Hike summit of Polychrome in the Denali NP
I am going in the Denali NP late may (only 3 days) and I am trying to figure out some mountain to hike to have the best view of the Mc Kinley as we cannot go further than Toklat with the shuttle.
Looking at the map, I think Polychrome Summit (very west summit, the highest) would be a good one. Does anyone know a way to the top without climbing cliffs. from which side should I start? Is it clear of snow late may?
I look forward reading your advised answers.
I worked in Denali national park for 5 summers and grew up in the area. Being as the area you are talking about is south facing it may be clear of snow with just patches. However, it all depends on the type of spring we get this year.
Are you looking for just a day hike or make it an overnight or something? If you start the ridgeline right at the toklat river and work back (east) parallel to road, I believe that is rather gradual slope vs. just leaving the road during the middle of going along the bluff. Its longer but much less of a scree scamble.
Also you'll be more apapt to have bus drivers to stop for you at the river being that its tight in places along the bluff and would drive get through there.