Friday, July 22, 2011

Denali National Park - 2

One of the things we knew we had to do at Denali was take one of the bus rides into the park to see the wildlife and the mountain. We reserved seats on the 9:00 am shuttle to Eielson Visitor Center, which is 66 miles in and has an excellent view of the mountain.

As the bus goes higher in elevation, we pass from the alpine vegetation that is mostly birch and white spruce into the taiga, which is lower bushes and stunted black spruce.

This is what the bus driver called a "safety shot," taken about 15 miles into the park. They say that you get to see the mountain about 30% of the time--the rest of the time it's obscured by clouds. Today it was, so far, clear, though you could see some small clouds being made on the mountain.

At the Savage River ranger station, a park ranger boarded the bus to give us some reminders about not disturbing the wildlife and also to wish us a good trip.

Yet another "safety shot," at about mile 20.

We crossed 5 rivers on our way to the Eielson Visitor Center.

If you look closely, you can see two Dall sheep on these rocks, which were high on a mountain above the Teklanika River rest stop.

Here we're about 3 miles from Eielson. It's now evident that we're going to get to see Denali in all its glory.

This is a glacial valley due east of Eielson.

The sun shone only on Denali. All the mountains around us were under clouds.

This is a pair of moose antlers. Two bull moose were fighting and locked horns. They never did get parted, and died that way. Wow.

These beautiful cookies are at the Toklat River crossing.

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