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Denali National Park Sled Dogs

Saturday, June 23, 2007

overcast 0 °F

Very dreary day out today and it looks like it might rain again this morning, so we head for the movie at the Denali Wilderness Access Center. The movie is about the building of the road through the park. Interesting movie, but not as good as the 'Heartbeats of Denali' that they show at the visitor’s center.

We grab some lunch and then catch a bus to the dogsled kennels where we get to pet the Alaskan Huskies that the park uses to patrol the park in the winter and see them give a demo with 5 dogs pulling a sled across stones.

We take the bus back to the Visitor Center and take a short hike, before returning to the train station to see the Alaska train pull in with busloads full of cruise line passengers aboard.

The skies are starting to clear up so we decide to drive 9 miles inside the park (visitors are only permitted to drive 15 miles inside the park in their own vehicles) to see if we can catch a glimpse of Mt. McKinley. No signs of McKinley, but we then decide to drive a few more miles to the Savage River trail and walk the 2 mile loop trail. The wildflowers are again incredibly pretty and it’s nice to be outside in the nice weather.

The highlight of the walk is a pair of adult ptarmigans with about 8 of their chicks that are on the trail taking dust baths. We stop and watch them for about 10 minutes.

We return for a quick dinner and then go outside of the park to fill up on propane and diesel. We also check out the motel we stayed at 13 years ago when we visited Denali for two days – The White Moose Motel. It’s still there and looks exactly as we remember it. The rest of the area near the entrance of the park is much more built up than we remember, especially the Princess Resort area for the cruise passengers. Then, before heading back to the campground, we decide to check out a few gift shops.

Posted by jengelman 13:52 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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