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(Continued from the previous page.)

I stayed left of the main river channel the whole time, although the water didn't look more than knee deep. It was running quite fast and I had plenty to inspect on the campground side of the river.

Near the beginning of the hike I avoided these smaller channels by getting on a nearby trail through the low trees and shrubs for a couple hundred feet . . .

. . . but later on I just walked through or jumped across some of the little channels so I could get closer to the main one.

Sometimes the main channel was obvious from where I was walking:

Sometimes there were so many "braids" that it was harder to see where the main channel flowed:

Although I took photos both ahead of me to the south and west (as in the photo above) and behind me to the northeast, I think the better views were the direction I was going. The mountains (Alaska Range) were higher and more colorful to the south and west.

The next photos are approaching the bridge. One of the more colorful mountains in this area is southwest of the bridge:


As I approached the bridge I could see the road better from the river. In the next picture a tan tour bus is heading toward the Teklanika River rest area, which I'll show in a little bit:

Most of the time I couldn't see the road from the riverbed.

When I reached the bridge I climbed up to the road, then back down the other side. I could have just as easily walked under it on the rocks.

This is a view on the other side. I walked only about a quarter of a mile past the bridge:

Itís too bad Cody canít go with me on hikes like this but dogs arenít allowed on trails in all or most national parks. He would have loved all the braids of water today.

I recommend a hike along the Teklanika riverbed if you're ever in this area of Denali.


After I saw Jim at the bridge I returned to the campground by walking about two miles on the road.

Cody could have gone on that part of this hike with me, although it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun as along the river (I didn't like it as much, either). Dogs are allowed on all the park roads and in the campground loops.

Jim took this picture of me as I walked up the road from the riverbed . . .

. . . and I got this shot of him in the distance as he rode up the hill.  The river is down to the left.

I walked uphill from the river to the large Teklanika River rest area where shuttle and tour buses routinely stop outbound and/or inbound so people can 1) use the nice restrooms after riding 30 miles from the Wilderness Access Center and 2) read the interpretive panels about the river and view it from a large deck.

I took these pictures in the mile up to the rest area:

Sometimes the views are better behind me.

Above and below:  colorful fireweeds along the roadside frame the riverbed.

My curiosity about the overlook at the rest area was what prompted me to hike back via the road instead of the riverbed so I took several photos of the place.

Fortunately there weren't very many people there when I arrived and by the time I left, the tour bus was gone, too.




The views from the deck are very similar to the ones I took from the road.

One of the interpretive panels described how nomadic hunters watched for mammoths, bison, and caribou from ridges like this 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Herds of elk, caribou, and other wildlife still tend to follow the river corridors in Denali National Park.

While the hunters waited for game to appear they made knives and sharpened and repaired their weapons on the hillsides.

Archaeologists have unearthed some spear points, chipped blades, and stone-cutting holders in this area that were used by people who came here across the Bering Land Bridge while what is now Russia was still connected to what is now Alaska.

I still had about a mile to walk to the entrance to the campground along the road. It was nice not having any vehicles pass me. That's also a big reason Jim loves this road for cycling -- minimal traffic.


Approaching Teklanika Rive Campground from the west

Bus stop next to entrance to our campground; that's where we'll board a shuttle bus in the morning.

I enjoyed that hike. I'm completely in love with Denali National Park after four days -- and we haven't even had any superlative views of The High One from inside the park yet!

Next entry:  our first shuttle bus ride into the interior of the park -- amazing views of Denali + lots of big wildlife and other fascinating scenery (includes information about why a Tek Pass is very desirable if you plan to camp inside the park)

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the ultra Lab

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© 2012 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil