The world of National Park hiking gets a little (okay, a lot!) more difficult when Alaska comes into the equation. Photographs of awe-inspiring parks like Gates of the Arctic, Wrangell-St. Elias, (pictured) and Kenai Fjords make a hiker salivate:
But only a handful of the parks in Alaska are easily accessible to an average Jane, like me.
In my quest to hike all 59 National Parks in the U.S. Denali is the only park in Alaska I’ve conquered. This picture is actually a bit of a cheater, but it’s one of my favorites from my second trip to the 49th state:
I booked a Mt. McKinley fly-over out of Talkeetna, and the pilot landed in a natural amphitheater. Notice the glacier boots! Okay, I didn’t actually summit McKinley (and have no desire to!) but it’s a great memory, and it is part of Denali, which I spent three days hiking at a considerably lower elevation!