"Reflection Pond" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Denali

Denali with Kids

brochure Denali - Denali with Kids
Denali with Kids Family Fun Travel Guide Denali National Park and Preserve Denali with Kids Credits Family Fun Travel Guide Author: Kris Capps Denali National Park and Preserve Editors: Jill Bruebaker, Ellen Grover and Sierra Mclane Layout and Design: Ellen Grover and Debbie Whitecar Inspiration and Oversight: Christie Denzel Anastasia, Kristen Friesen, Philip Hooge, Shelli Huls, Sierra McLane, Ingrid Nixon and Lisa Oakley Many thanks to the families who provided photographs, quotes, and inspiration for sharing Denali with others. May children everywhere get to experience special outdoor places. Front Cover: Family Photo This guide was produced by the National Park Service and Alaska Geographic working in partnership though the Murie Science and Learning Center. NPS Photo Produced in 2015 Contents How To Use This Book 6 Entrance Area, Trails, and Park Road 8 Planning Your Trip 12 Before You Go 12 Frequently Asked Questions 14 Parent Information 16 Experience Denali: Information 19 Experience Denali: Camping 23 Backcountry Camping 25 Leave No Trace 27 Experience Denali: Hiking 29 Hiking Checklist 29 Bear Safety 31 Experience Denali: Biking 33 Biking Checklist 33 Experience Denali: By Bus 35 Bus Checklist 35 Which Bus? 36 Bus Etiquette 37 Car Seat 38 4 Family Fun in the Entrance Area 41 Denali Visitor Center 41 Murie Science and Learning Center 44 Denali Sled Dog Kennel 46 Camping in the Entrance Area 48 Hiking in the Entrance Area 50 Biking in the Entrance Area 56 Family Fun in the Savage River Area 58 Camping in the Savage River Area 58 Hiking in the Savage River Area 60 Biking in the Savage River Area 62 Family Fun Beyond Mile 15 65 Camping Beyond Mile 15 65 Hiking Beyond Mile 15 66 Biking Beyond Mile 15 68 Family Fun at Eielson 71 Eielson Visitor Center 71 Hiking at Eielson 72 Family Fun at Wonder Lake 75 Camping at Wonder Lake 75 Extending your Visit 79 Visit Talkeetna 81 Staying Connected 82 How To Use This Book There are also Parent Information sections featured throughout the guide, offering tips on everything from bathroom breaks to food and picnic areas. Explore the resources listed in the Extending Your Visit and Staying Connected sections at the back of the book where you’ll find ideas to keep your Denali adventure alive after you arrive home. Whether you’ve already reached the park or you’re dreaming about a trip, we’ve compiled some important tips to consider as you prepare to explore Denali with your kids. The first two sections of the book focus on trip planning and should be read before you arrive. • • Planning Your Trip answers many of the most frequently asked questions and offers important parental details to consider before you arrive. Experience Denali presents a good overview of the park and what to expect if you plan to camp, hike, bike or ride the bus while you are here. The second part of the book leads you to the Family Fun you can have in Denali. This is where you’ll learn where to camp, the best trails for hiking or biking, and what to see and do in each area of the park. The section is divided into five areas, moving further into the park as you go: the Entrance Area, Savage River, Beyond Mile 15, Eielson, and Wonder Lake. We want you to travel smart and have fun. To enhance your experience, take this book along with you so you won’t forget to talk about the special call-out features. Science facts so you can learn all about the park. Fun facts that kids will love. Specially written with kids in mind. Hint Important tips for adults traveling with kids. 6 NPS Photo / Nathan Kostegian Entrance Area, Trails, and Park Road 8 9 D enali National Park and Preserve is a vast wilderness in the Alaskan Interior. Here, visitors are encouraged to forge their own paths through wilderness and to make their own discoveries. The only thing more exciting than seeing a grizzly bear or moose in the wild is being there when your child experiences that special moment. Whether your child is five or twelve, the memories made here will linger forever. Spending time in the wilderness is an experience that can shape the life of a child and a family. Today’s children spend more time in front of televisions and computer screens than in their backyards. In a groundbreaking book called Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv describes how our children are less connected to the natural world than at any other time in history. The implications of this, particularly for their physical and mental health, are immense. Exposure to nature is essential to healthy childhood development. the chance to unplug and explore a vast wilderness offering endless opportunities. Denali with Kids is intended for anyone responsible for planning activities in and around Denali for children ages 0-12. It is primarily intended for independent travelers who set their own itineraries, and focuses on the summer and shoulder seasons. The book offers suggestions for hikes, special spots to explore, and kid-friendly ways to experience Denali. You’ll find suggestions for planning your trip, what kind of gear to bring, important safety information, and ideas for family-friendly