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2 nights in DNP

Austin, TX
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2 nights in DNP

Hi all,

We are a group of 4 and will be reaching ANC at 12:30am on 25th Aug. Return flight on Sept 2nd at 9pm from ANC.

I was thinking of renting a car at the airport and driving up to DNP right away. We would then catch the morning Wonder Lake bus and reach Wonder Lake I guess sometime around 4pm. Setup our tent, some rest, do some sightseeing and go to sleep.

26th morning we would leave WL and go to Reflection Pond. Once done with photography, leave RP somewhere afternoon and head to Tek. Set up tent , do some hiking/sightseeing/photography and then go to sleep.

On 27th Morning (this is the part I am not sure about) we could do some more hiking/sightseeing and then leave DNP to continue with the rest of our plan (which needs to planned :-)).

How does this plan sound? Am I too ambitious? As I am writing, WL campsite is available only on the 25th. So can't really stay more than 1 night there. Also, don't want to spend at the lodges in Kantishna.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Edited: 7:25 pm, June 24, 2012
USA
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1. Re: 2 nights in DNP

If it were I, I would sleep, drive up after rested. The Glen & Parks hwys can be moose corridors.

You can still go to Wonder Lake & Reflection pond on a shuttle to hike, even if there are no campsites there.

There is a lovely wilderness campsite, Igloo campground around mile 35. But you do have to purify water out of the creek or bring with you. There are picnic tables, outhouse & bear lockers for food. You take the camper bus there too, no car. It's small & quiet compared to WL. Igloo CG can only be reserved the day before, no advanced reservations.

Or you could car camp at Savage River, which is a nice campground 15 miles within the park, but you all could drive out for pizzas from there.

Edited: 9:13 pm, June 24, 2012
fti
MN
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2. Re: 2 nights in DNP

Wow with all due respect that is an incredible plan. And I don't mean incredible positive. Lots of reasons.

1) it will be dark in late August so you are driving when exhausted. Arriving at 12.30am you won't even get to Denali until 8am if you are lucky - get luggage, get car, stop for groceries, etc, etc. Let's hope you don't hit any moose on the way - a very real danger

2) why go to Wonder Lake for 1 night in any case? It makes no sense. You have much better chances of doing everything you want including seeing wildlife by having at least 2 nights at Wonder Lake.

3) You obviously don't know how the shuttle bus system in Denali works. So leave Wonder Lake and go to Reflection Pond with all your gear? Do you realize how few buses go past the pond? Very few and only 1 morning camper bus. So in reality it is a huge waste of time. Do you also realize how often you even get the classic reflection photo in the pond? I have been to Denali more than a dozen times, most of those camping at Wonder Lake with a bicycle so I can bike to Reflection Pond late at night or early in the morning (best times by far to get that photo). Only happened maybe 3-4 times out of a dozen trips and multiple nights each trip. Also, most shuttle buses can't accommodate backpacks, tents, etc. You need a camper bus to get back east to another campground or perhaps a handicap-accessible bus that has room in the back.

4) why not rest on the night of Aug 24/25, get the car off-airport on Saturday morning (probably cheaper anyway), head to Denali, spend 2 or 3 nights at Tek or Igloo. No minimum stay at Tek if you take the camper bus in (3 night minimum with a car but that is OK).

You are WAY better to slow down, think through your ENTIRE plan then go ahead with booking.

As much as I like Wonder Lake, there is no reason at all to go there for 1 night, especially so with your plan. If you go on Aug 25 to Denali, set up camp at Tek or Igloo, you still have Aug 26 to go to Reflection Pond if you want.

Depending on your interests then you can plan 2-3 nights in Denali and doing something else afterward.

I implore you to reconsider your plans.

Edited: 9:59 pm, June 24, 2012
Cantwell, Alaska
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3. Re: 2 nights in DNP

If you drive your car into Teklanika you can not drive out for dinners. Your car must stay there for the entire time you are camping there.

Edited: 1:22 pm, June 26, 2012
fti
MN
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for Alaska
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4. Re: 2 nights in DNP

If they indeed were traveling from Wonder Lake to Tek, they would have left their car at the entrance since you can't drive to Wonder Lake! So it is irrelevant about the car. Of course if you are camping inside the park at any campground past mile 15 you will need to bring all your own food with you for the entire length of your stay.

Perhaps we scared the OP away with suggestion to spend the night in Anchorage upon arrival. They never returned with any comments.

Austin, TX
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5. Re: 2 nights in DNP

All,

Thanks for your inputs. No, you did not scare me away :-). Just that I was super busy at work.

Based on your comments, I have decided not to pursue my original plan.

Here is my revised plan. Feel free to tear it apart. I won't get scared :-)

Arrive 25th at 1am. Crash somewhere near Anchorage for the night. Leave Anchorage at around noon and reach DNP in the evening. I hope WAC is open until late evening for check-in. Set up camp at Tek/Igloo. Sleep.

26th morning : Take the 1st bus to Wonder Lake, hike around and go to Reflection Pond. Take the late evening bus back to Tek/Igloo. Sleep.

27th morning : Hike around near Tek area. Leave DNP in the evening and continue with the rest of the plan (which hasn't been planned yet).

How does this sound? If this is a reasonable plan, then I can check for bus and CG reservations.

Thanks!

USA
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6. Re: 2 nights in DNP

Are you implying that you will try to get into Igloo & if not possible then Tek?

One thing nice about Tek campground you can drive your car in & use it as a place to safeguard your food, cosmetics. smelly food splattered clothes, stove, dishes all items you can not keep in the tent or on picnic tables. Otherwise you have to use a bear locker for those items.

Were you going to drive your car to Tek or take the camper bus? If you are not taking your car & instead are taking the camper bus you do not need to reserve 3 nights at Tek. You can stay 1 night.

The WAC stays open until 7 pm. You can also check in at Riley Mercantile if you have a campground reservation with later hours:

reservedenali.com/entrance-facilities/riley-…

I think, tho, that you would have to go to the WAC to get into Igloo since it is a walk-in only campground, no reservations.

Edited: 10:23 pm, July 04, 2012
Austin, TX
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7. Re: 2 nights in DNP

Thanks !

Finally this is what I reserved:

27th and 28th night at Wonder Lake. I guess I was late to book, therefore, lot of sites were sold out. I also booked the 10am Camper Bus out of WAC which should reach Wonder Lake at 4:15 pm.

I hope we can have a good time in the limited amount of time at Wonder Lake, since I have read people say that you need at least 2 nights at Wonder Lake.

Any other suggestions folks?

Thanks for your help!

8. Re: 2 nights in DNP

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