Free Backpacking in Denali National Park, Alaska

Posted by: The Photo Investigator 5 years, 4 months ago

Denali National Park is an amazing place.  First off, every National Park I've been to previously exhorts visitors to "STAY ON THE PATHS," but at Denali they say "DON'T MAKE PATHS."  In this spirit, the photo below gives the GPS location of where you go to get your backpacking permit, but the campsite image shown below does NOT include GPS metadata to avoid creating a "social trail."  Check out the location in the image using the iOS Photo Investigator App:

Alaska Free Backpacking GPS

To get your permit, the process involves watching a 30 minute video about exciting topics such as the proper way to cross a river, and how not to avoid shitting your pants if a bear says whatup.  Also, backpackers choose a territory within the park, to decrease the likelyhood of running into anyone in the wild.  The more wild territories require the use of the park bus, which costs about $40, but the experience is reputed to be much wilder.  Although, I opted to go as far as the free tour bus will take you, and jump off into the wilderness from there.

4 miles off the main road, I crossed a stream and set up camp in the soft sand of a riverbed:

Alaska Free Backpacking Image without Metadata

And a final shot of Mt. Denali from afar, the tallest peak in North America:

Mt Denali Image, No GPS

This post kicks off a series of sites in Alaska, which came from an epic roadtrip from San Diego all the way to Homer, Alaska.