The next morning was an early one as we boarded the bus for the Tundra Wilderness Tour at 6:20 AM en route to Denali. Our guide for the day, Lisa Frederic, has been in Alaska for 30 years and is an active dog musher who has participated in the Iditarod Dog Sled competition. During the day, she shared so much fascinating information about Denali, Mt McKinley and Alaska....what an amazing tour guide! The 7.5 hour bus ride explored just a portion of the 6 million acre state park (bigger than the state of Massachusetts). We had a very lucky day as we saw about 10 Grizzley bears, Dall Sheep, falcons and the tallest point in North America....Mt McKinley that provided an incredible view the day we visited.
After the bus ride, we went on an evening ATV ride with Denali ATV Adventures into an old coal mining area near the park border where we got an aerial view of Lake Otto and the town of Healy. After we worked up an appetite, we made our way to the famous Denali Salmon Bake Restaurant where Dani greeted us with pink heart-shaped sunglasses....we loved her right away! We feasted on elk sliders (my fave), halibut tacos and a yak-a-dilla (yes, yak meat). It was all great and my apricot beer was the perfect pairing!