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National Parks: Denali

Denali isn’t just for experts. These guinea pigs will prove it. Probably.

ASK A BEAR
Q: Denali is grizzly central, right? Why so few attacks on humans?

A: In Denali, I’m not such a bad dude: The park has only had 23 bear-caused human injuries in its 94-year existence—none fatal. Meanwhile, my jerk cousins down south have killed seven in or near Yellowstone and nine in Glacier. But why, you ask? First, there are fewer of us here than you think (300), and as few as four humans per backcountry unit. Statistical chances of close encounters are actually slim. Plus, I roam wide tundra benches, where we can usually spot each other at a distance and alter course easily. Not to mention, I’m fairly preoccupied with inhaling berries, roots, and grasses—not hunting. Ditto looking for your stash: With no designated campsites, no spot in the park reliably smells like stroganoff. Plus, most backpackers here are fairly freaked out, so they are more vigilant about keeping clean.

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