Mt. McKinley (Denali)

Choose a nice period of sunny weather and spend a few days touring the highest mountain in North America. Located approximately 240 miles north of Anchorage, Mt. McKinley soars 20,320 feet above sea level.  To Alaskans, the mountain is known by it’s Athabaskan name, Denali, which means ‘Beautiful One.’

It is rare that one can see it from the south side not shrouded in clouds. Although you can only drive a few miles into the Denali Park, there is a campground plus many hotels, motels and cabins located just outside the park. From the entrance the road extends 94 miles to the end at Kantishna. It is available to the tourist only by daily bus trips. There are shorter versions of the bus trips, but the one to Kantishina lasts 13 hours in and out.

Along the way, you may see a wide variety of birds and animals including ptarmigan, eagles, caribou, moose, marmots, ground squirrels, goats, big-horn sheep and black and grizzly bears. There are six mountain peaks in the Denali complex over 10,000 feet and twelve glaciers flowing between and out of the peaks. Most of the rivers and creeks (such as the one on the left) are filled with sand and gravel from the glaciers.

The photo on the right is taken at Mirror Lake just a few miles from Kantishina Lodge. Unfortunately there was a slight breeze and Denali was not reflected in it’s surface.

When you leave 
Denali in the fall, the contrast between the fall colors and the beautiful mountains is definitely a photo opportunity.


Denali closeup
Mountain goats along the trail
Denali sunlit
Denali in the fall
Caribou above the road