This was our last day in Denali and most of the day was planned for hiking and other activities inside the park. As we had to check out before 11, there were lot of packing & cleaning that morning before heading to the park. As I mentioned earlier the home that we stayed in Denali was an awesome one and the experience of staying in the wilderness was wonderful. I would definitely do this again!.
We chose an easy trail “Taiga Trail” for the entire family but as we walked down the trail, there were intersection points to most strenuous and complex trails. One of them was Mt.Healy Overlook trail that we originally planned but dropped due to the high elevation gain. As we neared the starting point of this trail, we were tempted to go down this path instead of Taiga :-). Gayathri’s parents and little Jay headed back to the visitor center after a short stroll in the Taiga trail
We along with Arvind, Sooraj and my Mom started to walk down the Mt.Healy trail with very brave heart & confidence 🙂
As we progressed down the path, this was definitely a tough trail to hike. The trail conditions are very difficult and strenuous – gravel and loose rock with many huge scrambles. I would highly recommend taking the trekking poles as u’ll be going though many steep downgrade in some areas. This is a 4.6 mile roundtrip and takes like 3 hours to complete the entire stretch. It’s a 1700 ft elevation, very steep that Mom and Arvind can do only quarter mile and turned back to the visitor center. Gayathri, Mani & I went upto 1.3 mile and stopped at a rest point before taking the last stretch to the Mt.Healy overlook.
We could not go further beyond this point and decided to head back. Karthik and Sooraj were the only brave hearts who attempted to climb all the way up to the point. This trail when compared to Savage Alpine trail is about the same distance and elevation but so much better engineered with nice rock steps and easy to climb. The chances of getting injured is also very less in the Savage Alpine trail.
Another blocker in the Mt.Healy trail was the mosquitos
Inspite of the mosquito repellent spray all over the body, our hands were busy all the time dusting the mosquitoes.
Later in the evening we watched the ranger guided dog sled demo. Before the demo, we got a chance to pet the dogs. Arvind & Jay who were the dog lovers were so happy to pet them and snapped many pictures with the huskies. The sled demo was cool to watch with the huskies so excited & very much looking forward to ride the sled in front of the audience.
It was close to 5.30 PM in Denali and all of us were ready to get on to our next destination to Fairbanks. Fairbanks is a 2.5 hours drive from Denali and this is the next big city after Anchorage..
Will catch you all tomorrow about our North pole and other Fairbank activities…