There's only one road into Denali National Park, and private vehicles can only travel about 14 miles out of the 80 miles into the park. The rest is closed to public traffic, and must be traversed via buses (of the school variety, painted green or tan). We decided to take a 6 hour tour up the road with a guide, and after seeing a few moose from the window of the bus just past the visitor center, this was the first rest stop, about 10 miles down the road. Behind the overlook is a wide, flat river bed, and we saw a family of bear eating berries on the far side of the riverbank. It was a cloudy and drizzly day (as were most of the days in Alaska). We saw a lot of wildlife (bear, caribou, pheasant, mountain sheep) along the road, as well as beautiful views of the mountain valleys and glacial runoff.
The bus ride was pretty, with snow at the lodge 62 miles into the park. However, it was VERY long, and 6 hours on an uncomfortable school bus pounding along a dirt mountain road at 25 miles/hour made it less than optimal, although still worth doing. Maybe if the weather had been nicer, I'd have fewer reservations.
We did NOT, however see "The Mountain", as people in the park called Denali (Mt. McKinley, for those of you from Ohio). Apparently, it's only visible about 30% of the time, due to the cloud layers (which, much of the time, are actually created due to the presence of the Denali land mass).
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