Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alaska Day 3 - Denali National Park

On Monday - Labor Day - Day 3 of our Alaska trip we picked up our rental car and drove 2 hours to Denali National Park for a day of bus riding, hiking, and camping. Are we insane... yes, yes I do believe we are. Was it worth it... yes, totally!

Weather... 60s? Weather at night... 40s or lower? Brrr...

So many pictures to show you - will try to narrow it down!

Fall from the bus - cranberry fields

Could not get enough of these fall colors!

First signing of "Denali" aka Mount McKinley from the bus

View from our first stop - gorgeous!

Let the windy "alaska hair" pictures begin! haha

These river beds look so fun to explore

Our first sighting of Dahl Sheep roaming around the hills
Stop #2 - man we love these mountain views

Dahl sheep chillin' by the bus

Hello there sheepie, want to come home with me?

Golden Eagle soaring by the bus window

Golden Eagle

Grizzly Bear #1

A crafty little fox sneaking through the bushes by the road

Stop #3, getting a little chilly and windy

Grizzly Bear #2 - sleeping about 10 feet off the trail

Bear sign keeping us off the trail due to Grizzly #2

Map of the 85 mile road our bus was slowly taking through the park to our campground

5 hours later - Wonder Lake Campground - Destination reached!

Closer view of Denali - only about 20 miles from our campground now

Happy to be off the bus in nature!

Wonder Lake

Feeling a little romantic ;-)

Start of our 3 hour hike

Bear paw on our path... look at those claws, yikes!

1.5 hours into the hike, cold and tired

Lovely path - does not give much visibility when looking out for bears tho!

3 hours later - the hike is done! And apparently so am I :)

Sunset in Denali

Sunset on Mt McKinley

Cold but excited about dinner

Bear Proof Food Locker

Staking our claim at the campsite

My first campsite outside of my backyard!

Cold and tired at sunset but loving the adventure

Changing pants behind tent while watching out for hikers

Denali - So clear and lovely!

And that my friends was our first day in Denali National Park!

My feet were pretty sore after the hike and we were pretty nervous looking for moose and bear along our path but fortunately it was a safe and beautiful hike. We were pretty cold and a bit uncomfortable while camping... espec. since we forgot to close the valve on our airpads and were basically just sleeping on the hard ground haha. MC gave me a sleeping bag that will keep one warm up to -40 degrees F... unfortunately we could not figure out which one it was when we got there. I def. did not end up with that one tho, it was so cold! Then the wind storm came... shake shake shake shake... all night long... yea, it was a rough night haha. We survived the night tho and lived to tell about it ;-)

Stay tuned for day two in Denali with more scenery and wild life sightings!


Bree said...

Looks gorgeous! No way I would want to camp in that weather though!

Millie Motts said...

Those sunset pics are awe.some. And Denali is gorgeous. Wow.