Distant Stupendous Mountains


In 1794, George Vancouver was the first European visitor to the Alaska area who documented the view of Mount Denali (aka: Mount McKinley). His observations were short, sweet and to the point: Distant stupendous mountains. Well said, sir.

mount denali

Originally named Denali by Alaska’s indigenous Athabascan people, an enthusiastic McKinley supporter and gold prospector renamed the mountain in 1896. Alaska officially renamed the mountain Denali in 1975 and has been pushing for the national change ever since.

Denali means the high one or the great one and is the highest mountain peak in North America, topping out at 20,237 feet. Because of its massive size, it creates its own weather is often hidden from view by clouds. On our visit to the area, we were lucky enough to become members of the 30% Club – the few who have the pleasure of seeing its wonder.

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By Heidi Van Heel
Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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