Climb that mountain....

Home Builder with Jesse Clifton & Associates AREC License #15292

I swore I would never, ever make that trip again.  The last time I did, it cost a pretty penny to charter a helicopter to fly me off the mountain.  For some reason I have an aversion to looking out the window of a bus (driven by an undoubtedly high college kid who looks like he's one toke away from driving us all to a certain death) and seeing terra firma... 1,500 feet straight down.  Nope.  Sorry. Just not gonna do it.

This past weekend the boss and I took some much needed R&R time and headed south to Denali Park.  I know, I know... some say all we do in the summer is take time off.  It's amazing how much business you can conduct via a satellite connection. :)  Where there's a will, there's a way, right?

While we were fortunate to have gorgeous sunny skies and temps in the 70's I was dreading the mere mention of 'the trip' up the mountain.  God help me, I don't think there's enough Valium in the western hemisphere to get me back on that bus.

Fortunately for me the buses aren't in operation yet.  But, the Park road (the only one in Denali National Park) is open to milepost 30 at the Teklanika River. We took a leisurely drive over the mountains and through the woods watching for critters large and small.  There were tons of ptarmigans, a lynx who was too quick for me to catch on film, a small herd of caribou, several moose, a black bear and on our return trip a pack of wolves we had a short standoff with in the middle of the road.  

If you're thinking of making a trip to Denali, this is a great time.  The terrorists tourists are not out yet and with less traffic on the Park road the odds of seeing wildlife is much greater.  Riley Creek Campground, the first campground in the Park, is the only one open and doesn't offer any hookups but camping is free until the 14th.

The photo's below are a few from the trip... I hope you enjoy them!


Created with flickr slideshow.
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Comments (28)

Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Wow, what a beautiful place. I haven't used flickr slideshow yet. I hope it is easy, it looks fantastic.

May 08, 2009 12:27 AM
Mike Saunders
Retired - Athens, GA

Jesse - great eye candy. Denali is on my bucket list. You should try riding a double decker bus on the route from Hong Kong to Sidney alont the mountain cliffs. Especially when they are passing each other on a hair pin turn.

May 08, 2009 12:56 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

Jesse, very cool photos.  Totally worth a near-death experience.   what kind of birds were those???   Were they Ptarmigan?

May 08, 2009 12:56 AM
Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating

Jesse ~ Absolutely gorgeous pictures! I don't blame you for not wanting to go up the mountain in a bus - I have a fear of heights as well and I don't think there is enough sedatives in the world . . .

May 08, 2009 01:10 AM
Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

Thanks for the tour Jesse.  I am glad you got away before the tourists took over.

May 08, 2009 01:11 AM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Jesse, I have a lot of fond memories of Denali. Woderful spot. Camped out on the far side of the lake and took a picture of the mountain just as the sun was starting to rise. Have you ever seen a pink Denali?

May 08, 2009 01:40 AM
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker

Gorgeous photos, Jesse!  Will you be my tour guide if I ever get up there?

May 08, 2009 02:41 AM
SarahGray Lamm
Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 - Chapel Hill, NC
Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience

Your pics remind me, everytime I check your blog, that I MUST get to Alaska in the very near term! It's my kinda place. Someday I 'll doa post on my stay in the ice hotel in Quebec!

May 08, 2009 02:47 AM
Scott Larson
First Weber Hedeman Group - Monroe, WI

Love your pictures. I have a Brother-in- Law who is a wildlife photogapher based in Fairbanks.


May 08, 2009 03:25 AM
Gail MacMillan
Titusville, FL

Hi Jesse.....ALASKA, one of the most beautiful spots on earth and you inspire us tourists to visit again and again...hey you asked for it ;-)  Love the photos and always look forward to seeing what you got for us.  Have a great weekend.

May 08, 2009 04:26 AM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Jesse - Very beautiful photographs and great story! It's been ten years since I have been to Alaska and I am due for a visit. Next to Northern California, Alaska is my second favorite place for beauty.


May 08, 2009 10:28 AM
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ

Dude are you p****d at me or what. All I see is a black box with nothing. Geeeeezzzzzzz

Glad to hear you can once again go outside without turning into a ice cube.

May 08, 2009 12:35 PM
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Provo, UT
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Jesse- If it just were not SO cold most of the year! It is super gorgeous and no state income tax to boot!

May 08, 2009 01:52 PM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

What a view, thanks for the pictures. It is truly amazing what is out there in this great big earth. WE are going on a cruise to Alaska in the fall, I hope it really is this beautiful.

May 08, 2009 01:57 PM
Karen Cooper
Karen Cooper | Sr Mortgage Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | First Federal Bank of Florida, Ocala, FL - The Villages, FL
Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States

Hi Jesse - Such stunning scenery around you! I've always wanted to to see Denali Park,but we never made it that far, only hitting the shore cities on a cruise, and the Klondike. One day. Gorgeous photos!

May 08, 2009 02:47 PM
Sarah Nopp
South Sound, WA

Great slideshow... I feel like such a baby-stepper. I still have still photos on my blog! But I did get a nice couple shots of a harlequin duck this week I really need to post...

May 08, 2009 03:01 PM
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Northumberland, NH

Beautiful pics of Denali Park, Thanks for sharing this piece of our paradise, one day I hope to visit Denali, It's on my bucket list!

May 09, 2009 03:30 AM
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC


I had a similar experience in Hawaii. I drove up to the top of an extinct volcano. Going up was fine, we were on the inside against a wall. Coming down; another matter. We were on the outside edge with no guard rails. I had my right hand on the side of my face like horse blinders.

May 09, 2009 06:47 AM
Jackie DeShazer
Montana Country Real Estate - Libby, MT

Jesse -

Beautiful photos of the mountains. Looks like Deanali park needs to go on my list of places to visit. Thanks for sharing.


May 12, 2009 09:44 AM
Scott Larson
First Weber Hedeman Group - Monroe, WI


Did you check out my brother in laws site at  ?



May 15, 2009 05:52 AM