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Stopping to Smell the Wild Roses: A Nature Walk Around Alaska’s Byers Lake

Byers Lake (pictured above) is the kind of place you imagine when you think of the Alaska wilderness. It’s tranquil, pristine and beautiful. It’s not one of Alaska’s most spectacular sights — it’s no Yannert icefield, Glacier Bay National Park or even Mendenhall Glacier — but it’s quiet beauty is spectacular in its own way.

I took a four-mile nature walk around Byers Lake with a guide from the aptly named Alaska Nature Guides. It was nice to have a guided group tour, although the trail around this lake in Denali State Park is simple enough that you can do it on your own. However, if you don’t have your own transportation, you can arrange for a pick up from this company, which is certainly useful. Our guide knew a lot about the flowers and plants we encountered. She also showed us how bears mark their territory — by scratching trees, and often inadvertently leaving some fur behind.

Just the experience of being out in nature made this walk special — there’s so much to see in Alaska that you end up looking through a lot of windows… trains, buses, helicopters, ships, etc. We had just taken a bus from the Princess Denali Wilderness Lodge to the McKinley Princess Hotel, and I was happy to be outside in such a beautiful setting.

In these photos, you’ll see the sky change from gray and cloudy to a glorious blue. We were at the lake for about two hours, and the weather kept changing on us. Welcome to Alaska!

Comped but never compromised: I went on an Alaska Twitter Press Trip with Princess Cruises, but I’m free to write whatever I want.

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2 Responses to Stopping to Smell the Wild Roses: A Nature Walk Around Alaska’s Byers Lake

  1. diane July 26, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Catherine and I took that walk too. It was awesome! Your photo’s are beautiful!

  2. Mike Shubic July 31, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    Alaska is one of only a handful of states I’ve not yet been too. I’m currently in WA and would love to see if I could make it up there this summer.

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