Last weekend I made a schedule shift due to poor weather in another part of Alaska, and decided to remain in Interior Alaska and enjoy the forecasted sunny skies–which have been lacking this year due to record rainfall in June and July. I went with a friend to Denali National Park to hike up the Savage river and packraft down the Sanctuary river. (check Jay’s site for details) It is doable in one day, beginning at the Savage River campground with a 16 mile hike, followed by a 14 mile packraft, ending at the Sanctuary campground along the Denali Park road. As a day trip, I was able to make a pretty light pack, in comparison to my past trips this summer, and some future ones coming soon.
I’ve looked up these river valleys for years, but have never trekked there, so it was a very enjoyable experience. On top of the magnificent views, the weather was cool, gentle breeze, no bugs and no rain. That adds up to a good day indeed. For a camera I took my Canon 5D Mark III and a 24-105mm f/4L IS that I clipped into the shoulder straps of my Osprey Stratos 24 backpack, and enjoyed easy travel and easy access to the camera.
Wildlife was sparse but we saw many signs of wolf, caribou, moose and bear: tracks, scat, antlers, horns and skulls.
I’d love to do this trip again in later august when the colors are blazing in color. As for now, I’m packing for a solo trip in the Gates of the Arctic National Park in Alaska’s Brooks Range. I’ll share more on that soon.