Hey y'all, My girlfriend is going to be guiding dayhikes for the summer up in Denali State (not Nat'l) Park, so I'm planning to fly up to visit her. I'm sure it'll be fun there in her park, I plan to do some backpacking there, but I'm hoping to check out some other areas as well. One factor is that I'm not driving up, and I'd rather not rent a car, and I doubt I can borrow her car for more than a day or two (don't know the details on her gig yet). So anyway, anyone have suggestions for their favorite trails, particular those accessible by bus? (and not the Chilkoot: I did it already, it was fun). thanks!
Loc: California (southern)
My Alaska experience is quite limited (one summer) but after three weeks on Denali, I had some time to fill and did an overnight loop from the park road, using the bus system, surmounting something called Sunset Pass. That evenings camp was in one of the most insanely beautiful settings I have ever experienced. I'll bet there are plenty more just like it.
We certainly have some of the world's best backpacking right in your gf's backyard, so to speak.
Some of my favorite backpacking is right in your gf's area. The Kesugi Ridge traverse in Denali State Park is beautiful, especially when The Mountain is out! You can borrow a bear canister for the state park rangers.
Denali Nat'l Park has world-class backpacking. I suggest Ike Waits' Denali Guide Book as a resource. I spend weeks on end every summer in DNP & never tire of the hiking & backpacking.
Not sure the deal with a pick up from DSP to DNP but check out the Park Connection bus which at least stops in Talkeetna: http://www.alaskacoach.com/
thanks for the replies, guys! I guess it would make sense to just stay around Denali State Park area, with a foray to the Nat'l Park. There certainly is a lot of territory to see, and a lot of new stuff for me, and I don't like wasting my time schlepping all over the place. I have heard that views of the Mountain can be hard to come by for reasons of the weather, but I'd be up there for maybe 2 weeks, so I'm sure I'd see it at some point. How's the route finding for a solo backpacker? And any tips on dealing with the permit issues in the NP? It seems like the State Park is easy to get permits for, and plenty big enough to keep me happy in any event. thanks, steve
For DNP there are tricks. You can do your first night in the tent only wilderness campground Igloo (only 7 sites, outhouse, purify water from creek, bear lockers) & that counts as your 1st day in the wilderness, so your second night out can possibly be one of the better units.
Get to the wilderness access center early in the day to plan your itinerary. They are very strict with quotas in specific units.
Thanks for the tips! I'm really looking forward to seeing those delicate, hardy little tundra plants. Bush-whacking through willows sounds like a real pain. What is the advantage to using the tent only wilderness campground? How would that help you get your second night in a better unit?
Thank you, that clarifies the process for me quite a bit. Mare has a friend who works for DNP, and her boss use to be a ranger there, so I'm hoping she can figure out how to use the permit process most effectively. It's interesting how different parks and wilderness areas have different systems, and different ways to go about getting permits.