Alaska travel blog


Denali National Park

Chicken Gumbo

The drive from Anchorage to Denali National Park was as good as any scenic drive in any National Park. We were just settling into a steady speed when a cop stopped us for speeding. But, my luck with cops continued and he let us off with a warning. Even the highways in Alaska had grooves in them resulting from snow chains. We passed the road towards Talkeetna, the town from where most Mt McKinley expeditions began. I remember a bumper sticker, which is hard to forget - "Talkeetna: A small drinking town with a climbing problem".

We reached Denali by noon, where we reserved campgrounds and took back country permits. There are limited number of back country permits per region to avoid excess human impact. We had to go through an hour-long back country safety video, followed by ranger instructions. We picked up a bear resistant container and then headed to the Savage River Campground to set up camp for the night. After packing stuff in our backpacks we parked the car at the park entrance and took the bus back to the campground.

There was a continuous drizzle. We went on a small hike to the Savage River (which was not quite savage), and had our first wildlife spotting - hare and arctic squirrels. We had a campfire going at night and cooked chicken gumbo over it. This would be the best meal of all our camp cooking on the trip.

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