Finally got to spend a couple nights Denali's Wilderness! The days are super long right now, so we can start hiking whenever. It takes a little getting used to, but pretty cool that you don't need to carry a head lamp.
We caught an evening bus after dinner and started our hike around 8pm. We headed out along the creek north of the road.
After a few miles the valley opened up and we found a great place to pitch our tents for the weekend. It even came with a decent view of Denali.
The next day we woke up and explored around the area. We found a giant glacial erratic, took a tundra nap, saw some harlequins, and then climbed a small hill to get some views of the valley. Not a bad first trip!
Trip notes: this was the first time I backcountry camped without a designated camp spot. It comes with pros and cons. Having a smaller group makes it easier to find spots, but not knowing how far you have to travel to find a spot can be a challenge if you have a long travel day. We also had great weather. If it's pouring, it's a another problem you have to solve. Anyway, I had a blast and I can't wait for the next trip!
Disclaimer: Denali is a trail-less Wilderness. These maps are approximations of our routes. Please don't take this blog and map to the Denali Backcountry Information Center and say, "I wan't to do this exact trip." They will take good care of you like they did for us. Thanks!