Denali National Park
Denali National ParkFrom the moment you step off the Alaska Railroad at the entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve, you'll feel as if you've been transported back in time, where skyscrapers and traffic jams have been replaced by snowcapped mountain peaks and flocks of native birds. This Park defines the Alaskan Experience so be sure to include it on your Alaska cruisetour.

Towering above it all is the venerable Mt. McKinley, the highest point in all of North America. At 20,320 feet, its summit beckons more than 1,000 climbers each year who brave the elements for the chance to scale its majestic face.

A LAND UNTOUCHED BY MAN

Located 240 miles north of Anchorage, Denali encompasses 6 million acres of forests, tundra, glaciers and mountains - that's larger than the entire state of Massachusetts. Yet only 90 miles of main road traverses the park, leaving the moose, caribou, sheep and bears free to roam a wide area of land untouched by man.

BLUEBERRIES AND WILDFLOWERS

Of course, a good pair of binoculars aids the ample opportunities for animal watching, whether it is a grizzly foraging for berries or a golden eagle soaring through the crisp, clean Alaskan air. In the autumn months, a ready supply of blueberries, cranberries and crowberries keeps the wildlife active, much like the blooming wildflowers of the summer months attract shutterbugs in search of that perfect shot.

THE TUNDRA AND MULDROW GLACIER

Denali is one of the few places where visitors can come in contact with the Alaskan tundra. Meaning a "vast, rolling, treeless plain," the tundra starts at 2,500 feet and extends up and along the massive Alaska Range. Crossing a portion of the tundra is the Muldrow Glacier, which descends 16,000 feet from the upper slopes of Mt. McKinley and comes to within one mile of the park road.