Denali Grizzly

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Denali, Photos, Travel 11 Comments

Grizzly Bear, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Grizzly Bear, Denali National Park, Alaska.

We are back from a really fun trip to Denali National Park.  We saw lots of wolves, bears, moose with calves, wildflowers and all kinds of weather – perfect!  I will be sharing more in the upcoming days.

Typically in early June, the landscape is still very brown with gullies still full of snow – it gives the park a zebra kind of look.  Not this year – Denali was incredibly green and we found all kinds of wildflowers – it was beautiful.  I thought it was at least 2 weeks ahead of schedule.  A ranger who lives in the area year around told us that many of the wildflowers were actually 3 weeks early.  So in the desert this spring they were 3 weeks late, here 3 weeks early – crazy stuff.

In the top photo is a sow with an approximately two year old cub.  We started watching them a long distance away.  At one point the sow playfully chased the cub right at us – I couldn’t roll the windows up fast enough!  They seem oblivious to vehicles and buses and hung around us feeding and interacting for a wonderful hour.  Below is a much more distant bear – notice how green it is.

Grizzly Bear near Polychrome Pass, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Grizzly Bear near Polychrome Pass, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Comments 11

  1. Post

    Thanks Ine.

    I was 14.6 meters away using a large telephoto with a 1.4 x converter. I would never approach a bear in Denali anywhere near this close – I was in a vehicle along the road with buses on either side of me, and the bears slowly worked their way up and around us. I actually rolled up the windows just to be on the safe side.

  2. Hoorah! You are back in one of my favourite places — lovely to see yor pictures . I love the bear.

  3. Interesting changes in just a few days. We traveled in the park May 18 to 20. I had to look for colour then. I believe that’s a phrase you used on a post shortly before then, which inspired me to find the small flowers that were showing up. While doing that though, my wife had to yell at me to get back to the road as there was a lynx just ahead.

    Now that I’ve been through some of the popular spots, I’ll be watching for your take on them. I want to get to know Denali and Seward through other times of the year, and your lens has been a good way to do that. We just did our trip of a lifetime, and weren’t disappointed. I’d love to go back.

  4. I love reading bear books, and I actually just read something about mom bears with cubs that try to feed very close to the road. Mainly because most grizzlies that live by themselves are affraid of people and won’t threaten mommy bear with her cubs while they are that close to the road.

  5. You’re getting me excited for my Denali trip in a couple of weeks. But I don’t want to see the bears from that close while I’m hiking!

  6. Ron, were you able to take your own vehicle into the park? If so, did you have one of the artists’ passes? When I was there about 3 years ago you had to go in by bus or walk/bicycle.

  7. Post

    Thanks a lot everyone!

    OmarF – that is great you were able to see a lynx! There have been a fair number of sightings of this rare animal this year, but I didn’t see any.

    Ine – that makes sense and is similar to what coyotes do in Yellowstone to avoid wolves.

    Scott – I agree.

    Ron R Yes I was able to obtain a pro pass to drive into the park – it is a wonderful honor. We have done many bus / walk / bike trips into Denali, that can be just as fun if the weather is nice. Being on foot or a bike forces you to slow down and really work an area – that can be productive.


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