Early Fall in Denali National Park, Alaska

Yes, this post is very delayed. We are well into winter but I am finally getting around to pictures from a 2017 trip to Alaska. Starting with the crème de la crème, Denali National Park!

With one 92 mile road in and out, the only way to see Denali National Park is by riding a shuttle bus. For 11 hours! Now, riding a bus for that long may sound like torture but our drive into Denali National Park was one of my top travel moments of 2017. In early September, the fall colors blanketed the landscape, the gorgeous mountain was in full view and we saw more wildlife than I have seen in my lifetime. How did we get so lucky?

Denali was quite simply, spectacular.

23 of 59 on my list!

Get ready for some grizzly bears!

Views from Park Road

Amazing color on the tundra

Some young male moose

I was really hoping to see a moose with a giant rack! Alas, that little spec in this photo was as close as I could get.

We were very lucky to catch a glimpse of Denali, we made the 30% club! (ie only 30% of visitors see the mountain!)

For anyone planning a visit, here are my Denali National Park tips:

– We heard several people say the shuttle bus is just as good as one of the more expensive “Wilderness Tours.” Our shuttle driver was very chatty and had a lot of interesting information.

– If I could do the trip over again, I’d probably book tickets to the Eielson Visitor Center only (not Wonder Lake). There was not enough time to explore the lake unless we wanted to wait for the next bus (with no guarantee that enough seats would be available).

– On the start of the trip, I would suggest choosing the left (driver) side of the shuttle bus for the best views. And on the return, try to snag a seat on the right.

– We stayed at the Denali Rainbow Village Motel in Glitter Gulch. When you look at TripAdvisor reviews it might scare you off but almost all the negative ones are for the RV park behind the motel. We had a nice stay here, right next to all the shops and restaurants plus it was the least expensive place available!

– For food, Moose-AKa’s has great crepes and 49th State Brewing has tasty burgers. We also had dinner at 229 Parks, which was highly rated but I wasn’t that impressed.

Categories: Nature, TravelTags: , , , ,


  1. I love Denali, I was there myself! Thanks for sharing the pictures, I love the bears! So sad that they are being killed by hunters as soon as they cross the invisible park boundary! A real crime….Park itself is home to only 200 bears, not much at all…Keep in touch, following your blog!

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