Fairbanks has been in a haze, and at times a bit hard to breathe due to the forest fires burning in Alaska. The fire hazard is already extreme here. A lightning storm that came through a week ago has caused a chain of fires.
It’s time to go south to get out of the worst of the smoke. One of the fires is burning close to the highway, so that means the smoke will get worse before it gets better.
Fortunately the air cleared before we got to Denali National Park. There were no campsites available in the park at all, but we managed to book one night in a highway side RV park close to the park. Nothing else was available anywhere.
Denali National Park is extremely commercial, with resorts, souvenir shops, busses and pretty much anything a tourist would want to do. The park is a beautiful and large piece of wilderness, but for us it was just more mountains. We drove as far as Savage Creek, did a little mountain view hike, then took in the sled dog presentation. Denali was barely visible in the distance, and we were told that only 30 percent of visitors even get to see the mountain.
The next day we headed south to Anchorage. It was a perfect cloud free day, and the view of Denali from south of the national park was sensational! Denali makes all the surrounding high mountains look like hills.
It was just a short drive into Anchorage without the trailer to have a look around downtown. The trolley tour was a great way to quickly see a few sites in the city. The devastation from the 1964 earthquake was unbelievable. Some places in the city dropped 30 feet during the 4 minutes of shaking. Anchorage is a clean and beautiful city. With the mountains in the background we could easily be in Vancouver. The feeling was very similar.
After a long day on the road, we camped near Anchorage in Eagle River State Park. Nice paved sites, and dry camping. A little bit of privacy after a stretch of RV parks.
We would have liked to stay longer, but the winds of change are moving us along. Smoke is forecast to start heading south in the coming days, and have to go northeast before we go east, so we’re likely to end up back in the smoke for a bit.
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