Trekking with Yaks

Mar 25, 2008
Outside Magazine
Trekking Alaska

Denali National Park    Photo: Photodisc

When Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International started looking for a way to make the Alaska bush more accessible to hikers, they turned east—to the Himalayas, where Tibetan yaks have been shouldering trekkers' loads for decades. With the help of visiting Nepalese Sherpas, several yaks were trained on trails near Denali National Park, and this summer they're ready for prime time. This unique, weeklong trek begins with a flight from Talkeetna, about 75 miles north of Anchorage, to Moonshadow Lake, south of the park, where your guides and the shaggy bovines await. Each day, you'll be hiking—gloriously unencumbered—across open, untouched tundra and up 3,000-to-5,000-foot peaks; camping by clear lakes in alpine valleys; spotting moose, wolves, caribou, grizzlies, and black bears; and getting your fill of wild blueberries and salmon, always with the soaring Alaska Range as a backdrop. OUTFITTER: Alpine Ascents International; PRICE: $2,500 DIFFICULTY: Moderate WHEN TO GO: July–August

Filed To: Snow Sports