Alaska Part 3 - Denali National Park

Jan 26, 2005
Ohio & Florida
Our 2004 Alaska Trip is divided into four parts:

LOCATION: Alaska Part 3 - Ancorage & Denali National Park

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Alaska Brown Bears, Wolf, Elk, Moose, Beaver, Mt. McKinley Landscapes

WHERE TO STAY: We stayed at the Kantishna Roadhouse in Denali NP

BEST TIME TO GO: Summer. We were there in late July

Female Moose from the schoolbus D-100 62mm:
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Willow Ptarmigan D-100 200mm
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We came upon two wolves and two bears interacting. One bear had stolen a kill from the wolves and they were not happy, but had a den of pups that they wanted to keep the bears away from. D-70 300mm:
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As close to all of Mt McKinley as we saw:
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DETAILS: This was a 6 night extension to the Lindblad Expeditions Cruise. It was operated by Alaska Wildland Adventures We started in Anchorage and drove to Talkeetna in a small comfortable van. We stayed there overnight and then drove on to Denali NP. At the entrance to the park about 1PM we transferred to a Kantishna vehicle which was based on a schoolbus for the 95 mile - 6 hour ride into the park. There is public, paved road for the first 15 miles. After that only the camp busses are allowed on the unpaved 1+ lane roadway.
There are several rest stops along the way, but many of the wildlife sightings are along the road. There is not much of an opportunity to get off the bus and set up for those shots. Open a window and shoot handheld!
From the roadhouse each day several hikes are offered. It was dark and rainy both days we were there, so I did not carry the camera on most of the hikes. That weather is not unusual. Mt. McKinley is only visible on about 1/4 of the days.
See if you can qualify as a pro, check with the Denali NP website There are a very limited number of professional "photo vehicles" allowed beyond the first 15 miles. We noted two of them at the bear/wolf encounter that we saw. One was like a VW minibus with a pull open top. The photographers were standing on something inside though the top opening with short tripods set on the roof. The other was a camper on the back of a large pickup truck with the photographers standing on the rooftop with tripods. It looked like they were using 800 to 1200mm lenses (BIG!!) on really heavy tripods. It looks like you need to apply a year in advance for the lottery for the permits.
For more of our photos see

email us if you have questions,
Bob & Nan
May 24, 2005
Salem, NH
A place that is dear to my heart. I love mountains and have always wanted to make the trip to McKinley.



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