Denali National Park is beautiful and offers so much to see and do. Our first evening in the park, we walked the McKinley Station Trail that connects to the Triple Lakes Trail. The first creek crossing offers a spectacular view of the railroad. The second creek crossing is a suspension bridge that is worth seeing and walking across. We did just under 2 miles round trip, and the trail was easy. The first 15 miles or so of the park road is open for public vehicles, so after our walk, we drove around to see the views, and this drive is full of endless beauty. We actually did this drive a couple of times daily. For dinner, we went to Lynx Creek Pizza, located near the park entrance, and I highly recommend them. It was some of the best pizza we’ve ever had.
Day 3, our first full day in Denali. We started the day early with hiking the Savage River Loop. You can reach this trail head either by the free shuttle bus or your personal vehicle. (Keep in mind that there is limited parking at the trail head). This trail is an easy 2 mile loop with a small, wooden bridge for crossing the river. We had the trail all to ourselves most of the hike.
Denali National Park has a team of sled dogs that protect and work in the park, and the kennels are open to the public! They have the dogs in kennels and on tie outs where you can pet them (as long as you follow the safety rules). They are a very friendly group of dogs and eager to make new friends. The kennels also have a sled dog demonstration a few times a day where they talk about what the dogs do, how they train, and the dogs even pull a cart around a loop for you to watch.
Day 4 we took a transit bus to Wonder Lake. I think a bus into the park is the best way to even begin to realize just how big the park is. They also offer tour buses which provide a narration during your ride. The weather on this day was perfect, we had views of Denali all day long. We saw caribou, moose, brown bears, and golden eagles. Wonder Lake was a beautiful place to relax for a few minutes before heading back to the bus. This was a full day as Wonder Lake is around 85 miles from the bus depot, but it was a great experience.
On our last morning in Denali, we walked the Horseshoe Lake Loop. This was an easy trail that took you to a quiet lake and massive beaver dams. The whole loop is about 2 miles long. After this walk, we took one last drive in Denali, then headed south to Talkeetna. I’m already looking forward to the next time we are in Denali!
Until next time,