Cantwell RV Park will be open beginning June 14th. Reservations are suggested, but walk-ins are welcome. The site amenities will be as usual, including pull-through sites with water and electric, use of the dump station and WiFi. Some changes have been made to the facility schedule, with limited hours for shower, bathroom store and laundry use, in order to comply with Covid-19 standards. Occupancy will be reduced, so that RV’s will be parked with at least one empty site between each group. This will result in more room and more privacy for everyone. Additionally, campers are welcome to borrow a portable fire pit to use at their site., since central fire areas will be closed. Tent camping and cabin rental are temporarily suspended. This may change as the summer progresses.
Denali National Park will have shuttle bus service and camping this summer. Please check the website for opening dates, http://www.reservedenali.com.
We hope to see you!
The 2-week quarantine for people flying into Alaska will be modified beginning June 5th. Anyone planning to fly needs to be tested for the coronavirus no more than 3 days prior to the scheduled flight, bringing the results to be checked upon arrival to Alaska. If a traveler did not get a test prior to the trip, they can get tested at the airport and quarantine until the test results are done or they can opt to quarantine for 14 days.
This modification applies only to people traveling by air. The 2-week quarantine continues to be in effect for people traveling by vehicle. An update for people coming in on the road will be announced on June 5th. Current Canadian border restrictions are in place until June 21st, prohibiting access to people traveling for touring or recreation.
It would be wonderful to announce that travel restrictions for Alaska have been lifted, but that isn’t the case yet. The number of new COVID-19 cases in Alaska has increased and in an attempt to slow the spread, travel restrictions and other safety measures have been extended to April 21st, when the situation will be reviewed. The restrictions are as follows:
1. Anybody arriving in the state must comply with a 2-week quarantine. Alaskan residents are to quarantine in their homes, visitors need to stay at their destinations for the 2 weeks.
2. Intrastate travel is discouraged except for essential personnel and services, such as medical personnel, supply transport and first responders.
3. Schools are closed for the remainder of the current term.
4. Residents are encouraged to remain at home. Outdoor recreation is permitted, but with adherence to the infection-control protocols.
The current Canadian border crossing restrictions have been extended to May 1st. Only travelers associated with essential businesses and services and who have the necessary documentation are allowed to cross. Travel associated with tourism and recreation is not allowed.
We will continue to post up-dates and will hope for a fast turn-around. In the meantime, enjoy these photos of Cantwell and the Denali area.
There are current restrictions for travel across the Canadian borders and for air travel to Alaska. Beginning March 20th, the border is closed to all except essential personnel, including military, students, medical, supply transport and residents. Travel for tourism is specifically listed as restricted. Air travel to Alaska is also restricted and anyone coming in from a flight must undergo 2 weeks of voluntary quarantine. For residents arriving home, their quarantine site is their home. For travelers, it would be at their destination. The restrictions apply through April 20th, though this date may change pending further developments.
People plan their trips to Alaska months and even years ahead of time, so this must be a stressful time with not knowing how it will unfold for your trip. For now, sit tight, stay healthy and turn the news off now and again. We will keep you posted and we hope to see you soon.
A very popular activity for people visiting Alaska is fishing. Alaska is known for great fishing and has many edible varieties, which vary according to the location. Many people who come up to the Denali area want to fish for salmon, but the fish do not travel that far inland. About 25 miles south of Cantwell, the king salmon struggle up the Chulitna river to their spawning grounds which are just west of where the river crosses under the Parks Highway. However, they are near the end of their life cycle and you can see that by their vivid red color and also by the obvious difficulty they are having in swimming against the current. You would not want to fish for them at that point, because the meat would not be edible.
Even though salmon may be hard to find up this way, trout fishing is abundant in the nearby streams and rivers. In the cantwell area, the main trout is the grayling, a small fish with an unusually large dorsal fin. Average length is about 10-12 inches, but boy, are they tasty! Dolly Varden, lake trout and rainbow are found both east and south of us.
Fishing licenses are required and are strictly enforced, so please do your research so you can spend your money on fishing adventures and not on paying expensive tickets!
During the summer months, moose feast on a variety of nutritious leaves, grasses, weeds and pond vegetation. A moose can consume 50 to 60 pounds of food per day, which is a good thing because the pickings are much slimmer in the winter. The food is also of a lower quality, with moose primarily eating the bark and twigs of willow, birch and aspen. They are foraging in harsh conditions, often moving through deep snow in frigid weather so that they expend more energy to obtain less food. They will take advantage of any accessible plant source, such as the trees and bushes planted as part of a garden
The blueberry is one of about 50 edible berries that grows up here in Alaska. The blueberry bush is small, about 2 feet in height, and grows abundantly in many parts of the state. The Denali Borough is known for excellent blueberry picking and during August, the Parks highway is lined with people picking the fruit. A number of people from Anchorage and other parts of the state stay at Cantwell RV park for the purpose of getting their fruit.
The Alaska blueberry is smaller and more tart than its eastern counterpart, but also delicious. Blueberries are used in a variety of dishes, such as blueberry pie, muffins and blueberry buckle and are also used to top oatmeal and yogurt. And, of course, they can be eaten as is.
This year, the berries are already ripening, so come on up to get some fruit!!
Up here in the Denali National Park area, it is frequently cloudy and often rainy. If rain is in the forecast, we tell guests to take rain gear. If you change your plans in order to avoid the rain, you may not get to see much. There’s an old expression; “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” If waterproof clothes and shoes are part of your gear, the elements will not be uncomftorable. Another thing to keep in mind is that cloudy, rainy weather does not affect the wildlife, so your chances of animal viewing are the same as in sunny weather. And, since it tends to be cooler when it’s cloudy/rainy, the heat won’t be a factor. So pack your rain gear and visit Alaska!!
Recently, we listed 8 mammals found in Alaska and asked you to guess at which one was the fastest. There are actually 2 that are tied for the fastest, the lynx and the caribou, both of which can reach speeds of 50 mph. So if you picked either one, congratulations! Following is the list of the animals, in descending order of speed:
Lynx: 50 mph
Caribou: 50 mph
Wolf: 37 mph
Coyote: 37 mph
Moose: 35 mph
Grizzly: 35 mph
Fox: 31 mph
Man: 15.9 mph
Thank goodness we have the brain power to problem solve a dangerous animal encounter, because if we tried to run, they would just laugh at us.
Which of the following Alaska mammals has the fastest speed? Is it the moose, the grizzly bear, the caribou, the wolf, the lynx, the coyote, the fox or the man?
Think about it for a little while. Answer will appear soon!