I guess the animal we saw the most of was the red squirrel. Cute, cheeky, noisy and (apparently) horrible little rabbit killers!
One way to spend a few hours in Denali is to visit the kennels. Here, you will meet the sled dogs that allow rangers to navigate the park during winter. These huskies are an important part of the Denali way of life, as no motorised transport is permitted in the park and, with 6 million acres to patrol, going on foot just wouldn’t cut it!
There is a demonstration of the team at work, access to the shed where all the gear is kept and, best of all, you can pat the dogs as they hang out. If you are after more involvement, there is a volunteer program that allows you to work closely with the dogs. This is only in winter, only has two spots and is usually filled by return visitors, though. For those wanting to help out, you can even adopt “retired” dogs!
I guess the animal we saw the most of was the red squirrel. Cute, cheeky, noisy and (apparently) horrible little rabbit killers! During one of the many ranger talks we went to, we were told about how these adorable little rodents would enter the burrows of the rabbits in the park and eat the entire brood of little baby bunnies! Vicious! We still thought they were endlessly fascinating.
These little arctic ground squirrels were hiding out. If I remember correctly, there was a large predator looming nearby – the camera toting kind! The one after was busily trying to chomp into the undercarriage of the car next to us.
This next critter was apparently one lazy animal. Asleep all winter, they wake up for a few months of eating and loving, interspersed with many hours of lying in the sun, before heading back underground for the winter again. We also got into trouble (well, Ruth did) for whistling at one. Apparently, “We don’t interact with the wildlife in Denali.”
Let us leave off with some more Denali wilderness.
I am sure there are plenty more things I could say about Denali but, for now, I think this will do. The next post will try to wrap up in Alaska, before heading I to Sequoia NP – but you never know when I’ll find something else to share about this great state.