Denali National Park

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Wednesday: Touring Denali

We have a hearty breakfast at Prey again, then we pack up everything to head into the park. Tonight, we’ll be camping.

Arriving at the bus depot, we learn that the next bus availability is at 12:30, and it only goes to mile 43, since the rest of Park Road is closed due to mudslides.

We first tour the visitor center and watch two films: one about sled dogs and another about Denali. We buy the last of our Alaska Geographic patches: first Klondike, then Glacier Bay, Kenai Fjords, Wrangell-St. Elias, and finally, Denali.

The bus ride is relaxing but also dusty. We see a mother bear with two cubs among some spectacular scenery. At the road’s end turnaround, a lone caribou barrels along the river, under the bridge, and up the opposite bank.

Our last camping spot will become our favorite for several reasons: the Savage River is incredibly beautiful, the kids get to gather firewood and stoke the fire, and most importantly, there are no mosquitoes.

According to the kids, tonight’s campfire is the best one they have ever had. That brings smiles to all of us.

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