Linda and Charlie's Trip to Alaska/2008 travel blog

Byers Lake in Denali State Park

Trumpeter Swans

Mt McKinley peaking through the clouds

July 18&19

We left Talkeetna in the morning. It was still raining although not as heavily. We drove about 50 miles to Denali State Park, Byers Campground. In the afternoon it began to clear and we walked up to the Alaska Veterans Memorial. Large stones one for each branch of the service and the flag of that service branch form a semi circle with an Aleut machine gunner statue out in front to honor the Aleutian fighters in World War two who recaptured an island taken by the Japanese. There is also a great view of Mt McKinley to the west on a clear day. It is actually the closest point to Mt. McKinley just 36 miles. We were unable to see the mountain as heavy clouds still covered most of the mountains. We hiked back up to the lookout point later that evening, and could see a lot of the mountains in The Alaskan Range but not Mt McKinley. Saturday morning the sun was shinning and it was a beautiful day. We took the five mile hike around Byers Lake. Byers Lake is a beautiful Lake surrounded by mountains, and home to a pair of common Loons and a pair of Trumpeter Swans. We saw them both and the swans had two babies with them. We also saw many wildflowers including wild iris’s. The water was crystal clear and kayakers and canoers were enjoying the sunny mild day on the lake. At outlet bridge on the west side of the lake we saw a red salmon swimming down stream. On the east outlet of the lake there is a suspension bridge which was fun to walk over. On the west side of the lake, next to a walk in camping area you can see Mt McKinley when it is clear. Today was clear but low fair weather clouds still covered the Mountain. After supper we walked back up to the Veterans Memorial hoping the clouds might dissipate. While we were there the top of the mountain did open up and we had a good view of it peaking through the clouds. It was amazing how high Mt McKinley towered over the other mountains that we could see. I was able to take a picture of the mountain peaking through the clouds. After a couple of rainy days it was a treat to have a sunny day with temperatures in the 60’s. After our hike we enjoyed sitting in our chair just basking in the warmth of the sun.

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