Denali Journals

Denali National Park--God's Country!

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A July 2006 trip to Denali by MilwVon

Denali National Park & Preserve Photo, Denali, Alaska More Photos
Quote: This long weekend trip over the July 4th holiday weekend was wonderful, in spite of what was rather cool and wet weather.

Denali National Park--God's Country!

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Overview

Denali National Park & Preserve Photo, Denali, Alaska
Quote:
Denali National Park and Preserve is one of those places that you see National Geographic caliber photographs from. To thumb through books about this park does not adequately prepare you for what you will experience first hand. After spending two full days in Denali NP, I think I could spend another two days and still not even scratch the surface.During our weekend visit, the weather was cooler than average and with quite a bit of drizzle and rain. I don't know what affect the weather had on wildlife sightings, although I must admit that we didn't see nearly as much on the second, rainier day.During our time visiting Denali, we were blessed by the presence of brown bear (aka gri...Read More

Denali National Park & Preserve

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Attraction | "Denali National Park - Wonder Lake Shuttle"

Denali National Park & Preserve Photo, Denali, Alaska
Quote:
If you are planning a trip to Denali NP, you must be prepared to leave your car behind! This national park has done a great job of preserving the natural wonder and beauty of Alaska's Denali National Park (aka: Mt. McKinley).We ordered our tickets online in December 2005 for this trip. At $33/person, it was well worth it! We got to see a lot of animals, and very close up too. There were several sightings of bears, moose and dall sheep. I have posted additional journals so that I can include more photos than the four attached to this specific journal.The Alaskan mountains were spectacular!! Still snow capped, the glacier and snow melts were keeping the rivers and creeks f...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 10, 2006

Denali National Park & Preserve
Alaska Route 3/George Parks Highway
Denali, Alaska
(907) 733-2231

Denali Park Tundra Wildlife Bus Tour

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Attraction | "Denali National Park - Tundra Wilderness Tour"

Denali National Park & Preserve Photo, Denali, Alaska
Quote:
If you are planning a trip to Denali NP, you must be prepared to leave your car behind! This national park has done a great job of preserving the natural wonder and beauty of Alaska's Denali National Park (aka: Mt. McKinley).We were very disappointed with this tour and would not suggest it. It is overpriced ($92 per person) versus the $33 Wonder Lake shuttle, has a cheap "boxed lunch" of a few light snack items, and is short on real value. We especially felt that for the added price, to have a shorter trip into the park made this an especially poor value! The Wonder Lake shuttle goes approximately 86 miles into the park where this tour only went to the Toklat River which is about 54 miles....Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 10, 2006

Denali Park Tundra Wildlife Bus Tour
Denali National Park Reservations
Denali, Alaska 99501
(907) 272-7275

Denali National Park & Preserve

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Attraction | "Denali National Park & Preserve"

Denali National Park & Preserve Photo, Denali, Alaska
Quote:
Denali National Park has a lot to offer anyone who enjoys the outdoors and wildlife. Whether you are primarily into the landscape and mountain scenery, flowers and the flora of Alaska, or the animals and birds, you will find plenty in this vast land of over 6 million acres. (Yes...6 MILLION ACRES!!)This is a park that requires that all visitors pay a $10 per person admission fee, good for up to 7 days. If you buy a shuttle ticket or a tour in the park, you will have this $10 added to the price of your ticket. As an annual pass holder in the US National Park system, you can obtain a refund of the $10 fee.We encourage all national park visitors to consider buying an annual pass. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 10, 2006

Denali National Park & Preserve
Alaska Route 3/George Parks Highway
Denali, Alaska
(907) 733-2231

Denali National Park & Preserve

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Attraction | "The Bears of Denali National Park"

Denali National Park & Preserve Photo, Denali, Alaska
Quote:
The brown bear is also known as the grizzly bear. In Denali National Park, they do not have the salmon and other fish to eat, so they depend primarily on a diet of willows, berries, and the occasional squirrel, hare, or calf (moose and/or caribou). They are smaller than their cousins and lighter in color. They really look like they have bleached-blonde fur, with cubs born dark but lightening in color during their first couple of years.We were very lucky to see several groups of bears during our time in the park. When looking for them, you typically look for the "haystack" in the brush, although many of our sightings during our Wonder Lake shuttle trip were in open meadows and rather close to...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 10, 2006

Denali National Park & Preserve
Alaska Route 3/George Parks Highway
Denali, Alaska
(907) 733-2231

Denali National Park & Preserve

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Attraction | "The Dall Sheep of Denali National Park"

Denali National Park & Preserve Photo, Denali, Alaska
Quote:
While were were lucky to see them down around the Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage, there is nothing like seeing the large rams that are the picturesque representation of Denali National Park!While riding the shuttle or tour buses through the park, if you look up high along the mountain ranges, you may see this faint light white dots traversing across the ledges. With the unaided eye, they really look like white ants crawling high above the valley. Looking through a scope, binoculars, or a telephoto lens, you may be able to make out the dall sheep.In the summer, the ewes and young ones herd together, while the rams stay together in small groups of two to five. We were able to see a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 10, 2006

