Denali National Park
Today I headed into Denali and reserved a campsite for tomorrow night in sanctuary campground and boarded a bus to go into the park and hike. At the East fork of the Toklat River I got out of the bus and hiked down the Toklat.
It was wet and the bushwhacking through the alders totally soaked me. I didn’t make it too long on this hike until I was wet and cold and decided to make my way back to the road and pick up a bus back to the park entrance.
That night I stayed at the CarloCreek camp again and the next morning caught a bus to sanctuary camp. This campground was 7 tent sites in Denali park and a nice remote place to hang out for a day. Once I got camp all setup I headed out for another hike around camp to see what all was out there.
More bushwhacking through the alders but at least they weren’t wet this time. So far no major animal sitings but the campers that were leaving when I arrived told me that a couple of wolves had come through camp that morning before I arrived.
On the way back to camp I was checking out prints made by the river and the moose tracks, I thought were enormous when compared to my shoes. I saw some paw prints that could have been wolves or bear but didn’t make any sightings.
There is one creature that you see plenty of in Denali and that’s mosquitos. We started calling the Sanctuary campground, “The mosquito preserve.”
That night 5 of us from the Sanctuary campground boarded the late bus to Polychrome overlook and on the way I got my first view yet of Denali which means “The High One”. The official name of the mountain is Mckinley but I wouldn’t doubt that it will be changed to Denali in the future just like the park. The original Indian name of the mountain was Denali and it seems more fitting of a mountain like this.
When I got to the Polychrome overlook I took this quick panorama and headed behind the building to hike around.
Walking back to the bus I came across this caribou right off the trail munching on the grass.
I headed back to camp and the next morning packed my stuff and departed Sanctuary campground. I boarded the bus and headed farther into the park rather than leaving.
I was closer now too McKinley now than I had yet been but the clouds rolled in and were partially obscuring the mountain from my view.
On the way out we passed Doll Sheep sunning on the rocks just off the road.
There was also a huge caribou just off the road in a dry riverbed.
Can you see the brown spot in the middle of the picture? This was as close as I came to a Grizzly bear so far and was too small to see. I could see some movement out in the field and the driver said it was a grizzly. That night I got back to the visitors center and camped at a campground on the edge of the park and the next day I headed for Talkeetna.