Day 23 – Third Day in Denali National Park

After last night, we realized we weren’t having much fun here and decided to leave the park early. We’re more keen on parks with actual trails. It was a very cold morning and it took a long time to warm up. My feet were numb for a while, even after we started hiking. It snowed a decent amount last night, and it was nice to see that the tent and tarp held up.


The pole segments froze shut, so we had to use our mouths to thaw them.


The hike back was incredible compared to the hike in. We followed the river as it meandered back to the highway, with its shores being very nice to walk along. It was bridged for a quarter or so of the distance and water the rest. The bridges were well strong enough to walk on. In fact, the bridges were nicest to walk on, since they were the firmest ice and we didn’t sink in at all. (Even with snowshoes on, we were sinking in lots of places).

roadtrip-085 roadtrip-086

Compared to 7 or so hours total walking in, it took us 3 hours to get out. Our spirits were elevated and I was disappointed we hadn’t found out that route on the way out. We ate lunch by the car – another excellent lunch of soup and scrambled spiced egg sandwiches. We returned the bear box to the backcountry office and headed on our way out of the park.


We stopped about halfway or so to Anchorage, at a rest area/picnic area that also served as an overflow to a closed campground. It was distanced from the highway, so we weren’t bothered by road noise. There was 40-some japanese man bike touring that asked us whether camping there was acceptable, in a heavy japanese accent. We said that it was fine, and after setting up camp individually, we invited him to join us for dinner. I had rigged up the tarp by a picnic table, blocking most of the rather ferocious heat-sucking wind.

The man was bike-touring 2 weeks from Alaska’s southern coast to its northern coast. He said that he had toured 80 countries over the past years on a bike. It was pretty cool talking to him. He was using an MSR Whisperlite International with gasoline. It wasn’t nearly so bad as I thought it would be. His dinner was no more and no less than at least a pound of ground steamed ground beef – a full supermarket styrofoam plate worth.

We had a warm night, away from the wind, camped on solid snow-less ground, in the well-guyed-out tent.

Leave a Reply