hiking, biking, transportation, and camping. Like the wilderness here, the choices are vast. Once you arrive, make the Denali Visitor Center your first stop before starting any activity. Information and schedules change, so take the time to check in with us before you and your little ones head out to explore nature at its finest. The wilderness of Denali can provide an extraordinary experience that lasts a lifetime. Remember how free it feels to run through a field or a patch of woods? Imagine having six million acres to explore. Denali National Park and Preserve offers children and families Family Photo 11 Planning Your Trip All trips involve careful planning. When traveling with kids, that careful planning can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and a disaster. Whether you’ve already reached the park entrance area or you’re dreaming about a trip, we’ve compiled some important tips to consider as you prepare to explore Denali with your kids. If you don’t find your answer here, explore the resources listed on page 82 or talk to a park ranger at one of our visitor centers.. Parent Information Medical Denali is home to Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America at 20,320 feet. Native Athabascan people call the mountain Denali, which means the “High One.” The closest physicians and hospitals are in Fairbanks, 120 miles away. For emergency care one mile north of the park in summer, contact Canyon Clinic at 907-683-4433. Emergency: Dial 911 Report emergencies to park rangers, campground hosts, or bus drivers. Before you go Banks Your stay The closest bank is in Healy, 13 miles north of the park entrance. ATMs are located one mile north of the entrance at area businesses. There are many decisions to make before your trip. One of the most important is deciding how long you will have at the park to explore. Some visitors come for only half a day, some for several days, and still others for a week or more. It’s a long way to Denali even if you are already in Alaska, so make sure you allow enough time to relax and enjoy the experience. Check out the suggestions below to help plan your trip. If you have 1 day Stick to the entrance area and visit the Denali Visitor Center and the sled dog kennels. Hike one of the entrace area trails and camp at Riley Creek Campground. If you have 2-3 days Explore the entrance area! Visit the sled dog kennels, and then take the free shuttle to Savage River and hike around. Spend one full day on the bus past mile 15, and exploring stops along the way. Fuel In summer there is a gas station one mile north of the park. Year-round gas stations are also located 13 miles north in Healy and 30 miles south in Cantwell. If you have more than 3 days Explore the entrance area, then camp at Savage River or Teklanika and take the shuttle bus to Eielson or Wonder Lake. Grocery, Laundry, Showers These essentials can be found at the Riley Creek Mercantile, adjacent to Riley Creek Campground. Lost & Found 12 Contact a ranger or call 907-683-9275. More than 400,000 visitors make their way to Denali each year. NPS Photo / Charlotte Bodak 13 Frequently Asked Questions How far is it to the park? • • • • From Anchorage: 237 miles, 5 hours by car, 7.5 hours by train From Fairbanks: 120 miles, 2 hours by car, 4 hours by train From Talkeetna: 137 miles, 2 hours by car, 4.5 hours by train From Seward: 363 miles, 7 hours by car, 11.5 hours by train When to come? Most people visit Denali during the summer season or the shoulder seasons. The summer season lasts from roughly mid-May through mid-September. The shoulder seasons runs for a few weeks before and after the summer season. Summer is the time when most visitors come to Denali and when the widest variety of services and activities are possible. How long should we stay? Should we visit in the shoulder seasons? The benefit is you have more of the park to yourself and you might be able to drive your own vehicle partway into the park—a plus if traveling with young kids. In spring you can bike on the park road without much if any traffic going by. In the fall, you can apply for a Road Lottery permit (see page 69) to drive your own vehicle into the park right after the summer season ends in September. That depends on your plans and sense of adventure. You can find advice for making the most of your visit in a day or several days in the park newspaper, the Alpenglow. Pick up a copy of the Alpenglow or read it online at the parks website, www.nps.gov/dena 14 Where can we sleep? There are no hotels inside the park, only campgrounds. Accommodations can be found in Healy, Cantwell, and along the George Parks Highway. For hotel information, contact the Denali Chamber of Commerce at 907-683-4636. What about bears? Denali has lots of bears—both black bears and grizzlies. If you are lucky, you will see one. Our bears are wild, but sometimes they wander into campgrounds, onto trails, and along the roads. Most of the time, bears will run the other way when they see you. The best way to keep your family safe and to enjoy your visit is to learn how to act around bears. Talk to a ranger about bear safety before you and your family head into the park. See page 31 for more information on bear safety. Should we make reservations in advance? Yes. For camping and