Denali National Park, located in the stunning wilds of Alaska, is amongst the more remote and beautiful destinations in the entire U.S. park system. It is well known for its array of wildlife, a single 91-mile scenic road, and as the location of Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. What many visitors don’t know however, is that the park has its own dog kennel, which is home to a new litter of sled dog pups on an annual basis.
In late July, pups Tatum, Koven, and Carpe, named for peaks inside the park, joined the Denali pack after their mother, Pingo, gave birth to them. Since then, they have been growing very quickly, as pups are known to do, and after they turned three weeks old, the National Park Service installed a webcam into their kennel giving us the opportunity to peek in on them from time to time. To catch a glimpse of these energetic, feisty, and downright adorable pups, click here.
The Denali sled dogs are no doubt beautiful animals, and thousands of visitors stop by to see them each and every summer. But they also play a vitally important role in park operations during the very long Alaskan winters as well. Sled dog teams provide access to sections of the park that simply can’t be reached by any other means and without them rangers simply wouldn’t be able to patrol the park as effectively. It is for that reason that the park breeds a single litter each year, choosing two strong parents to bring new members into the pack.
Tatum, Koven, and Carpe won’t be pulling a sled anytime soon, but they will be on webcam until they are ready to join the adults and begin their training. Until then though, we’ll get to watch them grow up before our eyes.
[Photo courtesy NPS/Larissa Yocum]