Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Friday, August 8, 2014

Denali, Day 3

Remember to click on the pictures to make them larger.

Got up and made our way over to the Denali Wilderness Access Center to get our tickets for the bus trip into the park. We got our tickets for the 2:00 pm bus tour to Eielson Visitor Center. This Center is located 66 miles into the park but it is an 8 hour round trip on the bus. The road only goes around 92 or 93 miles into the park and ends. This bus ride gives you a good glimpse of the park and usually offers many opportunities to see wildlife. After securing our tickets, we got a quick lunch and came back to board the bus. Not long into our journey, we spotted an Arctic fox hunting for some small critter in the vegetation.
Even though it was an overcast day, everything was still beautiful and you could see fresh snow on the mountaintop. In fact, we encountered sleet briefly as we traveled up the mountains.
About an hour later we saw two figures laying in the grass on a little knoll. It turned out to be a sleeping grizzly sow and her cub. Eventually, the mom did raise her head long enough to check out the scene around her.
 Just a bit up the road we saw two caribou resting in the grass.
 It was an overcast and sleepy kind of day. There were caribou we spotted that were quite a bit more active farther down the road. The herd was just grazing and then suddenly took off running. We then saw a dark figure come out of the shrubs. A huge chocolate grizzly was scouting for weak ones among the group. Another grizzly was eyeing the edge the of the herd from higher up the mountain. Made it to the Visitor Center and as usual did not get a glimpse of Mt. McKinley.
However, on our way back we were treated to a beautiful rainbow over the Toklat River.
This was certainly a nice way to end a great day.

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