hiking suggestions for Denali

Carlos

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
Hi,

I just returned from Denali and I LOVE IT. I need suggestions for off trail day hikes (4-5 hours).

Let me list what I have done already:
(1) took the bus all the way to Eielson, hiked up the Thoro Ridge path and then hiked off trail (there was a social trail in some parts) towards Thoro Mountain. It was very cloudy so I couldnt see where I was going. I stopped at a dall sheep trail that was getting into a steep part of the hill.
(2) Hiked Tattler creek all the way to a path towards Sable Mountain. There is a drainage coming from Sable that intercepts the creek, I went up that drainage and then found a hill to cross so I could take a view of the Polychrome mountains. It was very windy and cloudy, but the views were amazing. Didnt make it to Sable.
(3) Got off at Highway Pass and hiked in that alluvial flow areas, climbed a couple of hills, bushwacked to Stony Hill overlook (where the hike was ended by a GIGANTIC mama bear).
(4) got off the bus at Thorofare Pass and hiked the hills in from of it and hiked towards Eielson until I could not get closer (I was alone and I had to go down and up some ravines).

From what I saw from the bus, this looks appealing to me:
(1) hike the Sable closure area on the road (I know I cant get in). Maybe get off the bus at the Est Fork and hike the whole closure area.
(2) I LOVED Polychrome, but I couldnt see a way to get down. Maybe there is a more level area once the bus goes past Polychrome Pass (towards Eielson) and I can use it to get there.
(3) Divide Mountain looks like a good place to hike near a river. Maybe hike all around it ?
(4) Look at Stony Hill and Stony Dome, but they dont sound appealing to climb.



Any suggestions, please ? Again, 4 to 5 hours, since my plan is to get on the early buses, hike and then catch the few last buses.



Another bus trip, but got out 3 miles from Eielson and hikes for 4 hours in the hills in the area, getting close to Eielson. Ran up larger hills, stopped to admire the clear Denali mountain coming out (it came out completely view for hours, what a monster of a mountain) and then a herd of

caribou ran past me, less than 50 yards. AMAZING.
 

Outdoor_Fool

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Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
1,817
Primrose Ridge between Sanctuary and Savage Rivers is a good one.
Mount Healy.
Go up Savage River from the Ranger Booth.
Hike around Cathedral Mountain.
About a mile and a half past (west of) the bathrooms on Polychrome, hike north down the drainage to the East Fork then loop back up the East Fork.
Hike South from Toklat Rest Stop along west bank of Toklat River. Go up river a few miles then cross over unnamed ridge to Highway Pass.
Should fill a few days.
 

Carlos

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
"About a mile and a half past (west of) the bathrooms on Polychrome, hike north down the drainage to the East Fork then loop back up the East Fork." .......... you meant to say "rest stop" and not "bathrooms", right ? Is this a route north of the pass ? I am trying to see how I can get in the valley that is between the pass and the mountains to the south. All I could think of is stay on the bus after the pass (going to Eielson) and ask the bus driver to find an area that is level enough for me to hike down safely.

"Hike South from Toklat Rest Stop along west bank of Toklat River. Go up river a few miles then cross over unnamed ridge to Highway Pass." ....... that sounds appealing, so there is a way to get to Highway Pass from Toklat river. I will have to take a look at the topo maps and see if I can find that ridge. Thanks.
 

Outdoor_Fool

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Dec 11, 2015
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Last time I was on Polychrome (last August), there were Port-A-Potties along the road at the pullout. West of that, there's little pond (not visible) 1/10 mile north of the road that heads a small drainage running off NE to the East Fork.

Once you are within a couple miles of the Toklat R, the terrain flattens out enough to hike down to the river and it's many channels. This begins even before you cross Polychrome Pass (as shown on the topos).
 

Ben

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Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
1,873
I'd recommend going and talking to the staff at the backcountry permit center, even though you don't need a permit for the day hiking. I've always found them very helpful, and they can probably answer your questions better than any one here except OutdoorFool.
 

Carlos

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
I'd recommend going and talking to the staff at the backcountry permit center, even though you don't need a permit for the day hiking. I've always found them very helpful, and they can probably answer your questions better than any one here except OutdoorFool.
i agree completely, that is how I found out about the Highway Pass route that I used last time. I asked a ranger at Eielson center.
 
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