Ex­pe­ri­ence De­nali!

See this na­tional park from a new per­spec­tive

Where Alaska - - Where Now - Alaska -

Large shapes moved out­side the tent, blurred by the can­vas un­til they crossed the door­way and their sil­hou­ettes were clear: cari­bou. A large sigh of re­lief went through the group, fol­lowed by ner­vous laugh­ter. The card game was for­got­ten. You never know when or what wildlife will ap­pear when you’re in De­nali Na­tional Park and Pre­serve!

One of the best “back to na­ture” ex­pe­ri­ences ad­ven­tur­ous visi­tors can have in the park is wilder­ness camp­ing. Be­gin by bor­row­ing a bear-proof food con­tainer at the WAC ( Wilder­ness Ac­cess Cen­ter), which is also the trans­porta­tion hub for the park’s bus sys­tem. Board the park bus to travel the 90-mile road into De­nali Na­tional Park. Ask the driver to stop when­ever you want to dis­em­bark— you’re free to wan­der the back­coun­try of this six- mil­lion- acre- park. When you’re ready to re­turn to civ­i­liza­tion, hike back to the park road and catch the next (space avail­able) bus. The buses de­part the WAC ev­ery half hour be­tween ap­prox­i­mately 6 am and 10 pm in sum­mer.

For those who are not en­thu­si­as­tic about (or pre­pared for) see­ing De­nali Na­tional Park from a tent, the park’s tour op­er­a­tors of­fer a wide ar­ray of ex­pe­ri­ences to choose from. You can ex­plore by mo­tor­coach, jeep, ATV or air­plane, by road, trail or river. It’s your choice!


Ap­prox­i­mately 3 hours Drive an ATV through De­nali’s breath­tak­ing back­coun­try. Your guide will nar­rate the area’s min­ing history, you keep an eye out for wildlife. Ex­plore Dry Creek riverbed, site of Athabas­can In­dian ar­ti­facts. Mile 247 Parks Hwy, One Mile Otto Lake Road, Healy, AK. 907.683.4653. www. black­di­a­mond­tourco. com


Ap­prox­i­mately 4 hours Delve into the Alaska wilder­ness on this of­froad ad­ven­ture along Stam­pede Road, a his­toric trail blazed by min­ers in the 1930s to ac­cess the Kan­tishna gold fields. Lis­ten via two-way ra­dio as your guide de­tails the area’s rich history. Watch for moose, cari­bou and bears, then en­joy a hearty snack be­fore re­turn­ing to

Mile 231 Parks Hwy, De­nali Na­tional Park. 800.276.7234. www.de­nali­parkvil­lage. com


Ap­prox­i­mately 2.5 hours View the 14,900-footh­igh Wick­er­sham Wall, 2,000-foot deep Ruth Glacier, and the tow­er­ing 20,320-footh­igh Mount McKinley sum­mit. De­nali Air, Mile 229.1 Parks Hwy., De­nali Na­tional Park. 907.683.2261. www. de­na­li­air.com


Ap­prox­i­mately 2.5 hours Jeff King, four-time cham­pion of the Idi­tarod Trail Sled Dog Race, wel­comes you to his home and ken­nels. En­joy a warm welcome from a cud­dly pup; watch cham­pion huskies on a train­ing run; and see a dog-pow­ered carousel. Mile 238 Parks Hwy. 907.683.2904. www.husky­home­stead. com/tour


Ap­prox­i­mately 3.5 hours Feel the rush of the rapids dur­ing this ex­hil­a­rat­ing 11-mile guided raft­ing ad­ven­ture on the Ne­nana River. Gear up in dry­suit, life­jacket and neo­prene booties and board an oar-pow­ered raft for a wild ride down Class III and IV rapids. Mile 247 Parks Hwy., One Mile Otto Lake Road, Healy, AK. 888.303.1925. de­naliout­door­center. com/raft­ing


Ap­proxi- mately 7 hours Your ex­pert driver/ guide will nar­rate through­out the jour­ney which in­cludes stops at Mount McKinley view­points and mag­nif­i­cent vis­tas. Watch for bears, cari­bou and Dall sheep high above steep moun­tain passes. Mile 231 Parks Hwy., De­nali Na­tional Park, AK. 800.276.7234. www. de­nali­parkvil­lage

Black Diamond ATV Ad­ven­ture

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