We are always excited to share our passion for exploring Denali National Park by bike. Here is a recent trip report from a few of our guests:
Spencer (Santa Cruz, CA)
Nathan (Santa Cruz, CA)
Ben (Denver, CO)
Friday, July 17th, 2020
We came to Denali National Park in hopes of seeing some of Alaska’s giants, but had to work through some obstacles due to the coronavirus limitations. After a series of fortunate encounters with the locals, we got the plan to experience Denali NP by bike. To get the best views of the North and South peak we set our sights on the Eielson Visitor Center as our halfway, turn-around point, which would be roughly 100 miles roundtrip. We called Brian to outfit us for the trek and instantly made a connection. He’s passionate about the park, provided key insights on what to expect during the journey, outfitted our bikes with everything we’d need from best-case to worst-case scenarios, and even set up a rack to take our bikes to the Savage River parking lot with our rental vehicle. And so, on a whim, we began our adventure into the heart of Denali. In the unfolding hours, we were blown away by the sheer beauty and grandeur before us, and every mile pushed that feeling to new heights.
The pace of biking Denali really allows time for each of these wonders to saturate, even letting the clouds and sun cast new perspectives on the mountain’s face. As we biked, we filled water from the river, talked with Park Rangers, and had some chance encounters with wildlife. Brain cautioned us that our Eielson goal (at mile marker 62) might be too heroic for a single day and that Igloo Camp (mile 34) or Polychrome Pass (mile 46) may be more tenable options for a turnaround. We made it past Polychrome (now that’s a sight!), but after 37 miles in we were getting wiped, so we headed back after hitting the Toklat River (mile 53). The seemingly never-ending daylight of Alaska in the summer kept our path light as we biked into the night. We concluded 75 miles in the park at just over 17 hours and this turned out to be our favorite experience in Alaska (which is really saying something). After this huge ride, our legs were sore, we feasted at a local cafe, and we looked over the awesome pictures we took along the way. We fell in love with Denali during the trip and already planned out our next trek: a multiple-day trip. Our next hope (and recommendation) would be to bike to Wonder Lake (mile 92), camping/hiking as much as desired along the way and then returning via the shuttle from Wonder Lake. Sometimes the best choices we make happen on a whim from a whisper in the wind.Bests,Spencer