Denali NP, Alaska, USA by Michael Thomas

Picture Story

Autumn comes early to the subarctic environs of Alaska’s Denali National Park. What the park lacks in deciduous trees that most of us associate with fall color, it makes up for with miles of deciduous shrubbery like blueberry bushes. The Park Road extends over 90 miles into the park. Unless you have one of the few permits, you are limited to the first fifteen miles driving your own car. It was along this stretch that I made this image. Even at mid-morning, there was quite a bit of fog and low level clouds to provide a bit of drama and mystery to the scene. The blue tones of the clouds provided a nice complement to the reds of the shrubbery.

I highly recommend you take the bus all the way to Wonder Lake and Reflection Pond. It is an all day excursion with a couple of stops along the way. The bus drivers are incredibly good at spotting wildlife. We saw and photographed caribou, moose, brown bears and a lone wolf. The Eielson Visitor Center at mile 66 provides a great view of Denali. We visited in late August at the peak of fall color.

There are a number of hotels and lodges just outside the park and six campgrounds in it. If intent on capturing Denali in the best light, you will need to camp at Wonder Lake (and be prepared for brown bears).

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