The Denali Hwy and an Abandon Igloo

When driving the 135 mile Denali Highway, you should not take the word highway literally.  Only 24 miles are paved and the rest is a “2 lane” gravel road. That being said – DRIVE IT! Many rental companies don’t allow you to drive the Denali highway, but some do. If yours doesn’t, there are several companies that rent Jeeps so you can get the full affect. Luckily, we have a Jeep so none of that was a concern to us. We started in Cantwell. I hadn’t really planned on driving the entire 135 miles to Paxson, but with such scenery, who could resist. There are some interesting fact about the highway here.

Almost as soon as the road turned to gravel, we came across an open field and we were treated to a view of Mt Denali in the distance…

Denali Hwy-9451

 

The scenery only got better with every mile…Denali Hwy-9471

Denali Hwy-9514Denali Hwy-9551

Denali Hwy-9571
Breathtaking!

Most of the beautiful reds were courtesy of blueberry and cranberry bushes taking on their fall hues…

Denali Hwy-9663
They were SO tasty!
Denali Hwy-9595
Ready for picking!

It took us nearly 6 hours to drive 135 mile because I had to stop so often. I think my favorite view was the cabin on the hill…

Denali Hwy-9615
Doesn’t it just scream Alaska?

But the rivers and lakes come in a close second…

Denali Hwy-9619
Hard to contain my excitement!

What a road…

Denali Hwy-9647

The only bad thing was now, we had to drive back to Healy. We decided not to go back via the Denali Highway, but to go through Fairbanks instead. On the way, we saw glaciers and parts of the Alaska Pipeline…

Denali Hwy-9707

Denali Hwy-9731
I was surprised how accessible the pipeline was.

Steve had planned a surprise for me on our last day in Healy. As always, he had checked Atlas Obscura when we arrived. He found the perfect place for me to get my abandon building fix, Igloo City. You know that little voice you have that says, “Don’t go in there, it isn’t safe”? Ya, I don’t have one…

Abandon Igloo-9770Abandon Igloo-9774Abandon Igloo-9777Abandon Igloo-9790

Abandon Igloo-9797
It’s only 4 stories tall, what bad could happen with no safety rails?

Apparently, Steve’s little voice was missing too…

Abandon Igloo-9800

Abandon Igloo-9806
What a view this room would have had

 

 

Hey, look, I can see the Jeep from here…

Abandon Igloo-9808

I was surprised how little trash and graffiti there was since it was so easy to get inside. Perhaps its remote location, half way between Anchorage and Fairbanks, keeps it off the radar for the local teenagers. But, you will always have some “art”…

Abandon Igloo-9793

The other buildings were interesting as well…

Abandon Igloo-9827Abandon Igloo-9829

On the way back to Waldo, we had our final magnificant views of Mt Denali. Of course, I couldn’t resist a couple more shots…

Abandon Igloo-9831Abandon Igloo-9838

And so ends our Alaska adventure. It’s been great having you along to enjoy it with us. Up next, wildlife in the Yukon and British Columbia.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!