Blogs from Denali National Park, Alaska, United States, North America


Anchorage Alaska is less than a 4-hour flight from Seattle. You can also drive about 90 minutes north to Bellingham, WA, and take the ferry that runs along the Inside Passage, or take a cruise from Seattle. We lived in Seattle for about 20 years, but we never made it to Alaska on vacation. We joked that it was too close to Seattle; we usually went to Europe to visit his family, or to Asia, but never Alaska. I was determined to get to Alaska before we began our next chapter in life. We thought about driving up, but the car was having some issues, so we decided to fly (we’ll take the ferry up on another trip). “Pure, raw, unforgiving and humongous in scale, Alaska is a place that arouses basic instincts and ignites what ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Denali National Park September 12th 2019

Onze bestemming dit najaar is de grootste staat van de VS, waar we met een camper op pad gaan en met een cruiseboot zullen afzakken naar Vancouver. We vliegen naar Alaska via Frankfurt, waar we na 45 minuten vliegen met een 1 maand oude A320 van Lufthansa arriveren. Onze overstaptijd is 1 uur en 40 minuten, dat is op Frankfurt krap. We worden met een bus naar de terminal gebracht en moeten zoals daar gebruikelijk is erg ver lopen. Ook een douane en securitycheck kosten veel tijd. Bij de gate wisselen we nog van zitplaats, het vliegtuig blijkt ver van vol te zitten. De B767-300ER van Condor zal ons in een kleine tien uur naar Anchorage brengen. De service aan boord gaat met Duitse efficiëntie, maar beide maaltijden zijn erg smaakvol. We vliegen via de Noorse ... read more
Take-off Schiphol Kaagbaan
Maaltijd 1 Condor
Ijsschotsen Groenland

Denali We are now at Denali. Before we stayed in a new RV Park in Wasilla. It was really nice, but we neither saw Sarah Palin or any of Russia. Mom said there was no way you can see Russia from here! This was just a rest stop because of the miles driving. I’m getting into this travel bit....not so stressful. It was raining in Denali when we arrived. But the RV Park was north a ways and no rain. Sunday the gals left for an 8 hour park tour but Mom made arrangements for a pet walker for me. She let them know I am a shy boy...and they had to send out Kevin, the dog whisperer. By the 2nd visit, I was showing him my tummy. These things are new to me. Mom got ... read more
Halibut catch
view from campground on the Spit
campground in Wasilla

After fishing our fingers off, we headed north again through Anchorage and up the Parks Highway toward Denali National Park and the mountain that was called “Mount McKinley” for over a hundred years. In 2015, the US government changed the formal name back to the original name, Denali, meaning “the great one”. And it is great – the summit of Denali is not only the highest point in North America, over 20,000 feet, but the mountain itself is taller than Mt. Everest, which sits on a base of other mountains. We stopped overnight in the town of Talkeetna, a kitschy little place overrun by tourists. Cruise ship passengers arrive by the busload to ride the Alaska Railroad and try to catch a glimpse of Denali. It’s a tourist train in the summer, but throughout the year, ... read more
One of hundreds of glaciers

As I was planning the Alaska trip, I wanted to get out of Anchorage AK on Sunday evening so I didn’t have to deal with the Anchorage rush hour on Monday, August 13, 2018 so I made a reservation at Best Western Lake Lucille Inn in Wasilla AK, less than 50 miles away. Initially, I had discovered a couple of attractions of interest in Wasilla but then happened upon a really cool attraction that originates in Talkeetna AK, right on our glide path. After breakfast at the Lake Lucille Inn, we completed some housekeeping errands in Wasilla under threatening skies that produced some sprinkles from time to time and began our 1 ½-hour drive to Talkeetna, home of the Hurricane Turn Train. What I had read about the attraction, part of the Alaska Railroad, led me ... read more
I Thought the Wind Might Help Clear the Observation Deck Windows of Raindrops, But We Apparently Weren’t Going Fast Enough
The Scenery Might Have Been Quite Nice on a Sunny Day
Here’s One of Those Sidings – This Time in the Rain, I Didn’t Disembark

From the same couple who did Norway in January, now rafting on the Tanana river, Denali, Alaska. Water temp, just above freezing. Grey water due to glacial silt. Steph is row 2 Bob is far side. About 3’ curls, everyone gets wet. Scenery to die for.... read more

RV parks are scarce in the Denali National Park area so we ended up staying about 27 miles outside the entrance area in a tiny, and I mean a dot, of a town called Cantwell at the Cantwell RV Park. There really wasn't much to it except that it had 30amp and water. It mostly housed Federal workers from the railroad. The owners were extremely nice and accommodating and it was quiet. We ventured out the following day to find Mt. Denali formerly known as Mt. McKinley. The owners of the park told us to go up the road about 50 miles to the South View Point area where, if we were lucky, we would be able to get a good view. Only 30% of the time are you able to view "the mountain" because of ... read more
Mt. Denali
Just a pretty picture inside the Park.

Weren't we so lucky to have the 3 best days for sunny weather when we drove to Denali National Park. The mountain Denali ( its Native Alaskan name "The High One " ) or as previously named Mount McKinley is rarely seen by visitors as it is usually wreathed in cloud. About 1 in 3 get to see it but there is was looming ahead of us like a huge iceberg on the road as we drove up North. In fact we were so surprised that we missed the turn outs so never go a photo so you have to take my word for it ! Denali is the tallest mountain in the USA at 20,310 ft , and since it starts from a lower base level,it is said to be taller than Everest. Back in ... read more
Last day in Eagle River
At the Eileson Visitors Centre
Grizzly bear sighting

Day 2 – Alaska Today, we left for Denali. The luggage was sent on ahead on a truck since the train did not have a space for everyone’s luggage. We all boarded the McKinley Explorer, not the McKinley Express. The name gives it away. We were going to have a nice slow ride to Denali, so that we could see some wildlife perhaps, and scenery for sure. It took a while to get the scenery to show up. The tracks go through the forest, and most of what you saw were trees on both sides. Sometimes, lakes, and a break in the tree wall, which allowed us to see Moose, Osprey nests, Trumpet swans and a Bald Eagle. He flew around while we were stopped on a side track, and then landed in a tree. We ... read more
McKinely Explorer
Switch the side tracks
Trumpet Swans.

When we awoke this morning we weren’t sure what the day held in store for us. We took our time rising, and we thought that we would have an easy day catching up on the blog, now a few days delinquent. We never imagined that before the day was over, we would have the opportunity of a lifetime to stand atop Denali AND have our picture taken at the 20-thousand plus foot summit. And we wouldn’t be making the mistake that that first climber made, reaching the wrong summit some 400 feet below the true peak. We had breakfast at Karsten’s in Denali Square just a short walk from our lodge room in Building “N”. There are a couple of dozen 2-story buildings where people have a view of the river. Karsten’s opened last season and ... read more

Tot: 0.566s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 8; qc: 100; dbt: 0.027s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb