Denali National Park is home to Denali, the highest peak in North America. From the late 1800’s to August 2015, Denali was known as Mt McKinley. President Obama renamed the mountain to Denali, which the Koyukon people had called it for centuries. Denali means “great one” and according to the Park Rangers only 30% of people who visit the park see Denali as it is usually hidden by cloud.
Denali National Park is renowned for its 6 million acres of majestic landscapes and abundant wildlife and it didn’t disappoint. Public vehicles are only permitted to drive 15 miles into the park, the remainder of the 77 miles, is on a park bus.
There are only 100 “growing days” for vegetation in this part of Alaska, so the vegetation grows close to the ground. At this time of year, the landscape is full of colour from the Spruce Pine, Willow and Dwarf Birch trees that produces a contrasting carpet of reds, greens and yellow. I never expected there to be so much colour.
Driving along the first 15miles it wasn’t long before a Bull Moose with its imposing palmate antlers was spotted. Not long after that another Moose appeared and nervously crossed the road not far in front.
Later that morning we took an 8 hour bus ride deep into the park. During our journey we were treated to breathtaking landscapes and wildlife including Moose, Caribou, Dall Sheep and the kings of the tundra, the Grizzly Bear. Whilst most of the bears were too far for a good sharp shot, they were still a very impressive sight.
Click here for the next stage of the Alaskan journey: The Aurora Borealis and the Road to Valdez