Denali Backcountry

Can't Buy A Friend - Denali National Park

When we went to Denali for our 10th Anniversary, we visited the huge park in three separate ways.

First, we drove in the main gate near Healy, and went as far as the bridge crossing the Savage River. Only Park buses were allowed beyond the bridge on the dirt road to the Eielson Visitors Center.

Second, we went horseback riding in the back country just outside Denali National Park. That was quite the thrill as it rained most of the time, but our local guide was awesome.

Finally, we took a monster truck tour that was able to wade through the fast moving rivers and take us very far into the park. You meet the tour group at the “Big Igloo”, a standard, well known staging area for park tours.

Bears, eagles, and assorted other creatures were readily available. At the end of the inward leg, we found this fox just hanging out. He refused to show me any hospitality.

Way across the valley, only viewable through a spotting scope they had set up, were a family of brown bears walking one of the mountain ridges. The trip was awesome and highly recommended.

Moderator’s Note: Horseback riding is not permitted in the park but there are several companies that provide experiences outside of Park boundaries.


  1. Jerri Roberts says:

    Are you sure this photo was taken inside the Park Boundaries of Denali Nationald Park. I am a Ranger there and have never seen this structure inside the Park? I have never see a junk heap in our pristine wilderness. Where exactly were you?

    • Wilderness Dave says:

      Jerri, I believe the post does mention that his Denali vacation took place inside AND outside the park boundaries. Perhaps this shot came from just outside the park boundaries but was part of one of his trips/tours near Denali National Park. Though legal boundaries may be easily defined, experiential boundaries are not. Either way, for this visitor…this picture was part of his “National Park Experience” even if taken outside the park boundaries.

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