So I am really cheating with this one! I have more than 8 images and they are from September……sooooo….BUT I just could not wait to share our experience and images from the Denali Road Lottery.
“Before 1972, the Denali Park Road was open to private vehicles, though bus service was also offered for anyone without a vehicle (or anyone who didn’t want to drive the mountainous road).
In 1972, the NPS limited travel on most of the park road to only buses. At the same time, the park opened its gates in the fall, after bus season ended, to anyone who wanted to drive the road. In those early years, only a few intrepid souls braved the poor roads to get here to drive into the park. As the years went by, the popularity of this opportunity grew.
In the late 80’s the “open to all comers” offer became unmanageable when almost 2000 vehicles per day came into the park. Major traffic jams made for an unpleasant experience, while the sheer numbers made it difficult to avoid problems with pets and wildlife, food storage and sanitation. In 1990, park management decided to implement a lottery system, wherein people could apply for a chance to drive the road after the bus season ended. Initially, the number was capped at 300 vehicles per day; in 1994, it was raised to 400 per day.
Applications to the lottery steadily increased each year. In 2003, nearly 18,000 people applied. This meant entrants only had around 1-in-11 odds of being drawn; and conducting the lottery took an ever-increasing amount of park staff time. In 2004, the park began charging a fee to enter the lottery, to offset the increasing costs and to improve the odds that an entrant would actually be picked.
Today, the road lottery is run using recreation.gov. There is a per person entry fee and an individual may only enter once. The entry fees pay for recreation.gov to operate the lottery. Those chosen in the lottery are notified by email and charged for their permit. The permit fees help pay for the staff and materials needed to run the event in the fall. Since charging an application fee, the lottery typically sees around 10,000 applications each year for the 1,600 permits. Buses continue to run to Teklanika during road lottery, so that visitors who are not lottery winners may still enjoy the park in the fall.”
It is an amazing opportunity to drive through the only road into Denali National Park for 1 day and explore at your own pace. I was so fortunate to win this year! The girls loved viewing through the sun roof when we stopped. The road was a windy and sometimes narrow 92 miles. There are steep drop off’s and breathtaking scenery. We saw lots of wildlife, so many bears, and the stunning Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) was out for the entire day.
‘Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.
Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.
So now head on over to Natalie to check out her adventures!