Denali National Park & Preserve
Alaska Route 3/George Parks Highway
Denali, Alaska
(907) 733-2231

Denali National Park & Preserve

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Attraction | "The Moose of Denali National Park"

Denali National Park & Preserve Photo, Denali, Alaska
Quote:
We didn't see as many moose as we expected, but we were treated to a couple of very large and impressive bull moose! Our shuttle driver said that for this early in the year, the one moose had a huge rack. You could still see the light fur coating known as "velvet" covering his antlers. We also saw a much younger male who had just started to grow what may have been his first set.We did see a female that had a collar, which we were told was placed on her to help track and monitor her throughout the park. Apparently, from the type or color of the collar, our driver could tell that she was approximately three years old.During our Tundra Wilderness Tour, I was able to snap a photo of a ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Denali National Park & Preserve
Alaska Route 3/George Parks Highway
Denali, Alaska
(907) 733-2231

Denali National Park & Preserve

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Attraction | "Other Wildlife of Denali National Park"

Denali National Park & Preserve Photo, Denali, Alaska
Quote:
The park was full of wildlife, large and small. On the first evening that we arrived to the area, we did drive the first 14 miles that private passenger vehicles are permitted to the Savage River crossing. It was late, probably 8:00pm and we saw dozens of snowshoe hares. They were frolicking along the roadside throughout the area.During our shuttle trip and tour we also saw a caribou (which I did snap a photo of) and a wolf (that was too fast and elusive to the camera). Wolves are throughout the park, but rarely seen. I was very disappointed that I was unable to get a photo of him. I did get a picture of this grey fox but it is a bit blurred as he too was moving pretty quickly.As f...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Denali National Park & Preserve
Alaska Route 3/George Parks Highway
Denali, Alaska
(907) 733-2231

Denali National Park & Preserve

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Attraction | "Spectacular Mountain Views"

Denali National Park & Preserve Photo, Denali, Alaska
Quote:
The Alaskan Mountain range around Denali are very impressive. Given that we could not really see Mt. McKinley during our three day visit to the Denali area, the mountains that we did see just had to do. Not that we were settling by any means. These mountains are beautiful, especially when you consider the glaciers and streams that make up the landscape around them.We learned during our Tundra Wilderness Tour that valleys that are "V" shaped were created by rivers while those valleys that are more like a "U" shape have been carved out by glacier movement.Throughout the park you could see the waterfalls as the snow melted from atop those with snow caps and from the glaciers. On the s...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Denali National Park & Preserve
Alaska Route 3/George Parks Highway
Denali, Alaska
(907) 733-2231

Quote:
White Moose Lodge is about 15 minutes from the entrance to Denali National Park and conveniently out of the main "tour trap" area that has been build up with resorts, gift shops and a couple of small dining establishments. It is about five to ten minutes north beyond the tourist area.White Moose Lodge comes recommended by many of the Alaska tour books including Frommers. Listed as a bed & breakfast, we found it disappointing both in terms of the "breakfast" (packaged danish & weak coffee) and the general motel feel about it. In fact there are two signs from the Parks Highway, one that says "White Moose Lodge" and the other "White Moose Motel." Given they are for the same place, t...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 10, 2006

White Moose Lodge
Parks Highway - Milepost 248
Denali, Alaska 99743
(800) 481-1232

Rose's Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
This little place just north of the Healy turnoff was a real find!! (Approximately 20 minutes from the entrance to Denali National Park.) We stopped in one night for dinner after a very long day in the park. Unsure what we'd find, we were pleasantly surprised with great friendly local service, outstanding food and high value!!We enjoyed our dining experience so much that we returned the following night as well as for breakfast 2 days later.Plan on receiving very large portions. I originally was going to order the three pancake breakfast. At the recommendation our our waitress, I cut it back to the shortstack, and even two was too many!This comes very highly recommended b...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 10, 2006

Rose's Cafe
Milepost 249.5 Parks Highway
Healy, Alaska 99743

Black Diamond Grill

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Restaurant | "Black Diamond Grill"

Quote:
This little place was listed in some of the Alaska tour guides. You would have to know about it to find it, as it is about a mile off the Parks Highway, around milepost 246, and is part of the Black Diamond Golf Club.We rolled in around 9pm and just had burgers. The meat was top-quality ground round and prepared with an interesting and delicious combination of spices.Served with a dinner salad, it was the perfect supper after the long road trip up from Anchorage.We should comment on the full gourmet menu selections, many with an Italian flair. The dessert menu included several specials included a berry tart served warm with ice cream. While we passed on the sweets, the co...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 10, 2006

Black Diamond Grill
Mile 247 George Parks Highway
Healy, Alaska 99743
(907) 683-4653