Denali National Park

Shuttle Bus to Wonder Lake

Day 2:  Tuesday, June 25, 2002

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In Denali National Park, I planned to camp at developed campgrounds only.  Backpacking alone off-trail is above my current risk tolerance.  There are few trails in Denali.  After staying at Morino backpacker campground near the park entrance area the first night, I boarded the shuttle bus for the 85-mile trip down mostly gravel road to Wonder Lake.  The bus trip took 6 hours, including a couple of short stops.


The mountain (Mt. McKinley a.k.a. Denali) was covered in clouds today, as it is 1/3 of the time in the summer.  Wonder Lake offers the best view of the mountain from a campground in the park, and I could see the mountain’s location right from my campsite.  I could not see the mountain yet however L.

Campsite at Wonder Lake



Although connected to a road, I would not call Wonder Lake Campground a “car campground.”  It is only accessible by shuttle bus, bike, or foot.  There are two central food lockers to protect your food from bears, and the mosquitoes are notoriously horrendous here.  Pretty much everyone at the campground wore a mosquito head net over their heads.  Many folks left earlier than planned due to the bugs.  I think the secret to tolerance is to just get used to the fact that bugs will be swarming around your face constantly, and just wear long pants and long sleeves and use repellant (100% DEET) on hands and neck.  Even then, I needed to escape to my tent from time to time.  After getting in, the first item of business was killing the half-dozen mosquitoes that had snuck in.


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