From the moment I landed in Anchorage, my vacation in Alaska has been amazing. My first few hours in Alaska were spent in Anchorage. I went directly from the airport to my hotel. It was nice to relax for a couple hours after my flight. I didn’t stay in my room for too long though, because I wanted to get out and explore a little. Alaska is quite different from where I live, and I wanted to soak it all in. I couldn’t stay out long though, because I needed to get some sleep before heading over to explore Denali National Park the following day.
My journey to Denali National Park began with me boarding the McKinley Explorer. The McKinley Explorer is a dome train. The upper-level dome in each railcar seats approximately 86 people. The glass dome windows are perfect for seeing 360-degree views of the gorgeous landscape in Alaska.
Once I found my seat, I sat back to listen to the tour guide in my railcar. The tour guide offered lots of information about what we were seeing out the windows.
I didn’t spend much time in the lower level of the dome railcar. But that is where the restrooms and restaurant are located. There is also an outdoor viewing platform, which is perfect for capturing photographs of the approaching mountains in Denali National Park.
We arrived at the park early in the day, so we had the entire afternoon to explore. There is so much to see and do inside Denali National Park. I didn’t want to venture too far on my first day, because I knew the next day would be filled with adventures.
Yet, I didn’t want to miss anything that this national park is known for. So, I wandered around, took pictures, and simply enjoyed my time in this part of the world.
When dinnertime arrived, it was time for me to head over to Denali Square to attend the Music of Denali Dinner Theater. As I ate, I was entertained with a performance that shared the story of the first men who summited Denali.
The food was incredible. And the actors and actresses were amazing during the show. I could have stayed forever but knew I needed sleep for the following day’s adventures of my vacation in Alaska.
I was up bright and early on my second day in Denali National Park. The plan for the day was to go on a wilderness tour that would last between five and six hours. At the beginning of the tour, our guide warned us that each day brought something new and different to the tour. We might see extra wildlife or have an experience at a spot that most people don’t have.
Despite taking a vacation in Alaska before, I was excited to explore Denali National Park. I was quite happy that during our time driving along the road, I was able to see the park’s big five. The big five in Denali National Park includes Dall sheep, moose, bears, caribou, and wolves.
My favorite stop of the day was the Murie Science and Learning Center. This building is where they offer numerous field courses. I discovered that taking those courses were an excellent way to learn about the mountain and park, as well as the surrounding area.
I wish I had more time at the Murie Science and Learning Center. If you are interested in visiting, I can tell you that the courses are offered all year long. This building turns into the visitor’s center for the park during the winter months. You can take a course during the winter, or you can borrow a pair of snowshoes and head out into the wilderness.
As I’m sure you could understand, I was exhausted by the end of the tour. The excitement combined with everything I saw and did during the day made me want to crawl into the bed at the hotel and sleep for a week. I didn’t sleep for a week, but I did get a good night’s sleep. This was so I could head out on the next part of my journey during my vacation in Alaska the very next day.
You don’t need to be a travel advisor like myself to enjoy exploring Denali National Park during a vacation in Alaska.
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