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Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

Rockford, Illinois
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Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

I will be spending two days at the park. I am planning to take the wonderlake shuttle on the first day and i have some spare time on the second day before we head south towards talkeetna. I am planning to take the sled dog demo in the park at 10:00 am and do rafting at 1:30 pm. We don't have to start before 6 pm from the park. I have couple of hours between the dog demo and the rafting and after the rafting before we head back. Can someone recommend the best short hikes i can take near the park entrance ?

Thanks :)

fti
MN
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1. Re: Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

www.nps.gov/dena has excellent info on day hikes near the entrance. The summer Alpenglow lists them. Also, you could take the Rock Creek Trail from the visitor center to the sleddog demo (or v.v.), which is a nice trail.

Also, check the Top Questions about Denali (novel idea!!). Lots of great info there for some great day hike suggestions on your day to Wodner Lake.

Rockford, Illinois
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2. Re: Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

Thanks a lot for your response but unfortunately i was not able to find much information on the day hikes. I did lot of research and i was able to find hikes which were 3 miles or more in distance. I was looking for some small hikes as i don't have more than couple of hours time. Any help in this matter would really be appreciated :)

also, what is summer alpenglow ?

fti
MN
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3. Re: Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

Alpenglow is the park's magazine. Summer refers to the summer edition. If you go to the park's website, then click on park news then park newspaper you will find it. Lots of info on the entrance-area trails.

You really don't have much time between the sleddog demo and the rafting. Sledog demo over about 10.45am, back to the visitor center about 11am, then you have the rafting at 1.30pm but you need to be on your way by 1pm at the latest. Are you going to forgo eating lunch?

I still think the Rock Creek Trail is probably your best bet - from the doggie demo to the visitor center (+-2 miles) and that will give you time to grab a quick bite to eat before rafting.

San Francisco
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4. Re: Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

When you go to catch the bus the 1st day ask the people at the desk with maps to show you where Horseshoe Lake is. It is near the entrance. 1.5 miles. Time 2hrs. elevation gain 200 ft. Difficulty-easy . Route finding-easy. I did it last year when we arrived on our first day too late to walk far. Saw lots of rabbits and while sitting on the bank watched the beavers. When you get to the lake walk around it as far as you can and watch for the trees the bearvers have worked on. The shuttle is great but don't forget water, food and layers of clothes. Enjoy

Chugiak, Alaska
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5. Re: Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

Map of DNP entrance hikes:

http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=352071

Triple Lakes Trail:

Most backcountry users hike on the Triple Lakes Trail and use campsites which are accessible from it. It is about 2.5 miles to the western-most lake (the 3rd lake) from the highway trailhead, along a moderate trail.

Rock Creek Trail:

www.nps.gov/dena/photosmultimedia/rock.htm

Horseshoe Lake Trail:

www.alaskahikesearch.com/Hikes/Horse.htm

Taiga Trail:

www.ohranger.com/denali/poi/taiga-trail

But two hours may be cutting it close with some of these. You could always get up early and do one before the dog sled demo, or you could jump off your shuttle bus and hike somewhere in the park the day before.

St Albans
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6. Re: Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

The hikes near the Visitor Centre are OK, but a lot of the time you're near the road and very conscious that you're still not far from civilisation. We did the Savage River hike today and that was a nice (if very windy) walk up one side of a river gorge/valley and down the other that took about 45 minutes.

But what I would really recommend is what we also did today - go to the Mountain Vista trail and then strike out off the trail and onto the tundra - you can cross the river if you don't mind getting your boots a bit wet, and pretty soon you feel you're in the backcountry even though you're only gone for an hour

Halifax, Canada
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7. Re: Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

When you get to the park and pick up the handout they are talking about it will list the distance and estimated time of the hikes around the entrance, when me and my Dad were here ealier this year in May we did almost all of the hikes around the entrance and we did them in about half the time listed in the book even with stopping for pictures and enjoying the sites so keep in mind they are just an estimate as we are not avid hikers we just walked at our normal pace. Also you could walk the rock creek trail to the sled dog demo and catch the bus back so you know how much time you will have before the other hikes this is what we did. Horse Shoe lake was our favorite entrance trail as the views were lovely! Also the savage river trail at the end of the park road is nice and short with nice views.

Alaska
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8. Re: Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

Bah humbug and mosquitos upon all who failed to mention my favorite short hike!

Go to the end of the road and walk the Savage River loop trail. This is above tree line so you see a bit of the country. It has a short loop and a longer loop, so you can choose what fits your time and interest and ability.

Over the years I have seen, at different times, caribou, marmot families, wolves, Dahl sheep, and a variety of birds hiding in the brush. Certainly do give it consideration!

71

Edited: 05 August 2011, 18:13
PA
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9. Re: Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

Since you have a limited amount of time, you can take the shuttle bus to the dog sled demo, and then hike back to the Visitors Center.

We did this and enjoyed the easy hike thru the woods.

See our photos at

http://strayertravels.wordpress.com/

Have a great time!!

Rockford, Illinois
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10. Re: Best Short Hikes at Denali National Park ?

wow ! i saw all the messages today as i was out of town ! Thanks a lot for all the responses. I will surely take the hike back to the visitors center after the dog sled demo and i will squeeze in the savage river trail if i have some time after i finish my rafting trip :)

Thanks a lot everyone for the response !!

Also, i had one quick question. I am taking the glacier trekking at Matanuska glacier by MICA. Before that, on my seward trip, i don't think i have enough time for exit glacier. Do you think i can skip the exit glacier and spend that time to see something else in seward as i am doing the trekking at sutton ???

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