bus reservations, visit www.reservedenali.com or call 1-800-622-7275. How much does it cost? Check the park website for current pricing, but here is a sampling of fees. • Entrance: $10 per person (good for 7 days), ages 15 and under are free. • Shuttle Buses: $27-55 (depending on destination), ages 15 and under are free. • Camping: $15-30 per night, depending on site and tent/RV. What’s the weather like? Like the rest of Alaska, weather in Denali is extremely variable. Rangers tell visitors to expect sun, wind, rain, clouds—and even snow—all on the same day! Average summer temperatures range from 33 to 75o F. 15 Parent Information Bathrooms Restroom facilities are located throughout the entrance area at the Denali Visitor Center, the Wilderness Access Center, the Murie Science and Learning Center, Riley Creek Campground, and at the Riley Creek Mercantile. Buses along the Park Road stop about every 90 minutes for a bathroom break. Food • Pets are not allowed on most park trails, on the bus, or in the backcountry. They may be walked on the road and the Roadside Trail, but must be on a leash at all times. Pets must never be left unattended. Pet boarding facilities are available near the park entrance area most summers. Please check at the Denali Visitor Center for information. Safety Picnic Areas Phones Riley Creek Campground (entrance area), Morino Grill (near the visitor center), Mountain Vista Rest Area (Mile 13), Savage River Turnout (Mile 15). • • Pets There is only one restaurant in the park, the Morino Grill, located next to the Denali Visitor Center. The Riley Creek Mercantile, in Riley Creek Campground, sells sandwiches and some pre-packaged food. The Wilderness Access Center sells snacks and coffee. There are some restaurants and convenience stores located just outside the park, but your best bet is to bring as much as you can with you. • • • • If you plan to camp • What to wear Bring good rain gear—tops and bottoms, a winter hat (even in the summer it can drop to below freezing at night!), mittens or gloves, a hat (for sun or rain), several layers of clothing (wool or fleece is better than cotton), extra socks, good hiking shoes or boots, and a little extra of everything! Denali is a wilderness area, so brush up on safety information before you venture out. Talk to a ranger at the visitor center and read the Alpenglow visitor guide. Moose and bears can be dangerous, so know what to do if you encounter one. Crossing rivers and traveling without the appropriate gear can also be treacherous. Cell phones work in the park entrance area only to Mile 4. There are no pay phones in the park. Bring a three-season, rainproof tent. Bring a warm sleeping bag and warm clothing. Bring all your own food; there are not many stores in the area. Make a reservation in advance. Each campsite is limited to no more than 8 people per site, except Wonder Lake, which is limited to 4 per site. Some campgrounds are tent-only, and some accommodate RVs. There are no electrical or water hookups for RVs in the park. o ot Ph y l i Fam Post Office Child Care Denali Preschool and Learning Center has drop-off service and is fully licensed and accredited. Please check at the Denali Visitor Center for more information. 16 For the Denali National Park postmark, take your cards to the post office near the Riley Creek Campground. Hint Figuring out what to pack for your trip is important. Remember that summer in Alaska brings everything from sun to rain to snow—yes, it can snow in Denali in the summer. Denali National Park and Preserve is a wilderness park two to four hours from a large city, so if you need it, bring it with you. 17 Experience Denali “A trip out to Eielson Visitor Center is a supreme family adventure. Opportunities for learning, discovery, and enrichment abound. But there is also ample opportunity for just having fun!” information To get the most out of your visit to Denali, you will need to figure out what activities are best for your family. Luckily that information is available before you ever step foot into the wilderness, at one of the six visitor centers located throughout the park. Denali Visitor Center Located in the park entrance area, this is a must stop for all visitors. There is a lot to see and do here, and the center provides a great introduction to the park. You’ll find general information, bus schedules, exhibits, interpretive programs, a park film, a bookstore, and ranger-guided walks. See page 41 for more information. Murie Science and Learning Center Located in the park entrance area, this is another must stop for all visitors. This science center is open year-round and has exhibits, hands-on activities for kids, and information on research taking place in the park. See page 44 for details. Backcountry Information Center Wilderness Access Center Located in the park entrance area, all shuttle buses depart from here. You can also obtain general information, bus tickets, and campground information here. Toklat Rest Stop Get off the bus here at Mile 53 to stretch your legs and enjoy views of the Toklat River, use the rest room, shop at the bookstore, and obtain information at the Toklat tent. Eielson Visitor Center Located at Mile 66 on the Park Road, this is another must stop if you are traveling this