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Hiking options near Toklat river

India
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Hiking options near Toklat river

I will be in Denali later this week. I have booked the shuttle bus to Toklat river.

Can anyone suggest good hiking options near Toklat (or Polychrome, Igloo creek, or Teklanika river). I can do 8-10 miles roundtrip. I don't want to hike amongst thick brushes or foresty areas. I prefer wide open spaces, so I can see and avoid grizzly bears. Something more scenic, than spotting wild life.

Thanks.

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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1. Re: Hiking options near Toklat river

I would check the Top Questions about Denali for some day hiking suggestions. If you don't find anything there that interests you, you have some options:

1 - ask your bus driver

2 - ask the ranger on duty in the Toklat bookstore tent.

3 - just get off somewhere you find is good. There is probably still snow off the side of the road on the tundra. Perhaps doing a hike along the river at Toklat is an option since there is probably less snow there. Another options is to hike past the Toklat rest stop (further into the park) and just walk along the road. Sometimes you see wolves in that area.

Saying that you can do 8-10 miles round trip makes me realize you don't understand hiking in the trail-less Denali backcountry. With no trails in good conditions you probably average about 1 mile an hour. Do you really want to hike for 8-10 hours or more? With the snow still in the park on much of the tundra, I am sure you would not even hike 1 mile an hour. In Denali, the hike itself is the goal, not the distance. Stopping and staring at the Mountain in all its glory, having to change your path due to wildlife, possible stream crossings, etc. all make for much slower hiking than anywhere else I have hiked.

Edited: 20 May 2012, 21:46
USA
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2. Re: Hiking options near Toklat river

Igloo Creek has a wolf closure on the south side of the park road and the hike up Igloo Mt. is not open but wooded at the beginning.

Teklanika area is not my favorite for hiking as there is brush unless we bring our water boots & hike the river braids.

Polychrome is beautiful. You could get off at the old Polychrome rest stop which is now a photo-opt stop. And then hike up behind the rest stop. However, a few years ago my nephew & I encountered quite a bit of snow up there in May.

One can hike along the Toklat River on the south side of the park road across the road from the Toklat ranger tent/bookstore. There has been a wolf den there on the first feeder stream for years.

Since the road will be closed passed Toklat, walking the road is a nice option, good visibility & beautiful views.

Be sure to take a copy of the bus schedule with you so you can get back to the park road for a shuttle in time.

Edited: 20 May 2012, 23:06
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3. Re: Hiking options near Toklat river

The wolf den up the feeder stream at Toklat is a closure area, so check the map in the ranger tent & watch for the closure signs to stay out.

India
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4. Re: Hiking options near Toklat river

Thanks for your suggestions.

My reservation is for the 9am shuttle. I will try to be there early, try to get on a earlier shuttle (I just checked the website, it's not sold out, yet).

fti mentioned it's hard to cover 1 mile an hour in Denali. Should I stick to one trail - (Toklat or Polychrome) or will I be able to do both?

I don't mind walking the road past Toklat, sounds like neat idea. But I read bears are usually spotted closer to the road??

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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5. Re: Hiking options near Toklat river

>>Should I stick to one trail

There are no trails at Toklat or Polychrome (or almost anywhere else inside the park with few exceptions). Generally when I do day hiking in the park, I choose one area and hike there. I personally plan on 3-5 hour hikes and I certainly don't want to do two of those in one day. You have to also remember that it will take you some time to get from where you end one hike to where you start the other hike (waiting for a bus, hoping the first bus is not full). Then you need to wait for a bus after you end the second hike. Way too many "if's" for me to do a hike in more than one location on one day.

>>I don't mind walking the road past Toklat, sounds like neat idea. But I read bears are usually spotted closer to the road??

In my experience most bears are not spotted all that close to the road, but certainly any bear that people spot from the bus will be maybe 100 yards or so from the bus. Just the nature of the beast - no one spots bears from off the road unless they are hiking in the backcountry.

Edited: 21 May 2012, 00:56
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6. Re: Hiking options near Toklat river

There can be bears anywhere in Denali. Grizzly bears have a huge range of territory.

Denali is pretty much a trail-less park, although there are social and animal trails everywhere, and numerous trails at the entrance.

I would change the reservation to an earlier shuttle if it were I wanting to hike in several areas.

7. Re: Hiking options near Toklat river

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