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?
Recent climate warming has affected Denali in ways that are readily apparent, such as reduced spring snowfall, earlier snowmelt, earlier green-up and thawing of permanent snowfields. Subarctic ecosystems, like Denali, are extremely sensitive to climate variability and change.