Denali Backpacking Part 2

From the top of Cabin Peak, we decided to make a gradual ridge walk down to a neighboring valley.
Hiking along.

Hiking along.

Just hiking on top of the world.

Just hiking on top of the world.

It was a great plan (we saw three elk hanging out in the shade below us.. until they saw us and took off) until we had to start heading into the valley – more thick brush, ugh.
We did eventually make our way down to the stream to enjoy a quiet lunch before crossing the valley, a few streams, heading down a side canyon, and finally up into the mountains again.  We were now on part of Polychrome Mountain (Polychrome is huge, so we hiked a very small piece of it).
Up, up, up!

Up, up, up!

A rest break looking out over Cabin Peak from Polychrome Mountain.

A rest break looking out over Cabin Peak (the brown one, dead center) from Polychrome Mountain.

Taking a rest break on Polychrome Mountain.

Taking a rest break on Polychrome Mountain.

After more uphill hiking, we reached a beautiful valley and decided to set up camp at the top for the evening.
Looking over the mountains north of Polychrome Mountain.

Looking over the mountains north of Polychrome Mountain.

Beautiful flowers on Polychrome Mountain, with beautiful scenery!

Beautiful flowers on Polychrome Mountain, with beautiful scenery!

Viewing the landscape.

Viewing the landscape.

We got to  eat dinner on the ridge and enjoy a little breeze!
Dinner on the ridge.

Dinner on the ridge.

We also enjoyed the peeping/scolding some of our valley neighbors gave us (little creatures that look like prairie dogs that live in the mountains of Alaska).  We even got to watch the meanderings of some Dahl sheep across the valley.  Matt and I have decided we are forever grateful for their carefully laid paths along the mountainsides, which we found ourselves following quite regularly.
Our campsite on June 16th.

Our campsite on June 16th.

Our campsite on night 2, overlooking the valley.

Our campsite on night 2, overlooking the valley.

Our final day was spent hiking out of the valley, up a stream, and across the tundra to the road.
Hiking through our favorite overgrowth.

Hiking through our favorite overgrowth.

We saw many signs of black bear, grizzly bear, moose, elk, and sheep, but no sightings of the actual creatures who made all the prints along the shore and left their poop on the tundra.  Once we reached the road, we were picked up by a shuttle and carried back to our car.  Showers and pizza (topped with reindeer sausage and ground elk) were the first stops made. 🙂
Our route is on black.  The pink marks the boundaries for zones 32 and 31.

Our route is in black. The pink marks the boundaries for zones 32 and 31.

Published in: on June 17, 2013 at 11:57 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow! A fabulous hike indeed! I’m thankful that the bears wisely avoided you. 🙂

    G’pa Rodgers

  2. Beautiful scenery!!! Thanks for the well written post. I’m looking forward to seeing photos and reading of the next phase of the journey! : ) Not to brag or anything but Michelle and I walked around the block four times on Sunday,June 16 (Matt’s birthday)…that’s two miles and some serious elevation changes…sorry, no photos.


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