Ever wonder what it’s like to vacation in Alaska? Follow me for the next two weeks as I visit Alaska by land and sea. Princess Cruises is graciously hosting me on a media trip, where I’ll spend the first week exploring Fairbanks and Denali National Park, and the second week cruising through Glacier Bay and touring Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan.
Denali National Park
When you go into Denali National Park, you should travel with two main goals in mind, said our driver Clay Walker on the 8-hour Tundra Wilderness Tour. Goal # 1: To get back. This place is 6 million acres–the size of Massachusetts! You don’t want to explore it alone or unprepared. Goal # 2: To see “the mountain”. Some people call it Mt. McKinley. But in Alaska you call it Denali, its native name, which means “the great one.” Denali is the highest peak in North America, elevation 20,320 feet. We were told that only 30% of visitors get to see even a glimpse of this magnificent mountain, because it is often covered by clouds. So we were very very lucky indeed, because the mountain came out for us in all its glory.
Our first glimpse from the bus window:
Of course, Denali is also known for its wildlife. If it was too far away for us to see clearly, Clay would zoom in on the video screen. Here we have a grizzly mama and cubs and some caribou.
This grizzly was close enough for me to catch on my camera, though he/she forgot to turn and smile.
We kept driving on to Stony Hill Viewpoint, where we got to see this!
Denali is truly the “great one.” A majestic mountain indeed!
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