far into the park. Get off the bus and stretch your legs on one of the hiking trails, check out the exhibits, and talk to a ranger. See page 71 for more information. Stop here if you are planning to camp overnight in the backcountry. You must obtain a free backcountry permit and attend a safety talk. This center is located in the entrance area, next to the Wilderness Access Center. Family Photo 19 Denali Park Road The Denali Park Road stretches 92 miles from the George Parks Highway to the mining camp of Kantishna. The first 15 miles are accessible to private vehicles but beyond that, visitors must use the park bus system. Throughout this guide and during your visit here, you will frequently hear sections of the road referred to by the mile number, although in most instances there is no visual mile marker. NPS Photo The Park Road is a narrow, gravel road where the bus travels at a moderate pace, giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy the view. The first 15 miles are paved; this is a good place to look for moose or fox. Take a look at the streambeds as you pass because animals like walking along those gravel bars and are easy to spot. After Savage River at Mile 15, you start to leave the trees behind and the country opens up to tundra and mountains. Children can get impatient when wildlife sightings are sporadic, or if that grizzly bear is too far away to see with the naked eye. If you have binoculars be sure to bring them for far-away sightings. Your chances of seeing a bear improve if you go as far as Toklat at Mile 53. Another 13 miles takes you to the Eielson Visitor Center. There’s plenty of room to stretch your legs here and for children to run around outside. 21 Experience Denali camping One of the best ways for many families to enjoy the wilderness of Denali National Park and Preserve is to go camping. You may choose an established campground or you can backpack until you find a great place in the wilderness to spend the night. Backcountry camping takes more planning, especially with children, but it can be done, and it’s a fantastic way to teach children self-reliance, leave-no-trace values, and the awe of discovery. All six of the park’s campgrounds are described in more detail later, but here is a quick overview of each. Riley Creek, Mile 1 The largest campground in the park is perfect for families on a tight schedule and needing easy access to park amenities. There’s good hiking and many activities in the area. There are sites for RVs and tents, flush toilets, running water, and a campground program. Savage River, Mile 13 This smaller campground is close to the entrance area with sites for RVs and tents, flush toilets, and running water. You can drive your own vehicle to the campground and feel a little closer to the wilderness. There’s also good hiking in the area. Denali National Park and Preserve is only 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle. NPS Photo / Sean Proctor Sanctuary River, Mile 23 This is one of the smallest campgrounds in the park with only seven tent sites and no treated water. No vehicles are allowed here, so you must take the park shuttle bus. A good choice for families with some camping experience. 23 Backcountry Camping Teklanika River,Mile 29 Great family campground for those wanting to get farther into the park and looking for a wilderness experience. You can drive your own vehicle to the campground, but you must stay a minimum of three nights. Don’t be afraid to venture beyond the established campgrounds. This could be a memorable experience for your family. It does require some pre-planning and perhaps some backcountry experience. When you arrive, go to the Backcountry Information Center (BIC) in the park entrance area to choose a destination area for your trek, and to obtain a backcountry permit. Permits cannot be reserved in advance. Depending on when you arrive and where you plan to go, you may be able to begin your backpacking adventure the same day. Most likely, though, you’ll spend the night in the entrance area before you board the bus and head into the wilderness. Igloo Creek, Mile 34 Wonder Lake, Mile 85 e es or h T lin ait K / n Like Sanctuary, this is one of the smallest campgrounds with only seven tent sites and no water. No vehicles are allowed here, so you must take the park shuttle bus. hoto NPS P With children, you might not have to hike far to have amazing new experiences. However, you do have to camp at least one-half mile away from and out of sight of the Park Road. That can be harder than it looks in the vast open tundra. Experts at the BIC can suggest areas that might be most appropriate for your family to camp. For those wanting to see it all! Tents only, no vehicles. A good choice if you have the time. Water and toilets are available at this campground. How to not feed bears 24 Bear-proof food storage is a requirement while camping in Denali. Permanent food storage containers are available at all campgrounds. For backcountry camping, rangers at the Backcountry Information Center will be happy to provide you with as many bear-resistant food containers as you need, so ask for extras if you anticipate needing to store food-soiled clothing or diapers. They are bulky, so you might need to use larger backpacks than