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News, Tips & Bargains : Dialing for Denali Park

March 20, 1994

For the first time, Alaska's popular Denali National Park is taking reservations by phone for campsites and round-trip seating on park shuttles.

Previously, travelers had to show up in person at the park's Visitor Access Center and wait for coveted bus seats or campground spaces as they became available.

Open from Memorial Day weekend to the second Thursday after Labor Day, the park is accessible to private vehicles for only 15 miles. Shuttles or private tour buses go deeper into Denali, providing glimpses of grizzlies, caribou and other wildlife.

About 25% of the campsites and seats may be reserved by phone, a spokeswoman said, with the rest being held for walk-in, two-day advance reservations at the visitor center. Reservation fees are $4 for each bus seat and each campsite. Entry fees are $3 per person; $5 family. Camping is an additional $12 per night, up to 14 nights. Calls will be taken from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call (800) 622-PARK.

Tickets Available for Aspen Festival

Tickets are now available for the 1994 Aspen Music Festival, which runs June 24 through Aug. 21 and is scheduled to include appearances by Lynn Harrell, Emanuel Ax, Karan Armstrong, Jorge Mester, Gerard Schwarz and the Emerson String Quartet. Lawrence Foster is the festival's music director. Prices range from $17 to $28. To obtain a ticket brochure, that includes information on activities, tours, lodgings and reservations, call (303) 925-3254.

Hardy House Opens to Public

Max Gate, the English country house that writer Thomas Hardy designed and lived in from 1885 until his death in 1928, will be opened to the public for the first time Saturday.

It was in this house, on the outskirts of Dorchester in Southern England, that Hardy wrote "Tess of the d'Ubervilles" and "Jude the Obscure" and entertained such distinguished guests as Virginia Woolf and H.G. Wells.

Max Gate has been in the care of the National Trust since 1940 and is now the private home of trust tenants. Although it does not contain any Hardy memorabilia, its gardens are mentioned in several of his poems. Visitors can also see the pet cemetery, with gravestones carved by the author. The house will be open Sunday, Monday and Wednesday afternoons through September. Admission is about $3.

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