Weekend in Alaska: Denali

Hope you all enjoyed your extended, 3-day, Labor Day weekend! I spent mine celebrating at the wedding of one of my best friends here in Seattle, and finally getting around to editing the last set of photos from the weekend trip to Alaska! (Earlier posts of exploring Anchorage here and here, if you missed them!) This post is my best “You should definitely visit Alaska!” campaign because if the scenery here doesn’t say it all, I don’t know how else to convince someone to go!

Denali bus tour - scenes from Denali
Ok! So, if you missed the last post exploring Anchorage, we left off with a 4 hour drive from Anchorage to Healy, AK. This was a solid 4 hour drive through pouring rain and the occasional sunny break between the storm clouds. One of the most challenging things when packing for Alaska was selecting footwear. I usually only travel with a pair of sneakers, but knowing the possibility of heavy rain, I spent a solid 75% of my backpack on a pair of rain boots. Sounds crazy, but it was totally warranted.

Denali National Park bus tour
We started our morning in Healy off bright and early. The Denali National Park bus tours usually last 8 hours, and we were scheduled to fly back to Seattle that same night, which would require making the 4 hour long drive from Healy back to Anchorage after the Denali bus tour. The Denali bus tour promised gorgeous views, the potential for seeing wildlife, and getting to stop off to see some of the scenery up close and personal. Needless to say, it did not disappoint!

Littered around what felt like every corner of the road, we spotted sheep, caribou, deer, and even a bear! The buses running this tour drive super slow. The tour is only 66 miles long, but takes 8 hours because of the slow speed required to keep the animals in the area feeling unthreatened.

Denali caribou antlers
One of the pit stops included seeing some deer and caribou antlers up close. These pieces were found around the park by the staff rangers and collected for tourists to examine up close. It looks like I’m struggling to hold one antler up in this photo, and that’s totally true! These babies can weigh up to 40 lbs a piece! As someone who has zero arm strength, I worked up a sweat for this photo! haha

Helly Hansen rain jacket and rain boots
outfit details:
raincoat: c/o Helly Hansen (exact)
denim: PAIGE denim (similar)
rain boots: c/o Helly Hansen (exact, currently on sale!)

Because of the on and off downpour on the way to Healy, I wore my striped rain boots on the Denali bus tour. I realize how much of a tourist this makes me look like now that I’m looking back on the photos, but it was a great choice at the time! They were so comfortable to walk in and didn’t over-insulate my feet. On the windier pit stops, the Helly Hansen Welsey trench was such a life saver. For the amount of insulation and windproof it provides, it’s surprisingly lightweight! The hood can also be packed to form the structured collar. This jacket is the ultimate fashion-tech piece, which I absolutely love because it makes packing for trips like these easy!

Denali bus tour views
If you’re debating a trip to Alaska, the Denali bus tour around the Denali National Park is a must! Don’t forget to check the weather before going so you can pack appropriately!

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  • This looks so cool! And those boots are ADORABLE! I think they’re great and don’t look too touristy. Although, I’ve never been to Alaska… haha

    • It was such a fun trip! The boots definitely saved me during the rainy periods, but were a little funny compared to the hiking boots most others on the bus wore. Oh well! Still loved how cute they are paired with the coat. ;)

  • Jennifer Bigler

    Looks pretty and your outfit is super cute!

  • Beautiful! Love it. The Helly Hansen coat and boots? Perfect!

    • HH is really knocking it out of the park this season! Really love how they turned two technical pieces into fashion-forward pieces!

  • Wow what a beautiful place! I have been to Alaska on a cruise, but not to this place. Your pictures are so lovely!

    FAshion and travel

    • Did you get to see the glaciers while on your cruise? Debating going back but on a cruise since that’s the one thing I’m sad we didn’t get time to check out.

      • Yes I did ..I cant remember the name of it, but its located at the end of the Tracy Arm Fjord..simply amazing..that fjord was a scenic wonderland in itself..unfortunately I was not a blogger then and knew nothing about photography so my pics are not so great :/

        • That is so awesome that you got to see the glaciers! I think I was listening to NPR recently and their piece referenced the size of the glaciers shrinking exponentially because of the global warming. Hoping to make it out to see them before its too late!

  • What an adventure! This looks so fun and those boots!!!!