The initial part of the hike involved tramping through a meadow, then climbing up through a mossy forest. Although we did this hike in late March, conditions were still pretty wintry, with snow lying in uneven patches on the ground. Small, interlocking streams wove like ribbons down the mountainside.
In the summer of 2015, my boyfriend and I went off adventuring into the White Mountains of the Eastern Sierras. This was only a month after I had back surgery and we had dreams of conquering Mt Whitney along with White Mountain Peak in these few weeks in the wilderness of central California. Trekking up a few fourteeners was a lofty goal but to be perfectly honest, just being able to walk and hike again after years of crippling sciatica pain was in itself an unbelievably amazing gift. Over our few weeks in the eastern sierras, we did some fantastic hikes, had some crazy outdoor shenanigans and a great summer in the Eastern Sierras! One of the highlights of our trip though was exploring the White Mountains. If you enjoy off-roading, camping or hiking, then White Mountain Peak is a place you really must check out that is completely off the beaten path. Oh, and did I mention there are fuzzy mischevious yellow-bellied marmots? Marmots may be absolutely adorable but they are the troublemakers of the eastern sierras as we learned first hand!
Officially, Denali National Park claims to have no trails in the wilderness. There are official, marked trails in some places, notably the park entrance and Eielson, but when asked, Rangers will never mention other trails. But there is a trail beside the Savage. It begins about half a mile south of the camp, when an unmissable bluff rises on the west side of the river. It’s a flat, smooth game trail which continues up to the point where the river enters the mountains.
Don’t mess with the wildlife and the wildlife won’t mess with you. I have never had a single bad run in with a bear, though I have been very close to them. Never once have I felt threatened, because I use proper precautions. I’ve never surprised a bear, never stored food in my tent. And, unlike some tourists in videos gone viral, I don’t feed the wildlife. Bear safety begins with respect for nature and some simple skills to help keep you safe.