If Mount McKinley is on your bucket list, James and I have discovered the BEST place to view the massive mountain.
Our first attempt at viewing Denali was a bit disappointing, if you recall. Mostly because we hadn’t researched what to expect.
Well, I can’t say we researched this trip, either, but it was so much more rewarding!! Honest to goodness James and I are slightly confused why everyone goes to the National Park. Nothing against it at all, but the views of Denali are so incredible where we went, plus there is no entrance fee!
We went thinking we’d end up in Denali State Park. Weeeeell, as you may be realizing our road trips usually end up being a little more interesting than that.
Driving along and driving along, we drove past a sign that said “Entering Denali State Park”. Great! Awesome! Okay…
…so where is the entrance?
Ya know? Usually you have to pay an entrance fee (and it said so online) to enter a state park. So we kept driving.
Well then we looked on the map and saw this little side road that, at first glance, looked like it went straight back into the State Park. Well that just had to be where the fee station was.
No fee station, but we got private front road seats to Denali. This was a crazy beautiful spot.
Note to self:
Next time we go, drive the truck. Lots of potholes on that road.
But it’s so worth it.
Bring not QUITE so healthy of food for the picnic. It will make a happier husband. Shoot.
Now, contain yourself. Settle down there! I know these are incredibly comfy and classy looking, so James and I have reserved these private little cabins for any company that comes to visit.
You’re so welcome! It’s high class, baby!!! 🙂
(That was a little “town” listed on the map…)
Back to the mountain.
All right, so this view of the mountain was on our way back and by this time James and I were super sick of the car and we were rambling about something when we round this corner and BAM. There was Denali. It really was silly, but I got all giddy again and took more pictures. 🙂
Q & A time:
Q: Was the back road in the State Park?
A: No. At closer inspection of the map, we were nowhere near the State Park at that point. Whoops.
Q: Did you end up paying anything (other than gas) for these incredible views of Denali?
A: Not a cent.
Q: How far of a drive is it from your house?
A: Driving time was about 4 hours (one way) which took us all the way back on the dirt road. But darn road construction delayed us by about 30-45 minutes. (Not kidding. And FYI don’t bring this topic up to James. He gets a little testy about the road construction up here…) 🙂
Q: Would you recommend this over the National Park??
A: Heck yea! Unless your goal is to go on a backpacking excursion in the back country. In that case, take the buses back in the National Park. But if you just want good views of Denali without paying anything, in the comfort of your own car, then this is the place.
Just bring lots of snacks.