10 Bucket-List Trips Based in the U.S.
DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, ALASKA, US
When: May to September
Latitude: 63.3333°N Longitude: 150.5000°W
Denali National Park and Preserve is home to the northern hemisphere’s "big five": grizzly bear, caribou, gray wolf, moose, and Dall sheep. The park takes its name from its crowning glory, Denali. This towering centerpiece is the tallest mountain in North America, measuring 20,340 ft (6,200 m). Until 2015, it was known as Mount McKinley.
Northeast of Denali lies Sable Pass, described as a "crossroads for bears," and the open tundra of the pass is the perfect place for you to spot the sandy-beige or brown fur of grizzly bears as they search for berries. You can also spot caribou at these crossroads—these wild reindeer will eat near grizzlies, but they know to choose a vantage spot above any bears, should a swift getaway be required.
For the predatory gray wolf, a little more stealth and cunning may be required. A food source, such as caribou at Sable Pass, is a good place to start. Sighting a wolf is rare, but you might hear its haunting howl.
As the brown, earthy tones of moose hide blend perfectly with its woodland habitat, the best way to find one is to find something it eats, such as bushes, tree needles, or leaves. Moose also enjoy the water, so look out for antlers poking out from the park’s shimmering lakes.
To find elaborately horned Dall sheep, the best advice is simple: look up. is sure-footed native species can be found among the high-altitude ridges seeking out the lush mountain flora and vegetation.
Above: A grizzly bear in the Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, US