Denali State Park, Alaska

Anyone who has driven up Hwy 3 from Anchorage towards Fairbanks, or who has planned a land-based vacation in Alaska, is familiar with Denali National Park. But I wonder how many people realise that Denali State Park straddles the highway just south of its bigger, more famous brother, providing unsurpassed views of the Alaska Range, including Denali itself (or Mount McKinley, if you prefer).

On our first night out from Anchorage, we stayed in the small settlement of Talkeetna, just outside Denali State Park. At the point where the road drops down into the village is a marvellous viewpoint of the Alaska Range. Unfortunately, that evening the view was less than spectacular. In fact, there wasn’t a mountain to be seen, thanks to a thick blanket of low cloud. And the forecast for the next day was worse. It seemed we were destined to pass within a few miles of the tallest mountain in North America, without even seeing it.

IMG_3486The next morning, Rich woke up early, nosed through the curtains, and immediately leapt out of bed. It was barely dawn, yet the sky was already blue… But for how long? Despite not having had her morning coffee, Sue gamely got dressed and allowed Rich to drag us all back to the viewpoint we’d passed the evening before. We didn’t even pause to brush our teeth. After all, this might be our one shot at seeing this Bucket List mountain!

I have to admit, the sight that awaited us was well worth the unseemly rousing. A thin layer of cloud still hung around the summits of the Alaska Range, but still their flanks glowed orange in the first rays of the sun.

IMG_3501IMG_3533IMG_3561As it turns out, although I was glad to see Denali at sunrise, we needn’t have worried about missing the mountain. The weather forecasters couldn’t have been more wrong. We returned to our guest house, Sue had her coffee without committing murder (although it was definitely on the cards for a short while – but that’s another tale), we showered, packed up and left.

And by the time we reached Denali State Park, just a short drive up Hwy 3, the weather couldn’t have been more ideal! Instead of the predicted view-obscuring, miserable rain, it was a bright, warm day, with barely a cloud in the sky. The vista of Denali, its glacier-capped summit an astounding 20,237 feet high, was simply breathtaking.

IMG_3570IMG_3571In fact, the entire Alaska Range was stunning, standing strong and enduring against a cerulean blue sky.

IMG_3574IMG_3583IMG_3584IMG_3585This post was inspired by the themes Strong from Ailsa (of Where’s My Backpack?), Endurance from Krista (of the Daily Post), Blue from Dale (of Spun With Tears) and Cerulean from Jennifer (of Jennifer Nichole Wells).

IMG_3575 (stitch)While you’re dreaming of the perfect sunny day in the mountains of Alaska, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

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About Jaspa

Jaspa's Journey is a series of award-winning, travel-based adventure novels for strong middle grade readers by Rich Meyrick. Join the Adventure! Read the books! Follow Jaspa’s ongoing Journeys at Let's explore this amazing world together! And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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22 Responses to Denali State Park, Alaska

  1. Pete says:

    Thanks for sharing your photographs and story. I may live here but I don’t get down to Denali much and you have reminded me what I haven’t seen in Years.

    • Jaspa says:

      When we were there we didn’t go into the National Park itself. Instead we drove east across the Denali Highway. and then down to McCarthy. It was spectacular!

  2. Amy says:

    What a grand tour, Jaspas! I love to see the views you saw in the future! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Alaska Girl at Heart says:

    I miss home so much! No matter how long I’m away from Alaska, it will always be home to me. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Pingback: Papa | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  5. Tina Schell says:

    You were very fortunate – we were there for a week and only saw Denali peek thru the clouds for one brief evening! I’m insanely jealous!!!

  6. cyardin says:

    Looking at the last three photos makes me feel… small.

  7. Absolutely gorgeous. I need to add this mountain to my bucket list! Thank you for participating in the One Word Photo Challenge 🙂

  8. Pingback: weekly photo challenge: endurance | my sweetpainteddreams

  9. Pingback: One Word Photo Challenge: Mustard | Jennifer Nichole Wells

  10. dunelight says:

    Love Talkeetna! I stood on the banks of that river and waited. And Waited…and waited…for the clouds to clear. It was amazing. Nice photos.

  11. Pingback: Aconcagua, Roof of the Americas | Jaspa's Journal

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