Lazy Saturday in Denali Park

Home Builder with Jesse Clifton & Associates AREC License #15292

It's October and we don't have any snow on the ground to speak of.  Can you believe it?  Normally by this time we're covered by at least a thin blanket of snow.  Yesterday we took advantage of yet another gorgeous Autumn day in Alaska and drove down to Denali Park.  From Fairbanks, Denali is a short 115 mile drive down the Parks Highway.

With some good 'ol beach music streaming from the ipod we headed down the road.  I doubt we passed more than a dozen cars; all the blue hairs have left for warmer climates. Just south of Healy we spotted a RV that somehow managed to end up on its roof.  A rough landing no doubt.  A recent two-foot plus snowfall prompted the closure of the Park Road beyond Milepost 15 (Savage River).  But, there's wildlife galore to be seen in those 15 gorgeous miles.  On this trip we didn't see any bears, but we did see several moose, including a large herd at approximately 12 mile. 

The first moose we saw was a large healthy bull in his prime.  He soon locked horns with a smaller bull nearby who was hoping to get to know one of the cows in the big boys harem.  It didn't work.  We didn't get to see it but heard them fighting and a few minutes later the smaller bull was heading in the opposite direction.  For those who haven't seen or heard them fight, it's an unmistakable sound.  When in full rut and fighting with gusto, the sound of two bulls locking antlers sounds like a lightening strike.

The photo below was captured a few minutes later when the dominate bull and his harem wandered out onto a dry river bed. Click the photo to see a larger version.

Bull Moose Denali National Park Alaska

Although most Park activities ended near the middle of September, Denai Park is open all year.  Cross country skiing, showshoeing, dog sledding and snowmachining are popular winter activities. For more information, contact the Winter Visitors Center @ 907-683-2294 (daily 9-4PM). 

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Comments (21)

Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices


I am glad you are posting your fascinating pictures. Itis both the vision, and the subject that you manage to capture and present so well. BTW, I clicked on the photo, it did not open a larger picture, it simply took me to Flickr

Oct 04, 2009 04:46 PM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Jesse - That photograph looks unreal, the colors are amazing and what a beautiful pic. I really want to bring my wife up to Alaska around the first week of July and I would like to take some photographs of the Northern lights.

Are there any direct flights from the lower 48 to Fairbanks?

Vegas Bob

Oct 04, 2009 06:25 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Jesse, Denali park is one of the things that I really miss about AK. Like VB said, the colors of the park are really surreal...

Helping you live your American dream...

Oct 04, 2009 09:16 PM
SarahGray Lamm
Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 - Chapel Hill, NC
Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience

Absolutely exquisite...more places for the bucket list!

Oct 04, 2009 10:40 PM
Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

Had to change font color to blue for this beautiful scenery.  Not so much a fan of cold so AK and I will be a summer romance if I ever get there but the beauty you show me is always appreciated.  Thanks.

Oct 04, 2009 10:40 PM
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC

Hi Jesse,
Long time no see here in the Rain.  My workload has kept me less active.  Your blogs sure have made me want to visit Alaska and view these lovely sites for myself.

Oct 04, 2009 10:41 PM
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Jesse, that is amazing. I love the expression "blue hairs", LOL. I hear we have a young bull moose wandering around here, although I can't substantiate that rumor. I would love to run across him, if I were armed with my camera. 

I do love your photos, thanks!

Oct 04, 2009 11:39 PM
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate



I have been following your photos, and you make me want to collect a higher grade of pixels...

Oct 05, 2009 12:28 AM
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

My husband would be in heaven there. The thought of big bull moose and all the wildlife is his dream land. Thanks for sharing and I will share with him.

Oct 05, 2009 12:42 AM
Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop
NextHome Experience - Chelan, WA
A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!

"The blue hairs" LOL!! Sounds like a wonderful trip with (as usual) amazing sights to be seen. The RV sounds scary though, yikes!

Oct 05, 2009 02:18 AM
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Jesse - that is absolutely gorgeous and sounded like a beautiful drive!  2 feet of snow?  Oh how I wish I were there!

Oct 05, 2009 03:27 AM
Melina Tomson
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.

Jesse this photo and the ones you put on FB are just so gorgeous.  Denali is on my list of places to go.

Oct 05, 2009 06:01 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Jesse...the dry river bed looks familiar.  I need to look at my summer pics.  Thanks for sharing.  After being there in late Aug.  Seeing the fall and winter scenes completes the picture in the mind

Oct 05, 2009 06:10 AM
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

Jesse - The light in the photo is amazing, and your story brings your experience to life for me. Wonderfully done.

Oct 05, 2009 07:53 AM
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Wow Jesse. Spectacular photo (as usual!). You're getting an early start on the snow. I've been wanting to go see the rutting elk here in NC but haven't made it yet. Take care.

Oct 05, 2009 10:42 AM
Todd Clark - Retired
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

I always love your pictures, I already have a couple printed out as inspiration to get me go to Alaska in the next couple years. Taking a trip to Alaska and going fishing and hiking really is on my bucket list!

 Todd Clark -

Oct 05, 2009 05:30 PM
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Jesse - Breathtaking photo as usual.  How fortunate that you live close enough to be able to take a day trip there.  One day I'll get there - I've always wanted to.

Oct 06, 2009 07:49 AM
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Jesse...It's been years since I've been there but it is as beautiful as I remember.


Oct 06, 2009 02:31 PM
Doreen McPherson
Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe - Tempe, AZ
Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~

That is just breath taking.  Definitely enlarge the photo to see it clearly! 

Oct 08, 2009 08:04 PM
Lisa Glowacki
Lisa Glowacki - Rhode Island & Massachusetts - Tiverton, RI
Real Estate Broker - RI & MA

See what I mean about those photos. All I can say is WOW! And that is from your photo. I wonder what I would say standing there. Simply amazing. Thanks

Oct 22, 2009 10:04 AM