you normally would. Hint Allow plenty of time at the BIC— the permitting process regularly takes up to an hour. You and your children will need to watch a safety video preparing you for your trip. Family Photo The Backcountry “Kids have tons of fun exploring nooks and crannies, scrambling over rocks, discovering new things, and dreaming up grand stories that take place in majestic mountain country.” An off-trail wilderness hike can be an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Where you go depends on the ages of your children and how far you can travel while carrying backpacks. Just get off the bus and start hiking—anywhere. You may hike a bit, stop at a river for a while to play, hike a little more, then have a snack and relax. The rewards are worth the effort, and you’ll generally find yourselves alone in the wilderness, even if you never leave sight of the Park Road. Leave No Trace Leave no trace is an ethic that helps people enjoy the outdoors responsibly. Allow others to appreciate the wilderness by leaving no trace that you have been there. Try walking on hard surfaces and avoid leaving signs of your passage when possible so the next visitor can experience that same feeling of discovery that you did. When you stop for a snack, be sure to pick up all your trash and bring it back with you to throw away. Don’t leave any food scraps behind. Ground squirrels or birds might look like they want a handout, but don’t give it to them. By not feeding animals you can help keep wildlife wild. Take lots of photographs, but leave rocks, flowers, feathers and other items right where you found them for others to enjoy. Family Photo Experience Denali hiking There are lots of trails near the entrance to the park, or a short distance away. The Family Fun sections of this book describes the best trails for each age group, detailing where to access the trail, hiking distance, level of difficulty, and interesting things to see and talk about with kids along the way. The hiking times provided are for an average adult walker, so adjust the time accordingly for your group—double it if hiking with kids under age 5. Hiking Checklist Here’s a list of important items to include in your pack. Remember to dress in layers of non-absorbent clothing, such as fleece or wool. Avoid cotton because when it gets wet, it stays wet. For hikes longer than an hour, tell someone where you’re going. Denali National Park and Preserve has more than six million acres of wilderness to explore. This is a wild place where you get to find your own way, because in much of the park there are no trails. If there is an established trail, please stay on it. Water and snacks—lots of snacks Sturdy hiking boots or shoes and extra socks Rain gear—the weather changes fast Hat and gloves—yes, even in summer Extra layers of clothing in case it gets colder or you get wet Map and/or trail guide Binoculars and camera Sunscreen and sunhat Insect repellent and/or head nets First aid kit, knife, whistle, and compass or GPS Bear spray Toilet paper and a plastic bag to pack it all out Family Photo 29 Bear Safety Denali is home to both black bears and grizzly bears. Black bears usually are found in forested areas of the park, while grizzly bears live on the tundra. Give bears a wide berth (a minimum of 300 yards) and consider yourself lucky if you see one in the wild. To keep your family safe in bear country, follow these safety rules: • • • • • • Always be aware of your surroundings. Watch for bear tracks and scat. Never get between a sow and its cubs. Never approach a bear. Never leave food out for a bear to find. Make lots of noise when hiking on trails or in the backcountry. Sing or talk with your companions as you walk. Be especially vigilant in dense brush, along rivers, and when walking into the wind. If a bear approaches you, do not run. That can elicit a chase response and bears can run faster than people. Just quietly back away. If the bear sees you, back away slowly, speaking in a low, calm voice while waving your arms over your head. If the bear stands up on its hind legs, it is only trying to identify you. If a bear charges, stand your ground and it will usually come to an abrupt stop a few feet from you. Then slowly move away. Family Photo 31 Experience Denali biking If you have room and the inclination, bring your bikes with you. Biking in Denali can be a fantastic family experience, though conditions in some areas may not be ideal for younger riders. The entrance area and first 15 miles of the Park Road are paved, but shoulders are narrow and these areas have more vehicle traffic. West of Savage River, biking the unpaved road can feel like a wilderness experience, though it is still important to watch for traffic—and wildlife! The Family Fun sections of this book highlight the best biking areas for each age group, detailing where to access bike trails, distance, level of difficulty, and interesting things to see and talk about with kids along the way. Biking Checklist You want to go light, but you also want to be prepared for a change in the weather. Don’t forget to take... Family Photo “The park road can be an exciting trip for kids with solid biking skills, yet the multi-use bike path in the entrance area is excellent for bikers of all