The Whiting's Great Alaskan Adventure travel blog

panoramic view of the mountains including Mount McKinnley

Bill, Barb Jackie and Harry...mountain range

Denali National Park Quilt

Mountain range

caribou antlers

male fight

Jackie gold panning

bridge in front of the lodge we ate at...Bill and Barb

Jackie and Harry on the bridge


fun photo at our RV park...Bill and Barb

Fun photo #2...Jackie and Harry




It was a very early morning since a tour bus picked us up at our RV park at 6:10 am. No cars are allowed in the park so you must go by tour bus to keep traffic down. It was 90 miles to the best close view of Mount McKinnley, the tallest mountain in North America...over 20,000 feet tall. It was a gorgeous clear day for great views of the mountain, which is rare they say. We stopped for multiple animal sightings of caribou, dall sheep, ptarmigan (the state bird), and grizzly bears. Most we saw in binoculars, but were too far away for good pics. We need a camera with a big lens!! The views of the mountain range were gorgeous with snow and glaciers. They had a catered lunch in a lodge at the far end of the park and we had a couple hours to relax, hike or even try gold panning. Great sandwich, soup, salad, and dessert buffet with drinks (with or without alcohol) Alcohol was extra money. The visitor's center had a huge quilt that was a replica of the park and Mount McKinnley and all kinds of animals found there. It covered the better part of a wall. It was very impressive even to a non-quilter like myself! Harry and I played around with the gold panning after a demo, but gold is pretty much gone. I did keep rocks with some shiny parts though! Soon it was time for the trip back and we stopped for more animals...even a mama grizzly with 2 cubs and close ups of caribou. Found out the male bears will kill their own young since mama keeps them with her 3 1/2 years and will not breed again till they are gone. Weird part of life for that breed. Also saw a cow moose and golden eagles fly, but no bull moose or wolves. They say wolves are very hard to see and the moose are hunting females and hiding from hunters, although there is no hunting in the park. Jerry was a very informative driver and stopped as much as we wanted to see things and take pics. It was a very long day but well worth it. Didn't get back to the RV till 8:30! It was our best Alaska tour so far! We only had leftover pizza and watched a little TV before we were all too tired to stay awake any longer.

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