Day 54 (August 13) – Teklanika Campground to West Fork of Toklat Glacier

Our group of seven (Don, Rob, Gil, Timmy, Robin, Ben and Kyle) had breakfast at the campground loaded our packs and jumped into the van for another hours ride along the Park Road to the Toklat River. Since there are no trails in the Toklat River area we had to travel cross-country. For the first quarter-mile we had to push our way through brush until we reached the open river valley bottom. The braided streams that emerge from the glaciers are filled with sediment and create wide flat open river bottoms that are the  best means of travel in the area. For the most part we simply walked on smooth gravel up the valley. In a few places where the main channel of the river was up against a bluff we had to scramble over some rocks or rubble to get by. We had one caribou encounter on the hike in. The weather was sunny and pleasant but it was a long day of hiking. After we got the camp set up we had dinner and went to bed.

On the drive in we viewed a grizzly sow with two cubs.

On the drive in we viewed a grizzly sow with two cubs.

Most of Denali was visible.

Most of Denali was visible.

Our group (left to right): Gil, Kyle. Robin, Timmy, Ben and Rob.

Our group (left to right): Gil, Kyle. Robin, Timmy, Ben and Rob.

Caribou with radio collar

Caribou with radio collar

Walking the river flats.

Walking the river flats.

Robin and Timmy stopping by a creek, note the white layer being deposited on the rocks by the creek, problably calcium carbonate.

Robin and Timmy stopping by a creek, note the white layer being deposited on the rocks by the creek, problably calcium carbonate.

Robin at a later rest stop.

Robin at a later rest stop.

Our first view of the glaciers at the head of the river.

Our first view of the glaciers at the head of the river.

Iridescent cloud due to small ice crystals.

Iridescent cloud due to small ice crystals.

View of West Fork Toklat glacier from camp

View of West Fork Toklat glacier from near our campsite

Mount Scott in the evening

Mount Scott in the evening