Thursday, July 28, 2011

We’ve Seen Denali’s Big Five

The weather seemed to be taking a turn for the better this morning, so we decided to take advantage of it and take one last bus ride further into the park.  As we were waiting at the bus stop at Teklanika Campground, we saw that several people from a eastbound camper bus were outside looking at something to the side of the road.  It wasn’t long before a lynx crossed the road.


About 30 minutes later the lynx crossed the road again about 100 yards west of the bus stop.


We saw another golden eagle and Ken was able to get a photo this time.


We saw numerous dall sheep again today including this one that was close to the roadside.


One of the pamphlets that we picked up about Denali National Park has a list of what they call the “Big Five” Denali mammals.  That list includes:  grizzly bears, Dall sheep, caribou, moose, and wolves.  Up until today, we had seen all but the wolves inside the park.  Here is a photo of the first one we saw down in the canyon below Polychrome.


We continued on to Toklat River rest stop.  At the bridge before turning into it, a grizzly bear was spotted in the river near the bridge.  A bear was also seen across the river from the rest stop.  This next photo is of the grizzly with her two cubs that was across from the rest stop.


While mom went back into the brush to graze, the twins had some fun playing around a bit.


This is the first of three red fox we saw today.


We saw a lot of caribou again today and this was a large one with impressive antlers.


Here is our second red fox sighting.


And this is our third red fox sighting today.  Notice how much more colorful it looks.


Here is another caribou we saw and this one had a tracking collar.


After leaving Toklat River rest stop on the return trip to our campground, the grizzly and her twins were headed to another spot.


This is the wolf we saw on the way back to camp and it had a tracking collar.


This photo blurred a little, but this big caribou was on the hillside on our return trip.


Tomorrow morning we will be leaving Denali and driving back to Talkeetna where we hope the weather improves enough for us to take the flightseeing trip on Saturday morning.

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