Alaska Side Trips - Summer 2013

"To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world."
- - John Muir

Shearer Home Alaska Scotland Family

While in Alaska, we were able to take several side trips, to the Kenai Penninsula, Denali National Park, and the Denali Highway.

Many new pictures have been posted to all the links on this page as of August 21, 2013.

Kenai Penninsula Map

The Kenai Penninsula

From our base in Anchorage, we made a one week trip down to the Kenai Penninsula. Bordered on the west by Cook Inlet and on the east by Prince William Sound, the Kenai is a land of glaciers, rivers, and lakes. Civilization is limited to the edges of the pennisula and includes the most western end of the US highway system in Homer.

On the map to the left, red indicates the road system and black the train. The Alaska Railroad ends in Seward and has a spur line to Whittier. Dotted lines are the Alaska Marine Highway, a system of ferries that connect parts of Alaska that cannot be reached by road.

Looking across Cook Inlet from Anchorage towards the Kenai Penninsula

Click on the links below to see pictures of our adventures.

Kenai and Homer - the west side of the Penninsula

Seward- east side and glaciers

Whittier and Prince Edward Sound - camping and a tour of the sound

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center- animals being rehabilitated for return to the wild

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Denali with Moose

Denali National Park

Denali National Park is over six million acres of land preserved between Fairbanks and Anchorage. There is only one major road that enters the park and private vehilce trafic is strictly limited. Crowned by Denali, the highest peak in North America, the park is a miracle of geology, wild animals, and incredible beauty.

Visitors to the park are told that they have only a 25% chance of seeing the mountain but a 95% chance of seeing a bear. This was true for us, as our only views of Denali have been from Eric and Andrea"s back deck in Anchorage. But the bears - oh my! Mommas with cubs were visable from the tour buses, but luckily not from our campground.

About the only way to get a good picture of the mountain is to be incredibly lucky (I wasn't) or to steal a great picture from the web (guilty as charged - this picture is from I also didn't see any male moose until we returned to Anchorage.

For the real pictures I took in Denali National Park, click here.

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The Denali Hiway

The Denali Highway

Built in 1956 to connect the world to the newly created Mt. McKinley National Park, this 135 mile, mostly gravel road was a once in a lifetime trip for us. Traveling along the southern end of the Alaska Ranger, we saw glaciers, rivers, and enough geology to make me wish I could remember my college geology course from 1970 better.

For more pictures I took along the Denali Highway, be sure to click here.

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Last Updated: 08/21/2013
K. A. Shearer 2013

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