Eielson Visitor Center and Wonder Lake area

After the Tolkat backpacking trip, I had one day reserved at the Wonder Lake campground. I got to the Toklat stop and caught the bus about an hour later. The first picture is from the Stony Pass area on the park road.

The next four shots are of Denali Peak and the Alaska Range in the clouds as seen from the Eielson Visitor Center.

This shot has the Eielson Visitor Center in it. It just reopened after a multi-year rebuild that used a lot of environmental features.

Here are two shots of the tundra from Eielson

Click here to watch a 26 second (16 MB) video pan of the scene from the Eielson Visitor Center.

Two juvenile sibling grizzlies ran across the field below the visitor center. I asked the rangers and they told me that they had just left their mother earlier this year, and were still hanging out together. There were many people watching and filming, but they didn't pay us too much attention.

When we went to leave Eielson, the bus wouldn't start. After some delay some of us managed to get on another bus. In the rush, I left my trekking poles and bear spray canister on the old bus. I realized this only after I got to Wonder Lake. I told the bus driver and he called back and had the next bus bring them.

The stop for the day was the campground near Wonder Lake. The campground is actually about a half mile from the lake. I only took a video of the lake. Click here to see the 10 second (6.5 MB) video of Wonder Lake. Here is a picture of the tundra and forest near Wonder Lake.

There is an actual maintained trail near Wonder Lake, rare in Denali National Park away from the entrance area. It goes to the McKinley River. Here is a bog that it goes through.

Here is another view of the bog. At Eielson Visitor Center, while waiting for a replacement ride when my bus wouldn't start, I started talking to another backpacker who was also waiting. We both had had a windy night the night before, and I offered to let Sarah pitch her tent in my reserved campsite rather than heading out again tonight. This is a picture of her on this hike.

More boardwalk on the McKinley River Bar hike.

The campsites at the Wonder Lake campground are actually spread out on a hill to give the best view of Denali Peak when it is clear. While we had clear skies above, the peaks were generally covered with clouds.

Continue to Polychrome/East River backpack