ages and abilities. You can even ride to the local ice cream shop!” Water and snacks Rain gear Hats and gloves Layers of clothes First aid kit Bike repair kit If you have a bike problem that you can’t repair, flag down a shuttle bus heading back to the entrance area. 33 Experience Denali by bus All visitors to Denali wishing to venture past Mile 15 into the heart of the park must ride a bus. Visitors are encouraged to get on and off shuttle buses to explore the park at their own pace. How far you ride the bus into the park depends on the time you have, the ages of the children you are traveling with, and your sense of adventure. The good news is, you don’t have to spend all day on the bus. There are many options for families traveling with children, and you can get off at any time and take a break. Bus Checklist Car or booster seat Water, lunch, and lots of snacks—once you leave the park entrance area, there is no food service or water available. Sturdy walking shoes Warm clothing and raingear, even if the weather looks great Insect repellent, sunscreen Binoculars, camera, magnifying glass Reading books, coloring books and crayons Junior Ranger book, small toys to keep children entertained By riding the bus, you reduce traffic problems and help protect the natural resources of the park. As a result, wildlife is comfortable wandering near the road, providing excellent sightings for visitors. There’s nothing like seeing a grizzly bear with only a bus window between you and the bear. NPS Photo / Alex Vanderstuyf Hint Make bus reservations in advance online or at the Wilderness Access Center. Kids under the age of four need a car seat to ride the bus. 35 Which bus? Shuttle to Savage Mile 15, 2 hours roundtrip Not sure your family will tolerate a long bus ride? Try a shorter ride first. Take the free shuttle to Savage River, where there is a small parking area, picnic tables, restrooms, and trails (see hiking tips). The shuttle leaves from various locations in the entrance area regularly and runs back and forth all day long. Parent Information Narrated Tours Shuttle into the Park Denali has several tour buses with narration and guides. These trips are not specifcally geared for children, so younger ones might be better off on a shuttle bus where they can get off and on— or return to the park entrance—as necessary. Tours range from 4 to 12 hours in length and vary in price accordingly. Shuttles start from the Wilderness Access Center and head out to many destinations in the park. You can choose the perfect distance for your family and get off the bus at any time to take a break or wave down a bus heading in the opposite direction. Wondering where to go? Here is the basic breakdown of each bus trip: • Mile 53: Toklat River (6hrs) • Mile 66: Eielson (8 hrs) • Mile 85: Wonder Lake (11hrs) • Mile 92: Kantishna (12hrs) Hint Take crayons and paper with you on the bus, so kids can draw or play tic-tac-toe if they get bored. Don’t forget to pick up a Junior Ranger booklet and Discovery Pack at the Denali Visitor Center. Kids can work through the book in between stops and sightings. Designated bathroom breaks are at Teklanika Rest Stop (Mile 30, 90 minutes), Toklat River (Mile 53, 3 hours) Eielson Visitor Center (Mile 66, 4 hours) and Wonder Lake Campground (Mile 84, 5.5 hours). If your child needs to go in between these stops, or feels nauseated, just let the driver know. Bus Etiquette During a wildlife stop, try to be as quiet as possible—this is hard for adults and harder still for children. Disturbing a wild animal might make it reluctant to return to the road. Your voice could also acclimate a bear to the human voice, making a human voice much less likely to deter a curious bear in the backcountry. Keep heads, arms, and cameras inside the bus. Share your window with a neighbor from the other side of the aisle. Always keep looking. The Denali landscape is vast, filled with gullies and small hills. Sometimes wildlife can emerge or disappear right before your eyes. Eat on the bus 36 Drivers encourage all passengers to eat on the bus rather than outside at rest stops. This keeps food scraps from remaining behind and attracting wildlife, and gives you more time to enjoy the stops along the way. There is no food allowed inside the tent at the Toklat Rest Stop. The Eielson Visitor Center has a small indoor eating area, but it fills fast when the weather is bad. Hint Bring pictures of the animals you are trying to spot— bear, moose, Dall sheep, caribou, wolf, and fox. NPS Photo / Nathan Kostegian Car Seat If your child is 4 years old or younger, a car seat is required when riding the bus and you must bring your own. If families want to get off the bus and hike with children this young, they should do it at designated points along the Park Road where the car seat can remain behind and out of reach of animals—Eielson Visitor Center, any of the campgrounds, or the Toklat Rest Stop. Each of these areas has storage facilities to house the car seat safely while you are gone. Child car seats tend to be laden with odors that may attract animals looking for food. If you stash the car seat in a bush or on the tundra, you may come back to a demolished seat. In the long run, you

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