Unit 7: Upper East Fork River
Tips and Special Features
Alternatively, you can reach the upper East Fork River area from the western edge of the Sable Wildlife Closure near the East Fork River Bridge on the Park Road. It is approximately 9 miles from the bridge to the headwaters of the East Fork River. On the east side of the bridge you will immediately encounter a steep bluff with the river at its base. Depending on how the river is flowing, you may need to cross the river or climb over the bank in tall brush in order to continue south, both of which can be difficult. If you start on the west side of the East Fork Bridge, it may be possible to reach the headwaters by crossing only smaller side streams.
Both the Cathedral Mountain approach and the East Fork River bar provide good access to the high valleys and glaciers at the southern end of the unit, or they can be linked together to form a loop hike from one drainage to another. It is your responsibility to stay out of the Sable Pass Wildlife Closure, so mark it accurately on your map.
It is relatively easy to travel west into Unit 8 if you stay in the low tundra hills and gravel bars in the northern part of the unit. Keep in mind the East Fork River may be difficult to cross the nearer you get to the Park Road.
Did You Know?
Nearly 500 vegetation plots have been installed in Denali, to monitor climate change. Warmer temperatures allow woody plants to grow at higher elevations, invading the fragile and unique plants already in high alpine tundra - and threatening the animals that depend on those specialized plants.