Many RVers dream of traveling to Alaska, as it is the ultimate destination on their bucket lists. That is why we have created a series of articles to help you navigate the Last Frontier in a camper or travel trailer, in the hope that you will have the 49th is also!
Denali National Park
The highest mountain in North America is the flagship of Denali National Park. At 20,310 feet, Denali ("the high" in Athabaskan) dominates the landscape, since the surrounding mountains do not exceed 11,000 to 14,000 feet. The 6 million hectares that surround the peak was designated as a national park in 1917 to protect the area from the reckless surrender of gold-fired miners and large hunters in the early 1900s.
How to get there
It is easy to go to this most unique park. You can see the top of Anchorage, but take the Glenn Highway (Alaska # 1) north and east of the city, 30 kilometers to the Parks Highway (Alaska # 3). Then follow it about 200 miles north of the entrance to the park. Or, if you want to enjoy all the scenery along the way, take a trip on the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage. The video below gives you a good idea of what you can see from the train wagon.
Nowadays the national park has a road that dares 90 miles into the desert, which is closed for private vehicles on mile mark 15. So you can park your camper and let someone else drive! Visitors ride on park shuttles to experience the fertile fauna and spectacular beauty of the region. There are 37 species of mammals in the park, but most visitors like to see the five big ones: grizzly bears, Dall sheep, elk, caribou and wolves (they call this the "Denali Slam").
Outdoor activities abound
As with most destinations in Alaska, there are plenty of outdoor activities in the park. Bus tours (both transit and traditions) are a great way to see the park and the residents & # 39; to see. Many visitors opt for an overview of the area as refugees. A large number of commercial flight operators abound around Denali and in the small town of Talkeetna, so you should not have problems booking a reservation to view the park from the air.
Backcountry camping permits are free and required for backpacking. There are six campsites in the park, but only two are available for campers. If those who have forgotten remember that Alaska is full of national forest land, where dispersed camping is allowed.
In summer, many park visitors enjoy whitewater rafting on the Denali River to Healy. Fishing is in this state practically an Olympic sport, with salmon, halibut and trout as the main attractions. It is clear that if you are an experienced mountaineer, Denali will offer a robust challenge!
But for those of us who drive a little less, the months of June, July and August also offer the perfect weather for walking in this immense wilderness, and autumn is not to be missed, because the golden hues of trembling rattles shine the background of firs and pine trees.
Denali National Park and Preserve is open all year round and those who enjoy their pleasures in winter find the perfect environment for dog sledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. In fact, the winter visit center offers free snowshoe hire for those who want to enter the hinterland. Winter biking has also become a popular pastime, and although the park is largely closed to snow machines, there are some exceptions for its use when the snow cover is good.
One of the most amazing benefits of a visit during autumn or winter is the possibility to see the Aurora Borealis in the park. Because complete darkness only returns to this part of the world in September, this phenomenon is not easy to see during the summer season. If you can plan an autumn or winter trip to Denali, you can be overwhelmed by a visit of the Northern Lights while you are there! For me that was the icing on my "Visit Alaska" cake!
It is easy to spend a few days in this remote wilderness in every season, to explore the varied landscapes and to see an amazing amount of wild animals at your doorstep. At a given moment you can feel like you you can see the animal in a zoo, grizzly bears, moose and caribou stalk every movement. You will certainly not find any experience of this size in the bottom 48.
Every time we visit Denali we have to remember the star of the show. Often the weather conditions are the biggest obstacle when viewing the mountain. The peak is so great that it creates its own weather system. So hang around for a few days, in case the clouds surround this beautiful mountain peak for a part of your visit. Like every great stage performer, Denali sometimes enjoys a dramatic appearance!
Visiting Denali National Park is like adding a crown jewel to your itinerary. Make sure you put it on your travel list, and view several other destinations to the last border, because we put them here on the blog of Camping World in the coming weeks!
Note from the author: If you drive through Alaska and / or Canada, consider buying a copy of "The Milepost". It is a travel guide with a list of supplies (such as petrol stations) and facilities (such as accommodation) throughout Alaska and the western Canadian provinces. by milepost marker. This is a requirement for traveling in the area, because distances between petrol stations and supermarkets can in many cases be hundreds of kilometers. Another piece of knowledge gained with "The Milepost" are the hours (and seasons) of the operation of companies along the route, so closed in autumn and winter.
What do you think of Denali National Park? Have you ever been? Leave a comment below!