denali backpacking ideas

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Carlos

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
77
so I am planning a backpacking trip to Denali in about three years. I was there last year doing day
hikes and I fell in love with the area. I have found very little information about good
backpacking areas, so I want to hear from people about what I have found and what I am interested in seeing,
since that affects what the feedback would be: I like views of glaciers and I want to backpack only two nights at the most.

I see two areas where I can go from what I barely know from the area:
(1) Polychrome glaciers in unit 8. Looks like a straighforward area to backpack in,
I guess the only thing is that you have to hike a few miles until you can set up tent so it can't be seen from the road.
But I don't know a route that is more interesting that other, or just get in, explore and see what happens.
(2) I saw a description of a route in unit 12 leaving Eielson, crossing into unit 13 via Contact and Wolverine Creeks
and then go into unit 18 for views of Muldrow Glacier.
I am not sure how long that route takes, if it is more that the 3 days that I want to backpack. I have the Waite's book and
I can see the Anderson Pass route that looks appealing (but he mentions it is difficult). I see that area is very popular.

So units like 31, 32, 33 (that I see people like a lot) are not appealing to me because I dont see glaciers to view in
those areas.
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Ben

Member
.
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
1,743
Your best resource for your questions is going to be the backcountry information center up in the park. You're going to have to talk with them anyway when you get there, since they don't reserve backpacking permits in advance. They are very knowledgeable, and super friendly whenever I've talked to them. They'll probably have the most ideas for fitting your requirements.

But if you're just looking for ideas. I've done two two night trips up there. On one of them however, I had a packraft, which made part of the trip much quicker.
You can go up the Savage, and down the Sanctuary River
https://backcountrypost.com/threads/denali-np-savage-and-sanctuary-rivers.4591/
Or up the Teklanika and down the Sanctuary
https://backcountrypost.com/threads/denali-np-teklanika-and-sanctuary-rivers.5400/

There are some nice glacier views at the headwaters of both the Sanctuary, and the Tek. The Sanctuary River is a rather long walk back to the road though, which might not leave a lot of time for checking out glaciers. Given your requirements, i might recommend just hiking up the Tek and camping out a couple nights. It has three lovely branches that could be explored. You can get there quicker if you leave the park road just west of Cathedral Mountain. Polychrome would also be a good option for you since it's as close to the road as it is. I don't know about options farther west in the park, but I'm sure the rangers at the bic would be able to recommend some thing for you there.
 

regehr

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
960
those are sweet routes, Ben!!

on a slightly different topic, if you don't want to deal with park red tape and don't mind substantial logistical difficulties, the Brooks Range is absolutely incredible.
 

Carlos

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
77
t
Your best resource for your questions is going to be the backcountry information center up in the park. You're going to have to talk with them anyway when you get there, since they don't reserve backpacking permits in advance. They are very knowledgeable, and super friendly whenever I've talked to them. They'll probably have the most ideas for fitting your requirements.

But if you're just looking for ideas. I've done two two night trips up there. On one of them however, I had a packraft, which made part of the trip much quicker.
You can go up the Savage, and down the Sanctuary River
https://backcountrypost.com/threads/denali-np-savage-and-sanctuary-rivers.4591/
Or up the Teklanika and down the Sanctuary
https://backcountrypost.com/threads/denali-np-teklanika-and-sanctuary-rivers.5400/

There are some nice glacier views at the headwaters of both the Sanctuary, and the Tek. The Sanctuary River is a rather long walk back to the road though, which might not leave a lot of time for checking out glaciers. Given your requirements, i might recommend just hiking up the Tek and camping out a couple nights. It has three lovely branches that could be explored. You can get there quicker if you leave the park road just west of Cathedral Mountain. Polychrome would also be a good option for you since it's as close to the road as it is. I don't know about options farther west in the park, but I'm sure the rangers at the bic would be able to recommend some thing for you there.
thanks for the trip report links !!!
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top