Denali Road Lottery 2015 92.5 miles into the heart of denali

On the morning of our lottery pass, we overslept slightly at our cabin in Glitter Gulch and drove into the park around 8AM. We had picked up our park passes and lottery sticker the day before, so we went straight in to the park. There had been some snow near the highway the night before, but the first 10 miles or so were snow-free.

Around the Savage River checkpoint, things started to get white.

The entire day was snowy. We never saw even a glimpse of Denali. But the animal life was abundant.

Our first grizzly of the day.

A Dall sheep prancing down a river chute. Best shot of the day, I think.

A ptarmigan poses.

Grizzly at Polychrome Pass.

Moose meandering through the brush.

A middling snap of a hawk at the Toklat River.

This grizzly was quite close to the road, and there were rangers equipped with bear spray directing people to stay in their cars.

Dall Sheep hang out in the snow down the slope.

A grizzly digs for roots.

By the Toklat river, the landscape was grayscale.

As we arrived at the Toklat River rest stop around 11AM, we found that the road was closed. It wouldn't open until after 1PM, causing many to call it a day and return back to the highway. We made the best of it and had a minor picnic of beef stroganoff, hijiki gohan, and hot coffee and tea.

Our view of the Great One from Eielson Visitor Station
This lovely quilt did aid the imagination.

The rest of the drive was snowy, but beautiful, and the drop in elevation toward the end provided for a gorgeous change in scenery.

The drive out provided a few more animal sightings.
At the end of the road.
Created By
Sean Holland

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