Friday, June 28th-Denali National Park
We see the 14ers in Colorado and they appear massive but they pale in comparison to the mountains in Denali NP! In addition to South Peak (which we used to call Mt McKinley but now call Denali), there are two other mountains in Denali NP over 17,000 feet. The three tallest are
- South Peak at 20,310 fr,
- North Peak at 19,470, and
- Mount Foraker at 17,400 feet.
Not only does Denali NP have the highest mountain in North America, it also uniquely serves as a Wilderness Preserve. That basically means it’s completely undeveloped. Guests can only drive their private vehicles 15 miles into the park. The rest of the transportation around the park is by bus. The three types of bus are
- Courtesy buses transport guests only within the freely accessed first 15 miles,
- Transit buses take guests certain places within the park-just transportation, and
- Tour buses transport guests certain places within the park and the bus drivers are also naturalists who provide narrative during the trip.
Initially, it’s all rather confusing. We’re going to the Visitor Center tomorrow morning to try and make some sense of it. We’re thinking of finding some beautiful trails to hike each day it’s not raining and taking either a tour or transit bus 60 or 80 miles deeper into the park. Here’s our pic near the entrance
We are not staying at a campground within the park because there are no hookups for campers in the park. There are 2-3 small villages that provide services to park guests. Our campground is about a mile to the park entrance in Nenana Canyon-that’s convenient since we’ll be here more than a week. BTW, we took a walk around the campground about 10:30 PM tonight and I wore my sunglasses!