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Denali National Park

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Lodge  
*  Denali Bluffs Hotel was our home for the several days we were at Denali.  Located a few miles outside the park high on a hill, it was,ummm, a quaint little hotel, with a great view of the surrounding area.

*  There were 24 hours of daylight when we were there.  There was an official sunset (around midnight) and sunrise (around 4 am), but the sun never goes far enough below the horizon for darkness to occur.  That was a little strange, and it made me want to stay up round the clock (like I need any urging there, anyway).\

*  And for those of you who know everything (you all know who you are) - here's an interesting question you can ask your friends.  Wager big stakes on this one.  Where (cardinal direction) does the sun rise in the summer at this latitude?   Where does the sun set?   Hint:   It's the same direction.  Another hint:  it's not east, west, or south.   You guessed it!   North!  and North!  (look up the description of the Arctic circle if you don't believe me.)

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Hotel View
Hotel Views
Hotel midnight tan
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Sled Dogs  
*  Denali NP maintains teams of working dogs.  During the winter, the Rangers patrol the vast park using the dog teams.  In the summer, dog volunteers sign up to walk/run the dogs.  When the dogs retire, they never have trouble finding good homes for them.

*  Several times daily the park Rangers conduct demonstrations with the sled dogs.  Visitors can go to the kennels, visit with the dogs, learn a bit about the working dog program at Denali, and see a brief sled demonstration.

*  We enjoyed the demonstration very much (and so did the dogs!)  I highly recommend seeing it!

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Dog area Dogs on kennels
Kennel area where people can visit with dogs Working dogs
Husky Mom
Alaskan Husky
They have a wide variety of appearances - they are not an AKC breed and are not bred for appearance.  Here at Denali they are bred for endurance on long, bitterly cold snowy treks, and friendliness.  The dogs are park ambassadors during the summer.
Mush!
Harnessing dogs Pick me!
Putting dogs into the harness for the demonstration.  Dogs are dragged along in "2-paw drive" so the rangers can control the dogs.  All the dogs bark and jump and beg to be chosen for the demonstration.  The dog in the right hand picture was so enthusiastically jumping that his chain would yank him backwards and he was doing nearly complete back-flips.
Dog team
Ready for the big demonstration
Running Bones
Running like banshees
You can't possibly imagine the enthusiasm these dogs show for their job
Enjoying the reward
Mom Chris
It really looks realistic (with the dogs lying down chewing their bones), doesn't it?
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Glitter Gulch
* At the base of the hotel hill is a campy little tourist area that the locals call "Glitter Gulch".  It's full of souvenir shops and sightseeing tour operators. 

*  We greatly enjoyed our souvenir shopping there, and across the street at the very nice Princess Lodge, and we ate most of our meals at the Subway Sandwich and Bub's Subs.

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Glitter Gulch
Glitter Gulch
Shopping moose

It's SHOPPING MOOSE!

Tshirt
Nenana River Nenana River
View of the Nenana River (with rafts), taken from the Princess Lodge
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