Denali - Toklat River backpack part 2

After my afternoon hike to the pass behind Divide Mountain, I returned to camp and after a while made my dinner. The rules for backpacking in Denali require that you cook at least 100 yards from your tent, and store your 3 pound BRFC (bear resistant food canister) at least 100 yeards from both - the 100 yard triangle rule.

As I was finishing up dinner, I had a visitor scamper through my camp.

This red fox ran just by me and up this small hill less than 100 yards away and stood there and watched me.

After the thrill of that visit, I cleaned up from dinner and prepared to carry my brfc to its nightime storage location. When I looked there, I saw another visitor.

This large grizzly, more tan in color than brown, was not paying much attention to me. First thing I did was to set the food down. She had a cub as well.

watch a five second (3.5 MB) video of these bears.

I walked slowly and calmly back to my tent and watched them. The cub did stand up on its hind legs to get a good look at me, but momma bear never seemed to notice. She later walked right by the food canister and paid it no attention. After a while, they had wandered away and rain moved in for the evening, so I got in my tent to read and later go to sleep. In the morning, the sun came up on a bright and clear day with a tad of snow up high.

In this shot, the sun is rising on Polychrome Mountain, back where the park road is.

After a leisurely morning with a couple cups of coffee and reconstituted granola and blueberries, I headed up this ridge to get to the pass.

On the way I saw this ptarmigan. I saw them many times, and they were not scared away by people.

And there was a mixture of tundra on the way.

It was windier than the previous day when I visited, so I spent some time trying to scout for a place that would have some shelter from the wind. When I was near the ridge, I walked up to it and was surprised that I could see Demali from this location over the ridges.


This is looking up the valley of the west branch of the Toklat River ion the same direction.

Another tundra color shot.

And two more ptarmigan.

Here is my camp near the lake on the pass, at about 4100 feet in altitude.

Later, I went back up to the same ridge. Denali was now hidden in clouds. Instead, I startled a couple of other local residents. These Dall Sheep checked me out and then ran away. I got a good 45 second of them as well

And there was this mountain squirrel.

Here is a closeup of camp.

And just a few minutes later, the Dall sheep had gone a long way.

Continue to Toklat River backpack part 3