July 31, 2006 - On our own in Denali National Park

July 31st we decided to see what we could see on our own.  Here is the view from the bridge over the Nenana River just north of the Denali Park entrance.

We drove the road to as far as private vehicles can go, which is just under 15 miles.  We stopped at the Savage Cabin trail and took the trail. 

Here is some Monkshood on the side of the trail:

Savage cabin, which does get used by the rangers:

A ranger came up the trail looking for signs of a bear that was reported in the area.  He wasn't seeing any sign of a bear.

A snowshoe hare that was only somewhat bothered by people (summer colors):

At the Savage River bridge we had to either stop or turn around.  We were patient and got a parking place in the small parking lot and had a picnic lunch.  These are Willow Ptarmigan, the Alaska State Bird:

Our picnic view:

These gulls were trying to get fed and also trying to keep the beige gulls in the water away from us.

The gulls were quite noisy, here is Quicktime Video of the gulls (1.9MB).

Above the picnic area people were climbing up this rock:

The ptarmigan came much closer:

The road only authorized vehicles can take across the river.  We were taking a bus on this road the next day:

The Savage River:

The hills had fresh snow on them. 

A beaver lodge:

We also took some of the trails by the visitors center, but didn't want to wear ourselves out before our long trip the next day.

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