We spent the next week exploring central Alaska, from Mount McKinley near Fairbanks to the Wrangell-St. Elias Range on the Canadian border.
We lucked out
at Denali National Park, where Mount McKinley is often hidden by
clouds. Blue skies, spectacular wildlife, and sublime vistas gave
us a vivid day of busing and hiking along the 62-mile shuttlebus road into
|McKinley looms||Roadside grizzly||Roadside moose|
nest (ledge on cliff)
we traveled (and birded) the unpaved Denali Highway east for several
days through the lake-strewn wilderness south of the Alaska Range.
Then paved roads and a few towns took us south and east again to the crossing
of the great Copper River. Camping in a shady nook, we visited
the nearby fish camps of Natives harvesting the salmon run.
|Fish camp||Dip netters||Fish wheel|
river, we climbed east on a notoriously rough road that deadended at the
footbridge to McCarthy. This old mining town, and the abandoned
Kennicott Copper Mine nearby, sit at the foot of Kennicott Glacier amid
the spectacular peaks of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
|Footbridge to McCarthy||Downtown McCarthy|
|Kennicott Mine||Kennicott Glacier|
Backtracking west for several days along the magnificent peaks and glaciers of the Chugach Range to Anchorage, we turned south for the tip of the Kenai Peninsula to board the Aleutian ferry at Homer.
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