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Photos: Fall wildlife in Denali National Park

Dall sheep are prevalent in the park's alpine meadows and along ridges in the high country northeast of the Alaska Range.
Courtesy Craig Anderson
Courtesy Craig Anderson
Autumn moose hunts offer hunters the opportunity to fill family freezers with meat for the long Alaskan winter. This bull moose and others inside the park's boundaries are protected from hunters.
Courtesy Craig Anderson
Photo taken Sept. 19, 2013. The Denali Park Road reaches an elevation of 3,695 feet at Polychrome Pass, so named for the spectrum of color that glints from basalt and rhyolite mineral deposits prevalent in the northeastern Alaska Range rock formations.
Courtesy Craig Anderson
A grizzly bear wanders up a mountain near the Polychrome Pass. Photo taken from the Denali Park Road, Sept. 19, 2013.
Courtesy Craig Anderson
Alaska Dispatch

Denali National Park and Preserve is always a beautiful place to visit but autumn offers a special time to experience its majesty. Those making the pilgrimage to Denali – numbering in the hundreds of thousands each summer – have mostly left by September, returning the park to its year-round inhabitants.

The wildlife viewing in Denali during the short autumn season is unrivaled anywhere in the millions of acres and hundreds of protected public spaces that make up America’s national park system. Some folks lucky enough to win the annual Denali Park Road lottery are permitted to enter the park for a select few days in fall, driving the 92-mile road that slices into the park, allowing them to take in some of the gorgeous fall scenery and attempt to cross as much wildlife off the list as possible.

Bears, moose, sheep, beaver, porcupine, wolves -- all call Denali home. And while the animals live and die in the wild, they occasionally find their way to the small sliver of civilization present in the vast landscape. And Craig Anderson, who works as a driver delivering propane into the park, had ample opportunity recently to capture some of the critters criss-crossing the road along the way. Call it a perk of the job.