Backpacking Trip Report: Denali

Area: Denali National Park

State: Alaska

Mileage: 8

Days: 1

Type: In and Out

My girlfriend and I were traveling through Alaska after finishing our work on a trail crew at Kenai Fjords National Park and stopped at Denali National Park for two days. On our first day there, we drove until the gate at milepost 30. Since it was passed the park\’s season, private vehicles can drive down the Park Highway. On our way back at around milepost 23? my girlfriend and I decided to start hiking to a peak that we had kind of randomly chosen.

The hike was extremely difficult. The tundra grabbed at me on every step and I never knew what was beneath the moss as I placed my boot. It took us nearly 3 hours to get to the really steep parts and the beginning of the snow. We saw several sheep tracks but didn\’t spot any wildlife. When we turned around and looked at the view had climbed to, we were awestruck by the magnificence of Denali. It towered above everything else and we were over 50 miles away!

Another highlight was our mile walk across a solid snowpack. My girlfriend had never experienced that on a mountain top and I was wishing I had skis.

The hike down took considerably less, but was a strain on my body. I was exhausted by the time we reached the vehicle, but I now know a little more about what it is like in the tundra and peaks of Denali National Park.

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