Monday, August 16, 2010

Bus tour of Denali NP, Aug 15, 2010

IMG_2506Exciting day, the 11 hour bus tour  (172 miles RT) to Wonder Lake left at 6:45 am. We were up at 5:30, and I saw this sunrise. Last night I had packed us a lunch cooler full of munchies as there is no food available in the park.   The day even had promising forecast of seeing Mt. McKinley

I boarded before Bob did as I wanted to be up towards the front (want to avoid car sickness, BTW it worked great, I felt great all day).


Our driver, Beth, was just that a driver.  She said she was not a wildlife spotter, we were, so if we saw something, just shout STOP and she would. We were also to say if it was 1-2-3 o’clock etc. so everyone would know where to look.  This plan worked well.   Another plan that worked well for us was to see another bus in front of us stopped, good indication of wildlife.

We had numerous wildlife sightings along our journey.  Think I will just post photos of them.  All of the photos have been cropped as we were not as close as the photo looks like.

Caribou (AKA Reindeer)




 Grizzly with her two to three year old cubs.  They were actively eating berries, don’t bother me!

IMG_2531 IMG_2533


Dall Sheep

IMG_2534  Red Fox

We saw this fox stalking an arctic ground squirrel, but that meal got away for now.


The animals seem to not care about the bus, as he was just trotting the side of the road while the bus was sort of following him.



When wildlife is spotted, here is what the bus looks like.  Everyone is jockeying to find their best view point.  It never got ugly!



The photo below does show a tiny bit of the Mt.  Go to the right side of the photo, then start scanning just a little and you will see a muted while mountain slope, (not the one that has a whiter ridge), that is Mt. McKinley.

IMG_0344  This photo was taken inside the visitor center, they have lines painted on the window indicating where it is.  You had to line up how tall you were with markers on the floor to put the painted lines in the correct position. We were told that only about 20% of the visitors actually get to see the highest peak in North America.


This blog has a great photo of the mountain taken earlier this month, check out the post “Rain has Stopped”.

More scenery

IMG_2634  A little fall color is just starting to appear.  Peak color is in about two weeks.

IMG_2630 Notice the dust, it was windy.



The wild blueberries are ripe in the park.

Yes, we did pick some and we both pronounced them very good.


IMG_2579 Also saw and picked some low bush cranberries.  Just like eating a commercial cranberry, they say they are sweeter after a frost, don’t think it had frosted here yet based on the one cranberry I bit into.

IMG_2584  Our destination was Wonder Lake.



One  lady was asking Bob a question, but the lady with the green mosquito net probably was the smart one, those little buggers were there, but if you kept moving you were OK.

At an overlook at Wonder Lake, we saw more of Mt. McKinley than we had before, with about 1/3 of the base showing.

IMG_0393 Just a couple more wildlife sightings. IMG_2625



Diana of Diana Rambles said...

Our driver was Cissy, but Beth sounds as helpful as she was. UGH! Your weather looked GOOD! And your close up photos are wonderful. You saw the same blonde grizzly & cubs that we saw. Wonder Lake had HORRIBLE mosquitoes!! Great trip!!!

Happytrails said...

Just incredible!! What spectacular views! Your pics were great. Sounds like a great day and super bus tour.

Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

Travelwithwhippets said...

Wow, loved the photos! I am also prone to car sickness, but have found that those wrist bands (sea bands) actually do work. I always wear them in the MH when looking at maps, etc. Hard to believe it's already time for fall color ANYWHERE!

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