Denali National Park
View from 'Rock & Roll Corner',
The unsurfaced (unpaved) road in the Park is visible on the right. On any such road a journey is bound to be a bit bumpy, but it does ensure that you travel at a speed that gives you some time to drink in the scenery. Much of the journey in the Park has a steep drop on one side, as in this picture, but a benefit of the banning private cars is that all of the drivers all know the road.
The centrepiece of Denali National Park is this huge lump of rock covered in snow and ice which is the highest mountain in North America, all 6,194 metres (20,320 feet) of it. It used to be known as Mount McKinley after US President William McKinley, but in 2015 it reverted to its name in the Athabaskan language, Denali (The Great One). Apparently climbing it is not particularly difficult for experienced mountaineers, but we have no plans to check this out.
Mountains, mountains and more mountains. If that is what you like, then Alaska is for you. If you like both mountains and wildlife then Denali National Park is a great place. Set up as Mount McKinley National Park in 1917, in 1980 it became the larger Denali National Park. It is both beautiful and inhospitable with plenty of snow and ice even in summer. It was quite warm in June at our hotel in Denali, but we could feel the chill in the air as we we climbed to higher elevations in the National Park. This page highlights the scenery while some of the local residents can be found on the wildlife page.
Snow covered mountains from helicopter
The view of the park from a helicopter is mind blowing - jagged mountains as far as the eye can see. From the air it becomes clear that the valleys visited by tourists are are only a small part of this area and much of the land remains firmly in the grip of snow and ice even at the height of summer.
Toklat River East Fork
In order to preserve the wilderness cars are normally only allowed 23 km (14 miles) into the park, so to see more of the park you must either use a bus or go on foot. Although the driver did say he would stop when requested for photographs , the bus does tend to limit the number of photo opportunities. This view was taken at a stop on the section of road that was closed to cars.
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