The Alaskan Range as we enter the park area – over 7 million acres of preserved and protected land and precious wildlife. Moose were everywhere and we saw mothers with their offspring as well as the larger bulls who were solitary travelers. Young males tend to travel together – reminding us of boisterous reckless teenagers.
Moose, moose, moose everywhere….
This female observed us for a minute and then went back to her meal.
Grand landscape that takes your breath away
A spectacular sight even with cloud covers and mist falling. We braved all sorts of cold and precipitation to experience this park. It was more than worth it.
Mount Denali formerly Mt McKinley is often wrapped in clouds or mist. It’s over 20,000plus feet and appears to touch the heavens. It’s not hard to see why the native Alaskan people saw her as a sacred sight. It’s the tallest mountain in North America – dwarfing all the contiguous 48 states mountains. We did not get a sunny day in the park but that did not stop us from visiting and searching out the delightful inhabitants.
The road through the park towards the grand dame of all mountains. Hiking is allowed through out the park but the mountain is for those with a lot of experience. The weather there can change is a minute and rescues are difficult and challenging.
But you can never have too many photographs of a place so beautiful.
Below are photos of caribou – distinctive with their light fur rumps. They travel in groups of females with young calves and a senior male – we watched a herd of caribou enjoying a rich grazing area from our bus window.
The sign below warns all to pay attention to the very large wild creatures in the park.
Momma moose and calf munching along road side.
A grizzly far off but huge even at that distance.
Caribou antlers are so lovely and graceful looking but they are also very heavy and look silly on humans.
I liked this illustration and explanation of what is now Mt Denali – the name was changed a decade ago to reflect its original native tribal identity.
A solitary caribou in the distance with a full rack of antlers.
Below is a long shot
toward the main entrance of the Park from the Grande Denali Lodge (above) high above our campground.
A moose family came directly toward us to check us out…
I actually got out of the car in the pouring rain to shoot this picture – momma was nearby but not worried. The fireweed is a delicious snack.
A grizzly bear momma and her two cubs enjoying berries on a slope along the park road.
This moose was with his mother, who crossed the road first, but he was very curious about us and walked slowly around our car – our vantage point thru the rear window was close enough for us.
They really are enormous creatures – looming over the car as they determine if it’s edible.
The moose family after inspecting us and heading to the other side of the road.
The colors in the sky as the weather changes front one minute to the next were staggering.
Signs along the road to the Grande Denali Lodge – the restaurant and hotl has a general manger with a terrific sense of humor as well as a keen sense of how to folks to pay attention while driving these narrow roads.
There really is a wooden bridge here – can trolls be far behind?
Early morning fog ……
Today’s sign at the east entrance to this glorious national preserve and park.
A photo of the early sign at the park.
Fannie Quigley was a heroic character in Denali, living and hunting alone as a singular female. We enjoyed a theatrical presentation about her life and times.
Above are the names of the areas where the traditional native tribes populated the central part of Alaska – we learned a lot about the different cultures and the intertwining heritage that makes Alaska such a rich culture.
The Tundra is the greatest part of Alaska – where the permafrost never melts and the richness of her plants and flowers are glorified each spring and summer. We found some of the most colorful wildflowers we have ever seen here – it’s a feast for your eyes and soul.
Forest fires enrich the soil and naturally control undergrowth. We saw a few in our travels and came to respect the fire gods as a result.
We spotted these “Dall sheep” high on one of the mountain slopes – they are the most surefooted creatures who seem to walk these slanted areas with grace and aplomb. They are very reserved and hard to see up close.
A ray of sun peaked through however briefly.
More shots as we traveled through the park – very interesting rock formations in this remarkable place. We loved this place will return another time we promise.