We were fortunate to be able to visit Denali National Park in May 2016. Although we didn’t know it at the time, May is probably the best time to visit the park. Around the beginning of June, the plants leaf out and it’s much harder to spot the amazing wildlife. I also like the incredible colors you see before everything greens up.
This is a photo of Polychrome Pass which, to me, is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It’s rugged and ancient and epitomizes the term “wilderness.”
Everything is just beginning to green up, giving just a bit of color to an otherwise monochromatic scene. You see one of the many braided rivers that crisscross Alaska and the row after row of mountains are evidence of how, over millions of years, the land has shifted and pushed the land skyward.
I was fascinated by the landscape and, even today, I love looking at the photograph.
One of the highlights of our visit to Alaska was the Tundra Wilderness Tour of Denali National Park and Preserve. The tour lasted about seven hours and we were fortunate enough to see a great many of the park’s wildlife. The wildlife sightings were just one part of the tour, though. There are also many beautiful landscapes in the park that will take your breath away.
One of the stops along the tour was a roadside overlook at the stunning Polychrome Pass. Polychrome Pass was formed many millions of years ago by the pacific tectonic plate sliding under the continental shelf. The pass gets its name from the colorful geologic formations, including volcanic rocks. The mountains, part of the Alaska Range, are home to several small glaciers.
We were there in mid May, and things were just beginning to green up. I love the colors of the new growth, the blue of the braided rivers that meander through the pass and the whites of the snow on the mountains.
The immensity of the landscape makes you feel very small. Scenes like this make our trip into the park something I’ll always remember.
The interior of Alaska is stunningly beautiful. This is a photo of the Toklat River in Denali National Park. The Toklat is a braided river, which is created by an excess of sediment. Over time the river fills with sediment, in this case from glaciers, and the sediment creates little islands or bars that the river must work its way around.
I really like the monochromatic feel of the photograph, with grays of the mountains, the sky and the river and just a touch of green from the trees.