashley at the end of the road.
 On that rare clear day you could see Mt. McKinley reflected in Wonder Lake.
 Another caribou.
 About Wonder Lake
 This is the same Wonder Lake looking away from Mt. McKinley...what a beautiful reflection here in the clear water.
 And with the help of binoculars and camera zoom, I found the loons.
On the way back to the campground we passed another grizzly mom with cubs,
 One sleeping grizzly.
 One bull moose,
 No, 2 bull moose.
 Make that 3 bull moose all hanging out together. BY fall they will be mortal enemies as they vie for mating privileges.
 Back through Polychrome Pass.
 Looking down at the braided river.
 This caribou has lost most of its winter fur and is a rich chocolate brown.
 And if the colors of the land and sky aren't enough, how about we add a rainbow?
 Colorful mountainsides.
 And a few more Dall sheep.

If you want to see the mountain as it looks on a clear day, you can follow this link to my 2009 post from Denali. I really couldn't outdo that view this time.
Denali on a clear day

1 comment:

  1. Magnificent in every way. Each picture is better than the last.