Denali National Park and Preserve is a national park and preserve located in Interior Alaska, centered on Denali (not Mt. Mckinley any more), the highest mountain in North America. The park and contiguous preserve encompasses more than 6 million acres! Denali's landscape is a mix of forest at the lowest elevations, including deciduous taiga. The preserve is also home to tundra at middle elevations, and glaciers, rock, and snow at the highest elevations. It's really beautiful, especially right now with the Fall colors. The weather wasn't the greatest going, raining all the way, but coming back it cleared up and ended up being a nice day. The journey to Wonder Lake offers extraordinary views of the Alaska Range and Denali on clear days. The road crosses mountain passes and wetland tundra on the way to beautiful Wonder Lake. The bus ride is 11 hours round trip, so it's an all day trip. It sounds like a long time but there's frequent stops and the scenery is beautiful. You also have to be on the lookout for animals!
Denali is home to a variety of Alaskan birds and mammals, including grizzly bears and black bears. Herds of caribou roam throughout the park. Dall sheep are often seen on mountainsides, and moose feed on the aquatic plants of the small lakes and swamps. Denali accommodates gray wolf dens, both historic and active. Smaller animals, such as marmots, Arctic ground squirrels, beavers, pikas, and snowshoe hares are also seen. Foxes, martens, lynx, wolverines also inhabit the park, but are more rarely seen due to their elusive natures. A lot of animals to be on the lookout for! And we were looking! By the end of the bus ride we ended up seeing 2 grizzly bears, 2 bull moose, a herd of caribou, a marmot and a spruce grouse! It was really cool seeing all the animals and the beauty that this park has to offer.