From Dawson to Denali
When we left Dawson City, the landscape was still quite covered
by clouds. We did not know what we had to expect. The first
attraction was the border at Poker Creek. Michele had to get her
forms done to enter the USA (since she joined us in Vancouver).
And then photo stop at the big Alaska sign. Here we are! Welcome
Almost forgot to mention Chicken. How could I? Chicken is diveded
in three main areas. There's Chicken, downtown Chicken and Chicken
post office. You first enter Chicken, a few houses and a gas station.
But you'd rather decide to continue to downtown Chicken, another
two or three minutes drive. Downtown Chicken: three buildings and
and old gas station. The backery has some marvelous cinamon rolls
and other nice cakes. You'll find too many souvenirs in the general
store. But unfortunatelly, tha bar was not open at that time of the
day. So we finally contnued to see the post office. It's located
a little outside town. It's just one house. But they have a very
unique stamp. So sending postcards from here is worth it. You may
even send one to yourself. Be prepared.
We did lunch at Tok Junction. The visitor center as ha lot of
useful information about Alaska and also some videos. The
restaurant accross the street sells excelent hamburgers and the
shop down the street has all kinds of small snacks and sandwiches
but was closed.
Driving down Alaskan 1 and up Richardson Highway to Paxson was not
too spectacular. But then, after a long drive, we finally entered
Denali Highway on the final 22 miles approaching Tangle Lakes area.
The whole way along Denali Highway is very impressing. It was so
colorful. You can only imagine if you see it yourself. The time
was perfect. Red bushes, green and yellow trees, blue sky and deep
blue lakes! We stopped at Tangle Lakes lodge for the night. But
before dinner, we had to go on a short (about 2 hours) hike.
There are lots of trails in the area. Just ask at the lodge.
In the evening we had our salmon (sa.mon !!!) bake dinner. It was
excelent. It's just a different taste! Fresh salmon!
After a very nice night in the cabin and enjoying the nice showers,
we started towards Denali N.P. It was a wonderful day. So we enjoyed
the ride along Denali Highway. We stopped near Denali for a short
hike and for lunch in a small village. And we took tons of pictures.
We finally approached Denali N.P. We went staright to the visitor
center to prepare the next day. We just wanted to book a bus tour.
You have to book in advance, sometimes even many days in advance.
But we all felt somehow like advaenture. Back country camping? Why
not? So lets give it a try. The ranger found a spot at the very
end of the park which would fit 6 people. Eric had to go on his
own anyway. So short back country introduction; how to handle bears,
and we booked it. Read the details on the next page ...
- Enjoy the colors (Denali Highway)
- Explore Chicken
- Post card from Chicken (original stamp)
- Beautiful hikes
- Take "Top of the World Highway" west (do not go back
accross the ferry).
- Enter Alaska at Poker Creek.
- Continue to Tok Junction (Taylor Highway).
- Take Alaskan Highway 1 south direction Gulkana.
- Between Gakona and Gulkana turn north (right) and
take Richardson Highway to Paxson.
- Turn west (left) to Denali Highway in Paxson.
- Alternative route: Alaska Hwy west in from Tok to Delta Junction.
Richardson Hwy south from Delta Junction to Paxson.
- Stop at Tangle Lakes Lodge for the night.
- Continue on Denali Highway to Cantwell.
- In Cantwell turn right (north) on George Parks Highway.
- Drive to the Park Entrance of Denali N.P. (left before Kinley
- Go back to your camp ground on George Parks Highway.
Hints and Tips
- Have enough film for good colors ready. Slides are worth it.
- Post a post card in Chicken. They have a unique stamp.
- Prepare your Denali tour early. Book bus tickets at the
visitor center when you arrive. Think about backcountry
P. O. Box 670386 Chugiak, Alaska 99567
Phone: (907) 688-9173
Fax : (907) 688-9174
- Showers, toilets, warm water, electricity
- Salmon bake (recommended!)
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