This past summer I spent time in Alaska at Denali National Park and Preserve. Over the next several weeks I’ll be writing in greater detail about some of the photos in the slide show above. Here is some basic background about the park.
Denali National Park and Preserve is one of the premiere parks in the National Parks system. The heart of the six million acre park is Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America at 20,310 feet. The massive mountain towers above the taiga and tundra, having the greatest vertical relief of all the mountains in the world. Mt. McKinley is also known as Denali, an Athabaskan name meaning “The High One”. Glaciers descend from Mt. McKinley and other mountains in the Alaska Range. Among the largest are the Muldrow, Ruth and Kahiltna Glaciers.
Denali National Park is known for its diversity of wildlife. Grizzly bear, gray wolf, moose, Dall sheep, caribou, lynx, golden eagle, and beaver are among the popular wildlife viewing for visitors who travel by shuttle bus along the park’s only road.
In addition to wildlife viewing, other popular activities for the more that 400,000 visitors who visit the park include camping, day hiking, backpacking, photography, mountaineering, dog-sledding, cross country skiing and snowmobiling (where allowed).
Those hoping for the jaw-dropping view of Mt. McKinley from Wonder Lake, Eielson Visitor Center or Stony Dome should know that it is elusive. The mountain is so tall it creates its own weather and is shrouded in clouds much of the time.
Wonder Lake is probably the most popular area for photographers, but equally good areas for photography include Horseshoe Lake, Savage River Trail, Primrose Ridge, the upper Teklanika River valley, Sable Pass (from the road only – a closed critical wildlife area), Polychrome Pass, the Toklat River bars, the Stony Dome area, the area around Eielson Visitor Center, Mt. Galen, Thorofare River bar, and McKinley River Bar Trail.
Backpacking requires permits for backcountry zones. Campgrounds in the park include Riley Creek, Savage River, Sanctuary River, Teklanika, Igloo Creek, and Wonder Lake. Up-scale lodging is available in the former Kantishna mining district of the park.
ABOVE: Slideshow of Denali National Park and Preserve showing the diversity of animals and landscape of the expansive national park in Alaska. (Slideshow requires Adobe Flash).
To license image, click image. To see our collection of fine art prints, click here.