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Alaska’s Denali National Park

Aprile 2010
È il parco nazionale americano più estremo, per temperature e per la bellezza dei  paesaggi. In passato vi si avventuravano i cercatori d’oro. Oggi è dominato dai ghiacciai e dai grizzly.

di John Rigg

File audio:

Dall sheep
Dall sheep

Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

Would you like to escape the modern world? Alaska’s Denali National Park offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience nature in true solitude. They can see the spectacular mountains of the Alaska Range, dramatic glaciers and wildlife. The park is 240 miles (390 kilometres) north of Anchorage and 140 miles (230 kilometres) south of Fairbanks: the two nearest international airports.


In April the park is waking up from its long winter. Grizzly bears emerge after months of hibernation. Wolves hunt in packs across the snow. Dall sheep eat grass on the mountain side. Migratory birds, including eagles and swans, are returning. Snow ploughs clear the park’s only road, the Denali Park Road. This runs 90 miles (148 kms) into the park. Private vehicles can, however, only reach Savage River, 15 miles (24 kilometres) from the entrance. After this point, the road becomes a dirt track and visitors must travel on the park’s special buses.


The buses take visitors deep into the park. Day excursions visit Polychrome Pass with its multi-colored cliffs, Wonder Lake at the foot of Mount McKinley, America’s highest mountain, and the old mining town Kantishna. Mount McKinley is often impossible to see because of clouds.
Perhaps the best way to see the Denali Park is from the air. Flight companies, like K2 Aviation, take visitors above the clouds to see stunning views across the glaciers and mountain tops. It is also possible to land on the glaciers with ski-planes.


The park offers cycling, hiking, camping, mountaineering and white-water rafting. Visitors are also free to explore the park alone. But Denali National Park is vast and the dangers are real. There are hungry bears, moose and wolves. The streams and lakes are freezing, and the temperature can change suddenly. Snow is common throughout the year. Finally, are you afraid of heights? The Denali Park Road goes high into the mountains, where the track becomes very narrow. Passengers suddenly see down into valleys over a thousand metres below!

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dramatic glaciers and wildlife - ghiacciai spettacolari e fauna selvatica.

is waking up - si sveglia.     

grizzly bears - orsi grizzly.

wolves hunt in packs - i lupi cacciano in branchi.

dall sheep - capre di Dall.

eagles and swans - aquile e cigni.

snow ploughs clear - gli spazzaneve puliscono.

dirt track - strada sterrata.

cliffs - scogliere.

old mining town - vecchia città mineraria.

clouds - nuvole.

stunning views - panorami straordinari.

moose - alce americano.

streams - torrenti.

suddenly - improvvisamente.

heights - altezze.

the track becomes very narrow - il sentiero diventa molto stretto.