Sunday, June 26, 2016

On Saturday we got up early and left the campground at 7:00 am to guarantee our arrival at the Wilderness Access Center by 7:30. We had tickets for the 8:00 am Eielson shuttle bus into Denali National Park and were required to be there 30 minutes prior. The park service only allows private vehicles to travel to mile 15 of the park road. To experience most of the animals and the breath taking vistas, one must ride a park bus to the interior of the park. We choose the 8 hour Eielson Shuttle taking passengers 66 miles into the park and back. Fortunately the campground we are staying at provides a dog walking service so Buffy and Bo were treated to two walks during our long absence.

The weather is a big factor in what one sees during a visit to Denali and often is wet and cloudy. We were blessed with a marvelous day with abundant sunshine and comfortable temperatures. We are told that only 30 percent of visitors to the park actually see the peaks of Denali. Mt McKinley has been re-named back to the original name given to the mountain by the local natives, Denali. Denali is the highest mountain in North America at over 20,000 feet. More often than not the mountain is hidden by cloud cover. On the day of our visit the view of Denali was blocked by clouds the majority of the time but she did make a grand appearance towards the end of our bus ride.

Denali in the early part of the day

Denali with both peaks visible

All in all we had a wonderful day in the Denali National Park and saw some animals. Pictures never convey the full impact of actually viewing scenery in person. The drive deep into the park was well worth the time and the panoramic majesty of the experience is something we will cherish for a long time.

One of the many scenes

Bob and Pam

Anna our bus driver

Cast of one of the many Dinosaur footprints in the park

 Grizzly Bear

Caribou on the snow

Bull Moose

Mother Moose running away with her calf following

Mother Ptarmigan

Baby Ptarmigan trying to keep up with mother

We also saw a dall sheep but it was so far away that it is difficult to see in the photo. For that reason we have not posted the photo.

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