30 August 2015, Sunday
Note – if you arrived here via a link we provided to read about our 2015 Denali in the Fall Adventure, you will find a link at the bottom of each post that takes you to the next post in the series.
Denali National Park. Alaska. Fall Colors. Epic.
Let’s time warp back to 2015. Its been four short years since we set off on a road trip from Anchorage to Denali National Park. This was the second week of our Awesome Alaska Adventure. The first week took us to Silver Salmon Creek in Lake Clark National Park. We stayed at the Alaska Homestead Lodge and danced with bears – maybe we didn’t dance, but only because we didn’t want to scare the bears.
We had one day to recuperate between journeys, and I recall most of that being taken up with napping and doing laundry. Fortunately, both of our tours were with Van Os Photo Safaris, and both used the same anchorage hotel – the Lakefront Hotel on Lake Ho0d. We met up with our Denali tour group for dinner on Saturday night, then all met up the next day to board our bus enroute to Denali. Our favorite tour leader, Len Rue, Jr. was handling the Denali trip. He has been going to Denali for years, and was also the leader when Lou took this trip back in 20o8.
We had good weather for most of the trip. We had the bus to ourselves, so Len had the driver stop anytime there might be a good photo op. We could see Denali, which doesn’t always happen. There wasn’t much evidence of Fall Color on the early part of the road trip.
Our bus was called The Magic Bus. It was nice to have lots of empty seats, room to spread out, and a driver who stopped when we wanted. This was a nice perk, since the Van Os Tours haven’t always had the best transport vehicles. Lou said this was the same bus they had on his previous trip.
We stopped for lunch along the way, and enjoyed the view point set up outside the restaurant. By now it had started to cloud over, and our view of Denali was obstructed by clouds.
The scenery along the Glenn Highway is spectacular, especially on a mostly clear day like we had. The scenic views are much like you see on the train ride, and you see the tracks along much of the highway. We took the train to Denali NP in 2013, and enjoyed the journey.
Now we are starting to see some evidence of fall having arrived in Alaska. From the research I had done, I was concerned we might be a week or two early. Unfounded worries.
It was quite cloudy by early evening when we pulled up to the Denali Park Village, and it rained off and on during the evening. We had dinner at the restaurant, not memorable but not bad. We overnighted here, leaving after breakfast the next day. Our goal was to meet up with another bus at noon. It was only a few miles to the entrance to Denali National Park, so we had some time to sight see the next morning. God forbid Len would let us sleep in!
Click HERE to follow our journey to Denali National Park.