We rode the bus back to Eielson Visitor Center a second day, hoping for a chance to see Mount McKinley. It was sunny and clear when we left our campground, but the clouds had moved in by the time we reached the Visitor Center. We decided to hike down into the McKinley River basin while we waited for the clouds to move away and give us a peek at the mountain. Above, you can see Michelle looking down into the basin from a trail near the Visitor Center. We knew it would be a steep climb down.
It turned out to be much more of a bushwhack than we expected, and even steeper than the previous day's climb up the ridge. But we arrived at the basin unscathed (well, maybe a few scratches from crawling through the brush)
This braided river basin was all abloom and we enjoyed looking at the wildflowers as well as the glacier carved pebbles strewn across the vast river basin.
After we had wandered around the basin for a while, we headed back for the trail to the visitor center. We could not resist the opportunity to dip our feet in the icy glacier water of the McKinley River before the climb up to the Eielson Visitor Center.