Here is a snowshoe hare we saw from the park bus. When populations of snowshoe hares are up and healthy, so are populations of predators that rely on these snowshoe hares for food such as lynx, fox and owls. When the snowshoe hare population weans or crashes, this causes a similar reaction in their predator’s populations. Everything is connected in nature. 💚
On my trip to Denali National Park, I encountered quite a bit of wildlife. One particular day, I watched this grizzly sow and cub amble toward the park road and cross over to the north side in the area of stony dome. I was sitting in a sprinter van on my way to hike in another area of the park. . . The next day we returned to hike in the same area that we saw these bears. On the hike back, I was at the front of my group. I looked up and saw what I initially thought was these two bears feeding a short distance ahead. We stopped dead in our tracks and slowly backed away. The cub couldn’t care less about us. The mom turned her head and studied us for quite some time. We waved our walking sticks, made ourselves look big and stayed put never turning our backs. Eventually mom decided she wasn’t interested and kept eating. The concerning thing was that she and her cub started heading in our direction and we lost visual of them when they dropped into a little depression. . . We turned and changed our route to put distance between us and the bears. I was uneasy because I didn’t know where they went so I kept looking over my shoulder. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later I turned to scan the area and saw the grizzly sow and this time TWO cubs on the same hill just uphill from us. They were traversing the hill while we were heading down. They didn’t seem to notice us so we quickly kept hiking downhill while keeping an eye on their direction of travel. We eventually lost them near a stream. That was my first grizzly experience during a hike. I was so full of adrenaline that I never thought to snap a picture. This picture is from the day before when we were watching the two bears cross the park road.
This red fox was hunting a vole on the side of the park road. He eventually caught it and ate it. Look at that giant, fluffy tail! This is the kind of magic you see right from the park bus in Denali National Park.
Peeped this Northern Hawk Owl 🦉 on the ride out of Camp Denali. I’m hoping to download more of my wildlife pictures from my Nikon this weekend so I can share a few from my trip to Denali National Park.
This is the place that I fell in love with the first time I went. Thanks to @jacobwfrank for telling me about it. It is a little slice of heaven near the end of the only road going through Denali National Park. Perfect doesn't even describe this place. The last three are short videos to show you my cabin. Sorry about the bad quality of sound. Just to give you an idea how lovely the accomodations are at this place. We were lucky enough to have views of Denali almost every single day. That's pretty unheard of. It was a perfect trip. ❤️
I'm holed up in a Fairbanks lodge right now fighting off the flu. I was supposed to backpack the Kesugi Ridge yesterday from Little Coal Creek to Ermine Hill. I tried, I really did but I was coming down with the flu. I only made it about 4 miles before I had to turn back. It was still the most amazing trail I have ever seen. The weather was clear allowing us perfect views of Mt. Denali. The tundra was a brilliant carpet of red, golds, oranges and greens. I will definitely be back to backpack this trail. If you are in the Alaska area and it is a clear day, do NOT miss this hike. If you can't backpack, at least day hike from Little Coal Creek up to the ridge. You won't be sorry. I recommend downloading this Alltrails app because there is a rocky hill you have to cross that looks trailless. You will probably think you went the wrong way but you didn't. Anyway, I'm so glad I got to experience this trail. It was truly a perfect day.
Today I'm heading to a place that has been on my mind and in my heart since I went there for the first time two years ago. Denali National Park. ❤️ There is something about the raw, untamed, wild beauty that humbles and inspires me. I will be in both Denali National and State Parks for the next week with limited reception. Follow along on my Instagram Stories if you would like to join me in the Last Best Place. I'll have very limited reception and frankly I'm going to want to disconnect. But when I return to cell reception, I'll certainly be excited to share the awe inspiring beauty of Denali with you.