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Old 02-28-2013, 06:46 AM   #1
jprism OP
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Alaska - denali

Hey you guys and girls living up in "Americas Last Frontier" I am planning a trip this June-July and would like to know how important is it to really see Denali Park? I was thinking of camping there for 2 days. Arriving there one day and spending one full day just seeing the park. I understand that you can only drive into the park for 13 miles and that to really see the park one must take an expensive bus trip. I really am not much for tours but would like to hear some opinions.

Thanks, Jim
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:03 AM   #2
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I haven't done Denalli Park other than drive by it. But, i have done Denalli HWY and really enjoyed it. Even in the rain its not that bad. It is pot hole ridden. Can camp anywhere on it you like and no fees. Enjoy.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:10 AM   #3
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IMO I wouldn't waste my time. The best view is from Talkeetna. Have you driven that Goldwing on dirt roads? There is so much to see up here. How are you comng up
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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If

You have reservations for the park bus you would be able to go to the end of the park road and back in a day. You can't see the park in that amount of time.

Check out the parks website for rules.

You can get a wing over the Denali Hwy, and to Dead Horse too, if your careful.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:15 PM   #5
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I thought the bus was free. Maybe not but check that out. If you are lucky you might see the mountain on the bus ride. You can see it better from Talkeetna and you won't waste a whole day if the weather sucks. The game viewing can be great but again it depends on luck. Good scenery for sure if weather cooperates. I have had a couple fantastic days there and have had a couple days with a sore ass from sitting on a school bus all day in the fog and wishing I was somewhere else. Roll the dice. have fun.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubdriver View Post
I thought the bus was free. Maybe not but check that out. If you are lucky you might see the mountain on the bus ride. You can see it better from Talkeetna and you won't waste a whole day if the weather sucks. The game viewing can be great but again it depends on luck. Good scenery for sure if weather cooperates.
Yep, I agree. I've enjoyed seeing the animals from the bus and I just ride to the Visitor Cntr rather than all the way back to Wonder Lake.

I you got the coin, take a plane ride out of Talkeetna.

Good luck and have fun, Mark H.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubdriver View Post
..... I have had a couple fantastic days there and have had a couple days with a sore ass from sitting on a school bus all day in the fog and wishing I was somewhere else.....
I don't understand.... You have a KLR - aren't you used to having a sore ass from sitting and riding on that?















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Old 02-28-2013, 05:42 PM   #8
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The bus ride was the low point of my two month Alaska trip and it was a crystal clear day. I had seen so much wildlife right in the road or next to the road that having the bus stop for a grizzly a half mile away was a bummer. The bus was like a 60's school bus. As mentioned above, the view of Denali from Talkeetna is nice.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:31 PM   #9
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Denali Park?

I have a love/hate thing for Denali Park.

Love the mountain and the many places Denali can be seen along the Parks highway (#3.) I've seen it from the seat of snowmachine in March on a clear day and its spectacular. I've seen it from inside a Cessna 180 on a still evening at midnight in June and its size makes you feel like an insect.

The Park: The bad? run by NPS, not much more to be said about that, we give NPS too much $ now for them to lock us out.
Driving by the park entrance and "glitter gulch" means threading through crowds of bussed in tourists and rental cars the drivers of which are not watching the road. I've been run off the road onto the shoulder at least twice due to tourists. Rental cars are a warning sign that says: "inattentive driver inside." From Healy on the north side to Cantwell on the south keep your eyes peeled for The Rental Cars. A huge majority of the million or so tourists that come to Alaska each summer go to Denali Park. Reason enough to avoid the place.

The good? A huge majority of the million or so tourists that come to Alaska each summer go to Denali Park leaving the rest of the state to us.

You want the same back country experience but w/o the crowds?
Drive the Denali highway from Cantwell to Paxon as noted by Uncle.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:08 PM   #10
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if you really wanna see the critters you need to be on the first bus out in the morning. worth it if you came to critters
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:33 PM   #11
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Been in th park many times and agree with most comments saying there are better ways to enjoy AK. The one exception was when I won a lottery ticket to ride all the way into Kantishina / Wonder Lake on my GSPD. Bright sunny day and a great day of riding.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:14 AM   #12
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Thumb Alaska - denali

Thank You ALL.

Myself and another man, both in mid 60's, will be riding up from Nashville TN on Gold Wings. Neither of us are afraid of gravel roads. That said I am not going to do any trail riding as the GW is just not equipped for extreme off road riding. So far, I have done 45 of the US states and like to ride, stop and take pictures, look at the view and then ride on. Never been much for tour buses or crowds. Hope to spend 13 days in just Alaska riding the roads and making an attempt at the Arctic Circle provided weather is not just terrible. I also love to tent camp and will try to camp every night there.

Again Thanks, Jim
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:42 AM   #13
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Camp No Fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunk_Uncle View Post
I haven't done Denalli Park other than drive by it. But, i have done Denalli HWY and really enjoyed it. Even in the rain its not that bad. It is pot hole ridden. Can camp anywhere on it you like and no fees. Enjoy.
What do you mean camping NO fees? Is that dry camping and if so please explain. Jim
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:04 AM   #14
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The Denalli Hwy is road you just turn off the road and throw up a tent. Its primitive camping. If its dry you'll have no problem w/ Wings. Wety you may want to take it slow, but its not that bad. Good luck and enjoy. I'll be gone for a year come late April.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:45 AM   #15
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If you want to see wildlife, ride the bus. Yes, they are school busses with uncomfortable seats. But you're pretty much guaranteed to see quite a variety of wildlife on the trip. You can go as far as you want, get off where you want at stops, and you can get on a different bus headed back if you want. For photographers, it's generally a "must do" trip.
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