in article com, J.W. at
net wrote on 7/17/03 4:51 PM:
I first went to Denali in 1984. At that time, as I remember, you could drive
into the park way past McKinley and to a lake where there was a lodge. It
was *many* miles into the park. It was before Memorial Day and the tourism
was light. LOTS of photo-ops. From our Motor home with my 300mm/2.8 Canon
fluorite w 2x extender, I got a great shot around 9:30 pm of a mother moose
and her newborn calf in the brush and in the background, you could make out
the silhouette of a Brownie, from she was protecting the calf. A ranger
drove up and told us that it had been going on for a couple of days and that
Disney was sending a film crew up from L.A. to cover that event.
Back to the park about six years later. It is later in the year- June or
early July, I think and it is NEVER entirely dark. This time, we could only
get just inside the park and had to ride in and out on a big yellow school
bus. You could get off at one of any numerous stops and stay as long as you
wanted and another bus would come along from either direction and take you
to your next point of choice. I do NOT know if it was a change of policy
that was year-round or not. Perhaps if you get there before there are a
bunch of tourist running around driving off the road, maybe you can drive in
by yourself. However, I would say that this time of year, you will HAVE to
take the bus. Not a big deal - the drivers are VERY informative as well.
I suggest that you pick up a copy of " The Milepost" before you go on your
road adventure. It is "The Bible" for the Alaskan road tourist. Copious
descriptions of every inch of all of the Alaskan roads. It is well worth the
$25 list price (may be cheaper online if you have the time).
As you head north from Anchorage around milepost 130 on the Parks Highway,
there is a spectacular view of McKinley from it's south side on the highway
turnout. If it is a clear day, that is a "must" shot.
You should also take the boat ride to Glacier Bay National Park. There is
nothing like the myriad of blues in that ice. The sound of "calving" is like
nothing you have ever heard!
I also recommend that if you have the time, head north from Fairbanks toward
Barrow on the Dalton Highway. The road parallels the Alaskan Pipeline and is
quite rough in places. If you don't get all the way to Pt. Barrow, at least
make the Artic Circle (so you can say that you've been there anyway. But
watch out for aircraft landing on the road and mosquitoes the size of
Happy hunting! Be sure and take a few extra memory cards, you'll be SURE and