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Denali National Park


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*  We spent our middle day at Denali puttering around, exploring the areas and trails around the main Visitor Center.  We walked the trails down to the “Wilderness Access Center” (the place where the buses into the park depart), and watched an interesting movie in the Visitor Center.

* The forests at Denali are part of the boreal forest.  The boreal forests ring the regions immediately south of the Arctic Circle as a nearly continuous belt of coniferous trees that accounts for about one third of the planet's total forest area. 

Map of Central Denali Area

* Known in Russia as the taiga, the boreal forest has relatively few species, being composed mainly of spruces, firs, and conifers, with a smattering of deciduous trees, mostly along waterways. The boreal forest lies between the summer and winter positions of the arctic front.   Also characteristic of the boreal forest are innumerable water bodies: bogs, marshes, shallow lakes, rivers and wetlands, mixed in among the forest and holding a vast amount of water.

* Boreal Forest  
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Denali Visitor Center Forest
Denali NP Visitor Center Boreal forest near the Visitor Center
Forest Chris
Boreal Forest Waiting for a bus
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* I’m particularly fascinated by the various tiny plants and flowers – probably because they aren’t like anything at home.  

* Many of these plants are “forbs”.  This category includes those plant species people think of as "wildflowers" such as goldenrod, gentian, fireweed, forget-me-not, larkspur, lupine, monkshood, poppies, and violets.  This is the most species-rich group of plants in the Denali National Park flora.  

* The families with the largest numbers of forbs in the Denali National Park flora are Aster family (59 species), Mustard family (45 species), Buttercup family (32 species), Pink family (31 species), and Saxifrage family (31 species).

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Forget-me-Not Large flowering wintergreen
Alaska State Flower - the Forget-me-Not Large flowering wintergreen
Fungus Lichens
Fungus Lichens (a collaboration of fungus and algae)
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. . .
Bluebonnet Bluebonnet Bluebonnet
Lupines (known as Bluebonnets in Texas!)
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. .
Plant Plant
Labrador Tea Plants
Labrador Tea ?
Cones and lichen White flower
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