Walking the ridgeline
Heading over the saddle to mellower terrain
Dylan heading down to McGinnis Creek
Sunday, we travelled up the McGinnis Glacier east fork and then over a few passes until we dropped down to the Trident Glacier. We crossed the Trident and then traveled about 2 miles down glacier to a fabulously flat, open, and beautiful creek bed where we camped. This was a pretty big day full of changing terrain, but incredible and vast country. We started out bluebird, but the rain rolled in late afternoon. Thankfully it was dry during our boulder-hopping times!
Tuesday, we walked up the East Fork Little Delta River to the toe of the Gillam Glacier and over to Buchanan Creek. The sun came out at the Gillam and we were overwhelmed by the scale, beauty, and uniqueness of the area. I think this was one of my favorite places on the trip!
Thursday, we descended yet another great creek to the Wood River where we were able to float for about 6 miles. We also found some great trails on the way to the Wood that made travel super easy and fun. It was an incredibly beautiful day as well, that made napping a great idea!!! From the Wood, we followed a series of amazing game trails up Big Grizzley Creek before camping in the upper vally just below the pass.
Dylan on the way down the next unnamed creek . . .
At the base of the creek as we're about to float the Wood River - with the amazingly warm sunshine, napping became my new favorite hobby.
Floating the Wood River - so nice to be off our feet, and an incredibly beautiful day!
Welcome to bliss!
Repacking gear, thankful for the sunshine to dry wet things out!!
We saw a lot of wolf sign, but no wolves. This was one of the larger tracks we saw.
Then we headed up Big Grizzley Creek where we were greeted with more amazing mountains with insane ski terrain :-)
Upper Grizzley Creek did not disappoint . . .
Friday we hiked over the pass to Edgar Creek, crossed a huge valley and dropped down through the brush to the Yanert River. We floated about 25 miles in the Yanert in ~4 hours, and took out just downstream of Moose Creek. From there, we walked 8ish miles on ATV trail to the airstrip in McKinley Village and a 4th of July bonfire :-)
Hiking out of Big Grizzley Creek
Dropping into Edgar Creek with our caribou friends
Me with the Yanert Valley in the background . . . what a way to end the trip!
Finally at the Yanert after about 2 hours of brushy travel - not too bad, all things considering! Getting in the river under bright sunshine was so amazing! We got some rain on the float, but nothing to complain about!
It's great to know people throughout Alaska to help with trip logistics and provide a smiling face at the end of a trip. My coworker Bob happens to be one of those amazing people, so he picked us up at about midnight and took us back to civilization :-) The next morning we had a huge breakfast and used his place to sort and dry gear before completing the second highway-to-highway by riding the Denali Highway from Cantwell to Paxson over the following two days . . . stay tuned for that story . . .