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Denali is organized to
preserve the wilderness, so they spread the population of hikers out so that
few if any trails develop. This is great
for the variety of choices, as you can go anywhere you wish (except a few
defined closed areas to protect the animals; inquire at the park). However, it tosses the casual day hiker into
a quandary when it comes to choosing where to go unless they are experienced at
reading maps and lucky to make good guesses.
Even the best of explorers come across unexpected surprises in uncharted
territory. Keep in mind that the streams are fed glacial and what was an easy
ford or crossing in the morning may have much higher water later in the day
when you return.
Here are some of the locations mentioned in this old guide, located in Miles along the Park Road measured from the Park entrance:
Savage River Campground, Jenny Creek , following the creek upstream from road crossing to road crossing, 4 miles.
Upper Savage River , mile 14.5; also
Lower Savage River , a developed trail, in part
Primrose Ridge, mile 17. Head up hill and along the ridge.
Teklanika Campground, head up the river to the bridge, 4 miles
Calico Creek, mile 33.6, various options along the creeks.
Igloo Mountain - head up the mountain on existing trails and animal trails. Long scree fields to cross. Grayling in the clear creek, and dinosaur fossil tracks in the vicinity
Below Polychrome Cliffs loop, mile 42.7, 5 miles or whatever you choose along the river beds.
Polychrome Loop , mile 45.3 on the park road, 6 miles.
Or wander the ridge tops and creek beds in the same area as far as you wish
East Branch Toklat River - riverbed mile 52.4 as far as you can
Upper & Lower directions
Bergh Lake , western fork Stony Creek mile59.8
Stony Hill Overlook mile 61.2
Sunrise Glacier Loop mile 65.2 20 miles
Sunset Glacier 10 miles
Eielson Visitor Ridge (developed climbing trail due to heavy foot traffic)
Anderson Pass Traverse, mile 65.2 26 miles
Moose Creek Trail mile74 9 miles
Mc Gonagall Pass mile 885, 45 miles round trip
It is interesting that simply naming a feature or giving it some protected status substantially increases traffic to it. This is what happened in Misty Fjords Park in SE Alaska - and the neighboring, less advertised fjords are neglected by most tourists - except those looking for much less trafficked wilderness. You can apply the same idea here and invent your own route and experience, avoid other tourists, and have a true wilderness experience during your day hike.