Palmer, AK to Denali National Park

Jinks at Snowgoose Pond B&B knows the way to my heart; she made homemade biscuits for me again. Leaving Palmer for Denali was bittersweet, and Jinks definitely holds a huge place in our hearts. The weather was gloomy as we drove north. We couldn't see anything but clouds and rain at the overlooks.

We finally reached Denali, although it's majesty eluded us. The rain finally cleared (for a bit) as we checked into the Denali Princess (which is run by Princess Cruise Line). One passerby mirrored my sentiments as she described the Denali Princess Resort as "a bad summer camp as close to the road as they could get".  I've stayed in nicer Econolodges, but I digress. The resident horticulturist does a beautiful job maintaining the grounds where I've never seen more beautiful flowers, especially the dahlias. Apparently it's combination of the long, sunny days and cooler temps that cause these blooms to flourish. 

We were excited for The Music of Denali dinner theater for which we had tickets. Even the dinner service was theatrical. Our server requested that we get her attention by swing your napkin round your head and yell, "here kitty kitty kitty!". The even cooler part: we'd met two performers in the show the week before on our Kenai Fjords tour. It was really neat to see them perform and hear their beautiful voices! I hope they make it to Broadway soon!  


Several times in the middle of the night, we were awoken by what we thought were elephants coming through the ceiling. Sadly, there were no elephants, just noisy neighbors. Up early Wednesday, we headed into Denali National Park to hike to Horseshoe Lake. What a beautiful place with beaver damns and clear water neighbored by boreal forest and tundra. 

We crossed railroad tracks on the trail which lead to the Denali train depot inside the park. 


After our hike, we decided to check out 49th State Brewing in Healy. Mom and I became addicted to the caramel jalapeño popcorn they serve as bar snacks. The beer is really good, but I'd go back just for this popcorn. The ambiance is really neat too with an old bus like Into the Wild. 

Back at the Denali Princess, I ran into a lady from Charleston, SC who saw our SC license plates. Small world. I headed back for a nap where a line dance proceeded to commence upstairs. Decidedly, we were hungry we headed to the little pizza shop where we ran into Nancy from SC again and her friend Moni from Juneau. We had dinner with them which was lovely!!! 

After dinner, mom and I were again entertained by the line dancing elephants bowling upstairs. Luckily, it's our last night here at the Princess.  

  • Days 41 & 42 stats: 238 miles, 0 (new) states, 1 NPS, 77 Subarus.  
  • Running stats: 7,261 miles, 13 States, 30 NPS, 2,739 Subarus.