Ptarmigan Tracks

The Newsletter of Camp Denali and Parkside Guest House

Online Version 2021

The Summer of the Wolf

The wolf is one of the keystone species of the subarctic ecosystem and a true symbol of the wild. Unfortunately, wolf sightings in Denali National Park have waned in recent years, but 2021 saw a dramatic increase in wolf activity and provided thrilling encounters for some Camp Denali guests.

Wolf numbers in the Park fluctuate annually due to weather, food availability, disease, and hunting pressure, but wolf sightings along the Denali Park Road are influenced primarily by wolf denning locations and territory usage. Fortunately for Camp Denali visitors, a few wolves decided to set up shop in the areas where we do a lot of our hiking—Thorofare and Highway Pass.

In the summer of 2021, wolves were seen going about their daily routines—canvassing the tundra in search of game, napping, chasing off curious grizzly bears, and in one instance, Camp Denali guests watched as a wolf took down an adult caribou in the braids of the Toklat River. Albeit a rare occurrence, the opportunity to see a wild wolf in its natural habitat is truly an unforgettable experience.

Back to Online Version 2021

© Martin Grosnick