We checked out of our B&B in Anchorage in the morning, and started our 4 hour drive towards Denali National Park. The drive was supposed to be scenic, but because of the rain, we couldn’t see much of the scenery. We stopped at the town of Talkeetna for lunch at Talkeetna Roadhouse, upon recommendation by our Lonely Planet book. It was really good veggie options, including a vegetarian chilli, sandwiches, soups, and savory pies. The place was packed, more so since it was raining outside.
After lunch, we checked out the river bank in Talkeetna. You were supposed to get a view of the Denali mountain from here, but not with these clouds…
We jumped back in our car and continued the remaining drive towards Denali National Park. The rain started to let up closer to the park, and the mountains started appearing, covered in mist.
We first drove to our hotel for the next two nights, Denali Park Hotel. The room was spacious, and clean. After dropping our luggage off, we quickly drove to the national park and wanted to get some hiking in. We chose the horseshoe trail since that was closest to the entrance. This was a 1 hour hike into the forest, with views of a horseshoe shaped lake, ending at the lake.
The forest had a very mossy appearance, and was quite different from the forests we’re used to on the east coast. After walking up and down for an hour, we were at the lake. The water was still, and reflected the trees around it. The trail continued around the lake, and we walked along some of it.
Around mid-way back, the trail ran along the Talkeetna river.
It was around 7pm by the time we finished the train, and we were all ready for dinner. There weren’t too many restaurants in the small town of Denali, but we managed to find a Thai place that had vegetarian food (there were also pizzerias, but I wasn’t in the mood for pizza, and Baby V loves rice). There was also a grocery store in Denali where we stocked up on bread, milk, and yogurt. Luckily, our room had a fridge.
We crashed after dinner, since this had been a long day, and we had another long day ahead of us tomorrow.