Yukon Territory

Denali National Park, Alaska

In September 1993 we camped at the Riley Creek campground at the park entrance as the other campgrounds were full.  From there, we took a shuttle into the park.

In 2010 we overnighted at Savage River campground without having a reservation.  Then moved to Teklanika campground, which we had reserved for three days. 

We took the shuttle bus on separate days because one of us had to stay with our dog
at the campground.
- Steve's trip had overcast skies; his tour saw lots of wildlife. 
- My trip the next day had clear blue skies; lots of mountain but not much wildlife.

Dall sheep at Denali Park
Dall Sheep very early in the bus tour - September 2010

Interestingly, I took photos from the same places on both trips, 1993 & 2010. 
The buses must still make the same stops along the way! 

View from Eielson Visitor Center in Denali National Park
View from the Denali Park Road - September 1993 

Denali National Park, Alaska
The same view from Denali Park Road seventeen years later in September 2010

In 1993 we saw many grizzly bears feeding heartily & preparing for winter.

Grizzly bear in Denali Park, preparing for winter
Grizzly eating berries alongside Denali Park Road, to prepare for winter hibernation - Sept 1993

Taking pictures of Denali, Alaska
A stop to take pictures of Denali in the distance - September 2010

All the buses stop at Eielson Visitor Center.  There are numerous hiking trails to explore in every direction.  I went down and then had to climb back up to the center.  

Eielson Visitor Center in Denali National Park, Alaska
Eielson Visitor Center in Denali National Park - September 2010 

Denali National Park, Alaska
View from the Eielson Visitor Center in Denali Park - September 2010

Denali from Eielson Visitor Center, Alaska
Denali seen from the Eielson Visitor Center - September 2010

Denali - Mt McKinley, Alaska
Closer up view of Denali seen from Eielson - September 2010

Denali peak
Close up of Denali - September 2010

For many, this is as far as they go.  Others continue on to Wonder Lake at Mile 85. 
The road to Wonder Lake is spectacular!

School bus tour of Denali
Shuttle bus heading to Wonder Lake and Denali - September 2010

At Wonder Lake, there is a short stop-over.  Time enough to do some exploring and take pictures.  It is also possible to let your bus go without you and take a later bus, space permitting!

Wonder Lake campground
The shuttle bus turns around at Wonder Lake campground - September 2010

Wonder Lake, Denali National Park, Alaska
Wonder Lake at Mile 85 - September 2010

Denali - Mt. McKinley from Wonder Lake, Alaska
Denali rises over the tundra from near Wonder Lake - September 2010

At the park entrance, the information center provided some maps of day hikes.  Most important, they also let us know which areas to avoid due to recent wolf-kills (wolves kill an animal and then return over a period of days to eat).

This wildlife is not so difficult to find ...

Grizzly and cub at Denali National Park, Alaska
Grizzly and her cub in Denali National Park - September 2010

A happy grizzly cub in Denali Nation Park Alaska
Grizzly cub in Denali National Park - September 2010

Wolf in Denali National Park, Alaska
This wolf was busy high-tailing it the other direction on the Denali Park Road - September 2010

Savage River campground in Denali National Park

Entrance to Savage River campground in Denali National Park, Alaska
Entrance to Savage River campground - September 2010

Savage River view from near the Savage River campground, Denali National Park
Hiking near Savage River campground in Denali National Park - September 2010

Savage River view from near the Savage River campground, Denali National Park
Hiking near Savage River campground in Denali National Park - September 2010

Teklanika Campground in Denali National Park

The drive from Savage River to Teklanika is an experience.  After passing through the checkpoint at the turn-around, we took our time to enjoy the sights.

Caribou in Denali National Park, Alaska
Caribou resting in Denali National Park - September 2010

Caribou in Denali National Park, Alaska
Denali Caribou - September 2010

Camping at Teklanika
Camp spot at Teklanika campground in Denali National Park

Teklanika River view
Teklanika River seen from hiking path near the Teklanika campground - September 2010

View of Teklanika River near the Campground, Denali National Park
Teklanika River seen from hiking path near the Teklanika campground - September 2010