Denali is the national park that is on everyone’s list! I know this because everyone has told me that they have either wanted to come here or they have already been to Denali. I have been to many national parks throughout this country of ours and Denali National Park was one of my favorites. It was a very special place to visit.
The ideas of visiting Denali are always fantastic and wonderous, possibly due to the distance it takes to get here from the lower 48 states. The thoughts of adventuring into Alaska itself are great ones too, as this state is called “The last frontier”. It could be the drive through the rolling mountains, passing heavily wooded areas, and the lovely bright purple fire weed that dots the side of the road. It could be a number of things but Denali National Park is a phenomenal journey that you should not miss in this lifetime.
Denali National Park & Preserve is wildly beautiful and feels like it is the last frontier. It is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. That one road has only one entrance and is simply called “the park road”. It is 92 miles long and runs east to west. This scenic road is made mostly of dirt and gravel and starts in a low forested area. It gradually rises and falls through mountain passes, all the while heading west. Wanderlusters will only see the low elevation forest, as it gives way to North America’s tallest Peak, Denali, which is 20, 310 feet.
There were four of us who made the trek to Alaska- two friends who I have known since my school days and another that I met while traveling through Prague in 2015. I have traveled with those two school friends before to Mexico and Iceland, so it was terrific to have another adventure but in the last frontier. Travelers tend to stick together and find interesting places to journey to. This time around it was Alaska with Denali National Park as the headliner.
Our route was simple for the day spent at Denali, although we did not take one of the larger all day tours. There were options for full day tours that brought you deep into the park, but we opted to drive in as far as we could, which ended up being the Savage River.
— Savage River —
Savage River is the last stop you can drive to with your personal car. It is a two mile river loop with a bridge that crosses at the end. The path was quite easy and it was very impressive. There were many amazing photos and memories accomplished that day!
➡See Photo Journal below for more photos.
— Dog Sled Kennels —
Since we are dog lovers, we also did the tour to the Dog Sled kennels inside Denali. This short tour comprised of hopping a shuttle bus at the Visitor’s Center and riding ten minutes to the kennels. If you love dogs, this visit is a definite must.
Visiting and interacting with these sweet natured but hard working dogs was a very special experience.
The main attraction is the special demonstration of how the dogs prepare and run with the sleds. The choosing of the dogs was the best because all of them were very enthusiastic, they were so excited. It was as if they were all yelping “Pick me! Over here! Not him! Pick me!”
For more information on meeting the sled dogs, please visit Meet the Sled Dogs – Denali National Park & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
One day if I ever find myself back at the Denali National Park & Preserve, I may take one of the full day tours. I felt that the way we first visited Denali worked for our style of travel. We took our time driving through the Park and saw what we wanted to see. As the driver on this expedition, I will say the drive was an easy one but multiple stops were required, so we could take a lot of photos. Great times!
— Photo Journal —
For additional park information, Denali National Park & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
Not all those who wander are lost…– J.R.R. Tolkien
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