Our True Alaskan Experience in 10 Easy Steps!

August 09, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Denali Highway EastwardDenali Highway EastwardA view of the mountains and gravel road of the Denali Highway Rt8, Alaska

Last week we had our true Alaskan experience and here's how we did it in 10 easy steps.
 
1. Drive 90 miles down a gravel road into the heart of the backcountry. This is State Rt8, the Denali Hwy, which actually is a main secondary road.
 
Alaska Range ViewAlaska Range ViewAn Alaska Range view of Mount Deborah and Hess and the Susitna River Valley.
2. Encounter breathtaking views, glaciers, mountains and rivers.
 
Maclaren River Lodge SignMaclaren River Lodge SignMaclaren River Lodge Sign
3. Arrive at the Maclaren River Lodge (in the middle of nowhere).
 
John & Marie, Maclaren RiverJohn & Marie, Maclaren RiverJohn & Marie Levandoski on a john boat with camping gear on the Maclaren River in Alaska.
4. Hire a jon boat to take you, your camping gear and kayaks 10 miles up river (more nowhere!) to a remote backcountry wilderness camp.
 
Maclaren Backcountry CampMaclaren Backcountry CampThe Maclaren River Lodge backcountry camp.
5. Pick a tent and move in.
 
Mount Maclaren And GlacierMount Maclaren And GlacierView of snow covered Mount Maclaren and the Maclaren glacier from 5 miles away.
6. Enjoy your surroundings and the view of Mount Maclaren and the Maclaren Glacier. It's a five mile hike to the glacier.
 
Community Tent, Maclaren Backcountry CampCommunity Tent, Maclaren Backcountry CampA community tent at the Maclaren Lodge Backcountry Camp, Alaska.
7. Visit the community tent.
 
Outhouse With A ViewOuthouse With A ViewThe outhouse with a great view of Mount Maclaren and the glacier at the Maclaren Lodge Backcountry Camp, Alaska.
8. Check out the outhouse with a view.
 
Maclaren CampfireMaclaren CampfireA campfire in the Maclaren fire ring in their backcountry camp, Alaska.
9. Relax around the evening campfire. Yes, this is an evening photo. Remember it doesn't get dark up here in the summer!
 
Marie Kayaking The Maclaren RiverMarie Kayaking The Maclaren RiverMarie kayaks the glacier fed Maclaren River in Alaska with jet rocket contrails in the sky.
10. The next day kayak the river back to the lodge! The Maclaren River is glacial fed. All the water comes from the melting glacier. It is cold and very dense with silt. It is also fast moving, about 5-6 miles / hour. It is not deep and braided, meaning it branches out into many little fingers or braids. Avoid the sand bars if you can but getting stuck just happens.
 
The rocket contrails in the sky are from the air force jets. They practice here and when they break the sound barrier there is a loud Ba-boom! The first one is scary.
 
Back at the lodge we had lunch and then started back on the 90 mile gravel road back to our little patch of civilization, which we thought was in the middle of nowhere before this Alaska camping and kayaking trip .
 
Thanks for being here!
 
Photo info: Nikon D7000, Nikon 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 lens, all handheld.
 
Photos of Marie and I and Marie on the river: iPhone 6S.
 

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