Rob and Syd's Western Canada and Alaska trip 2012 travel blog

Cow and calf moose just off the Parks Highway

This bull was crossing the Nenana river as we drove by

Mt Mckinley (Denali) clear with no clouds, a rarity

The Denali Highway (yes another dirt highway)

The Alaska Mountain range

Another moose crossing the Brushkana Creek

This one was in the woods just off the highway

Cow and 2 calves crossing the highway in front of us

Day 37, Thursday, May 31, 2012

After breakfast, we headed south about 20 miles past Denali Park to a tiny town called Cantwell and turned left. That puts us on the Denali Highway that goes 134 miles across to Paxson. This dirt and gravel “highway” is closed in winter but used by locals on snowmobiles. A lot of locals use it in the summer for primitive camping and hunting. Before we got to the highway we spotted a moose along the river. Later, when we looked at the pictures on the computer, we saw she had a calf with her but neither one of us saw the baby at the time. A few minutes later, we spotted another moose crossing the river and I got a great picture of that one. Once on the Denali Highway, about 6 miles in, we pulled over to look at the mountains. Behind us was Denali in all its glory without a single cloud around it. Amazing. The scenery on this highway was stunning. Pictures will not remotely do it justice. We had sweeping views of mountains all around us and rolling hills and valleys and rivers in between. There are supposed to be herds of caribou out there but we didn’t see any today. At one point, on top of an esker, we had 360 degree views all around. I didn’t know what an esker was but it appears to be a built up section of road that drops off on both sides (almost like driving over a dam). We stopped at the only maintained campground along this highway to use the potty and saw another moose standing right in the fast moving river. We saw a total of 10 moose today including another mama right on the road with twin babies. We saw another porcupine and a ptarmigan (or a grouse) trying to keep his balance on a small swaying tree. It was much colder out here today, not surprising considering the alpine landscape along parts of this road. I never have my hats or scarves or gloves when I need them. We went about halfway across the highway and turned around and came back. All in all, it was a beautiful day. Tomorrow, we take the shuttle bus through Denali Park.

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