Some people arrive in Alaska anticipating halibut or salmon fishing, or getting good looks at brown bear and wolves and moose. A few might even be looking for great antennae for their trucks. We think most visitors to Alaska hope to see Mt McKinley, the highest peak in North America and the world’s very greatest height difference from base to peak. The dreamstreamrs arrived looking forward to visiting Denali National Park again.
Denali NP has so many great things to see and do. We browsed through the train terminal, a place kept busy by many Park guests still choosing rail transportation. The Visitor’s Center has wonderful exhibits and we enjoyed seeing them differently this second visit, able to spend more time there. Murie Science and Learning Center presented cool exhibits in interesting fashion, using MAC mini computers and large screens with headphones. We also found places selling ice cream, coffee, and fudge, things we aren’t tiring of finding in every tourist stop in Alaska.
We had a cool breezy day free to hike the Savage River trail in Denali NP. The trailhead is at the stopping point for privately-owned vehicles, except for those with a back country camping permit. The hike is easy, only two miles, along the fast-moving Savage River. This little hike has again whet our appetite for hiking.
One of the fun things we saw along the Savage River, and only there, was this little flower. We took a fine picture of it and showed it to the interpretive ranger at the trailhead on our way out. She said, “I don’t do flowers, ask Steve when he shows up.” What do you know, he rolled up just then. Steve had no idea either, but wisely knew the location of the answer — Denali NP’s FaceBook page, believe it or not.
Between Denali NP and Trapper Creek are a bunch of pull-outs to view Mt McKinley. We’ve heard varying likelihoods from ten to thirty percent for seeing Mt McKinley’s peak, often cloud-covered. This day we had great views from almost every place we could stop. Deb caught this picture from across Wonder Lake. Here’s a neat link to one of Ansel Adam’s pictures of Mt McKinley from a hired plane over Wonder Lake.
Mary’s McKinley Lodge is a must-do for us when traveling Parks Highway in Alaska, maybe even bigger than looking for antennae (just kidding). This trip we were really lucky, the views of Mt McKinley from the porch were superb and the kitchen was cooking wonderful burgers for a house full of airstream caravaners. Friends caught this picture for us with Mt McKinley in the background from Mary’s McKinley Lodge.
Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey, chasing 75 degrees
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