Insider’s tip: let a ranger be your guide

07/19/2010
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There are plenty of ways to get out and explore the wilderness surrounding Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge — from horseback to bush plane, raft, ATV or even covered wagon. But the great thing about being in the midst of 146 acres of land inside Denali State Park is that the opportunities to explore begin right from the front door.

The ranger program is free to guests and offers the chance to get insider knowledge and guidance to explore Denali State Park. Now through the end of the season (Sept. 15 for the McKinley lodge), guests can participate in a series of ranger-led walks and presentations held daily. Topics range from the lifecycle of salmon to the history and culture of Alaska to information on climbing Mount McKinley. The ranger desk, located in the lobby, lists a schedule of walks and presentations for the following day and also contains brochures, animal furs, maps, park data and other items of interest. The ranger-led walks take groups down the lodge trail to a sequence of scenic lookouts, with views of the Alaska Range, Mount McKinley and the Chulitna River. Rangers will provide information about the history, flora and fauna, including some of the 131 birds that have been identified in this area. Both the walks and presentations are offered multiple times per day and generally last from 30-45 minutes. Topics vary by day so if you’re checking in for the weekend, catch more than one.

Tags: denali, McKinley