Sunday, August 22, 2010

Denali National Park and Hatcher Pass

After a short nights sleep in the Denali River Cabins we got to Denali National Park in time to make our reservation on the 5:30 AM bus into the park. It had rained the previous night, but as the day went on the weather cleared up very nicely.

On the bus ride into the park we saw Brown Bears,





Dall Sheep,


and many other birds and wildlife (all part of #86 on the list). There were also some great views as the bus winded through the park.

We took the bus in all the way to Wonder Lake at the 85 mile mark. However, the mosquitoes there were so bad that we didn't even get off the bus. So, we took the bus back to the Eielson Visitors Center at the 66 mile mark. From there we got a clear view of the peaks of Denali.

And since the sun was out we decided to take a hike up the mountain side by the visitors center.

It was very windy at the top, but there were some great views of the surrounding areas.

The next morning we got up and started heading down to Girdwood through Hatcher Pass. On the way through the pass we stopped at a garden for some pictures.

When we reached the pass and Summit Lake we hiked around the lake to a remaining late summer snow bank.

While some of us ate lunch, the others hiked up the hillside to the top of a nearby waterfall.

We were running behind and still had a long way to go, so we quickly drove the rest of the way to Girdwood stopping only in Wasilla so Mama could see where Sarah Palin is from.

That night we ate at the Double Musky restaurant, which was excellent. It is a New Orleans style restaurant that has a famous French Pepper Steak. We stayed that night in a house we rented from a local agency and used the opportunity to sleep in and (try to) catch up on our sleep.


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