Denali National Park to Anchorage AK
On our last day in Denali we attended a sled dog demo presented by the park rangers. Denali is the only national park that has and uses sled dogs. During the 8-9 months of winter they are the sole means of transportation in the 2 million acre park. For ecology and safety reasons they do not use snow machines in the park and rely totally on the dogs. All the dogs used here are bred, raised, and trained in the park. They are all Alaskan Huskies, which are specifically bred for strength, unlike other sled dogs in Alaska which are bred for speed. These dogs can easily pull 200 lbs, but they typically limit them to 50 lbs each. The ranger said in the winter it is not unusual for the dog team to be out in the park for 1-2 weeks at a time on research missions.
The ranger riding the demonstration sled is from Kansas and is fulfilling her childhood dream of working in Denali
Before the sled demo we had a chance to interact with the dogs. They were all very friendly but mostly were resting due to the heat. It was only in the 50’s but these dogs typically work when its 50 below. They had very thick coats.
This one knows how to attract some petting!
On Day 24 we left Denali heading for Anchorage. The roads were really good with no construction which was a welcome sight, but it did rain all the way. Everyone here tells us that they typically do not have much rain but we are not believing it. They actually claim that Fairbanks is in an “artic desert” with less then 12” of rain a year.
We suspect this is one of the most photographed signs in Alaska. We looked really hard but we couldn’t see Russia… must have been the low clouds.
|Miles driven:||272 miles|
|Hours on road:||5 hours, 30 minutes|