Denali: Moose

“Stop!” yelled my wife. She had seen something moving from the Denali Wonder Lake bus. The bus driver stopped, and I snapped the above photo through the bus window. A mother moose and two calves. Seeing wildlife is an attraction of the bus ride, and the bus driver had told us to yell stop if we thought we saw wildlife. 

It was a mother moose and two calves. They paused to look at us. (One calf is behind the mother.)

mother and baby moose
mother moose and calf looking at us (click to enlarge)

Then the three moose retreated down the hillside into the brush.

Three moose heading for cover
Three moose heading for cover

The next morning we saw this moose from the bus on the paved part of the park road near the visitor center.

moose near the park entrance
moose near the paved park road

When we got closer, we saw a second moose. They were eating. From the Park Service, “During the summer they graze on grasses, forbs, underwater vegetation, bushes, coniferous needles and deciduous leaves.”

two moose near park entrance (click to enlarge)
two moose near park entrance (click to enlarge)

The day before we had seen two moose as we entered the park. We were so surprised to see moose that we didn’t take any pictures. The pair above were probably the same moose we saw on the first day.

We felt lucky to see five moose in two days at Denali. Per the Park Service, “There are approximately 1,800 moose on the north side of the Alaska Range in Denali National Park and Preserve.” But the Park and Preserve are huge: 6 million acres (24,500 km2).

In our experience, moose sightings are rare. In a week and a half at Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, we saw only one moose, and that moose was walking through the yard of our condominium. Maine is also known for their moose, and we haven’t seen a moose while spending 2-3 weeks there.

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charley280

I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

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