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Alaska Landscapes

 

This page - mostly Denali National Park.  Some 6 million acres of mainly trail-less tundra wilderness sprinkled with occasional spruce forests.  One road protrudes  one-way into the park approximately 90 miles, with only a few permits issued for private vehicles to access a couple of campgrounds, with no other travel beyond your campground permitted.  In other words, they keep this place tightly sealed.  You can day hike anywhere any time, but a backcountry permit, 30-minute video, and sworn statement to your wilderness experience is mandatory prior to getting a permit to stay over night.  Access is limited to only a few campers per specific area, so you are virtually guaranteed complete wilderness solitude.  Catch a park bus in, get off, the bus leaves and you are on your own until you hike back to the road and hitch a ride on a returning bus.  The park rangers state that 98% of visitors only see the park from a tourist bus.  That leaves 2% that actually get out and hike, and 90% of those are day hikers (no slight, day hiking is very cool, but backcountry is way deeper....)

 

A 2-1/2 hour of trail-less hiking 38 miles deep into the wilderness with 4 water crossings carrying 60 lbs of survival and camera gear was rewarded with an incredible overlook of the Teklonika River Valley, my home for 3 days.  (last photo is of salmon fishermen on the Kenai River)

Of particular interest is the "cloudfall" in photos 13 and 14 - clouds banked up in the Alaskan Range pour through a gap and slowly fall to the glacial valley below....

 

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