We flew safely into Anchorage late at night and drove to Big Lake (about a 1.5 hour drive) to spend the night on the way to Denali. The mountains you see during that drive are my second favorite, only to the drive to Seward.
After all my stressing about how much Kaya hates the car and how far we had to drive (my near meltdown) she fell asleep at the wheel, so to speak, and did very well overall for our fifteen hour trip.
In my defense my prior stress did help because we thought through bringing novel toys and books for entertainment, borrowing a more upright car seat from a cousin so she could see out the window, getting up early in the morning when she likes to sleep in so she would sleep for a good chunk of the drive, etc.
We also took lots of stops, like this one where we had a great view of Mt. Denali (formally known as Mt. McKinley).
Our stretch breaks also included a little tummy time.
Inside Denali National Park we also had plenty of excuses for breaks, between the amazing scenery and wild animals. We saw small critters, from the cute little artic ground squirrel to the humongous grizzly bear (overall the big animal count was 3 moose between Anchorage and Denali then inside the park 2 grizzly and 30-ish caribou).