ornament. Moose love the visitor center. In fact, one of the best places to see moose is around the visitor center and on the bike path surrounding it. Why? Mama moose knows that predators will avoid areas with people—so to protect her calves, she sticks around populated areas. A word of caution here: view mama and her babies at a safe distance. Cows with newborns are unpredictable and aggressive. She might be afraid of bears and wolves, but she’s not afraid of you. If wolves cause you to howl with wild abandon, look no further than the Sanctuary River area of the park (mile 20). The Riley Creek pack, made up of 12 wolves, frequents the area, denning on the Teklanika River (mile 29) in 2017 not far from the road and producing six pups. At mile 53, the Riley Creek West pack roams the Toklat Pass area. Dall sheep overlook Igloo Canyon, perching on the rocky crags, spying on tourists just for kicks (miles 34-38). Where does a grizzly bear go? Wherever he wants. It’s possible to spot grizzlies anywhere in the park: rivers, hillsides, tundra. A few of the most likely spots are: Teklanika River and the high-alpine expanses between Toklat River and Eielson Visitor Center (mile 66), which includes Thorofare Pass, Stony Dome, and Highway Pass. Caribou migrate throughout the park, amassing in larger numbers in the fall, where the backdrop of autumn color is downright postcard perfect. In the summer, you’ll find them in open meadows, along roadsides, and sometimes, on the road itself. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed not to spot a caribou once you hit the tundra in Denali. Though the lynx is elusive, several have been seen in the Wonder Lake and Kantishna areas of the park, at the end of the road (mile 92). Extra points if you spot one of these slinking through the high grass.
This caribou in velvet ambled along the Park Road in Denali, affording close-up shots for tourists riding the park bus. Caribou remain prevalent in Denali and should be easy to spot throughout the summer and fall.
JULY/AUGUST 2019 A L A S K A
63 5/14/19 7:49 AM
Alaska Magazine July 2019