Denali National Wildlife Refuge

        I took this trip in August 2001 with a bunch of Danes (Kim Nielsen and friends):


From left to right: Luise (from Denmark), Poul (also from Denmark), Charlotte (Danish), Kim (looks like he's freezing, but he's also from Denmark) and David (again, from Denmark).

    We drove to the entrance to Denali NWP (marked  with a blue arrow on this map; Galbraith Lake and some other things are also marked in blue, but those are other stories) which is about 160 km (100 mi.) southwest of Fairbanks (Fairbanks itself is marked on the map with a strange, multi-colored jobber of my own design). We camped over night and caught one of the busses into the park in the morning; with few exceptions, the busses are the only vehicles allowed in the refuge. The bus runs the length of the access road that runs to the west from the entrance on the map. A lot of the pictures I took didn't come out, but here are some that did:


Morning.
 

        This is typical of the kind of rivers found in the glacier-scoured valleys in the Alaska Range. All that gravel is the stuff ground out of the mountains by the glacier that formed the valley. This happens to be the Teklanika River, which flows north out of the Alaska Range and is on the map cited above.

NOW FOR A QUICK WILDLIFE BREAK:


A wolf.


An emergency backup photo of the exact same wolf.


This is just your ordinary, everyday fox; pretty common in AK.

        We saw this grizzly bear mother (foraging for soap berries, lower right) and cub (ignoring it's mother, upper left) near another river.

        Alot of the mountains along the Denali access road are multi-colored like this because they are made of lots of different kinds of rock. This is because the Alaska Range is being formed as the result of a geological train wreck.

        I took this panorama from a rest stop very high on the side of a sheer mountainside. It shows what are called the Polychrome Mountains, due to their colors. All those valleys are glacier carved; three have rivers running out which are still fed by remaining glaciers far up the valleys. Click on the image for a full-size version.