The beauty of the Alaska Range
We saw some incredible scenery on our Northern adventure
like the tundra and the drunken forests, but nothing could compete with the
beauty of the Alaska Range in south central Alaska. When I thought of Alaska before our travels
here, what came to mind was snow covered mountains and there they were. Luckily it was a sunny day.
|Amazing view of the mountains|
We left Fairbanks and drove south to Delta Crossing then
followed the Richardson Highway, Hwy 4.
This was our first sighting of the Alaska Range and was the first of
many beautiful sights this day. Needless
to say, I took a lot of photos and had a difficult time deciding the best ones
to share here.
|The Alaska Range|
The Alaska Range is narrow and 650 km (400 mi) long but
filled with giant mountains. It is the
highest range outside of the Andes and Asia and includes Mt. Denali. It is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, (more
on that later), and the Denali Fault, which is responsible for many
|Richardson Highway in Alaska|
We could not have had a nicer day for enjoying these
views. We had temperatures of 24C (76F)
this day. Several locations of the road
were going through construction for improvements, but overall the roads were
much better than what we’d been on the previous week.
|A great lunch stop|
We often stopped at pull-outs on the side of the road to
have our lunch. If the weather did not
allow, we would eat in our RV’s but on this day, we were happy to be able to
sit outside and enjoy this view!
|The Delta River in the Alaska Range|
The Richardson Highway follows along the Delta River through
this area. This tributary of the Tanana
River is fed by the Tangle Lakes, which offers some great fishing and
eventually empties into the Yukon River.
The Delta is 130 km (80 mi) long and one of four major rivers that cross
the Alaska Range.
|Beautiful scenery in the Alaska Range|
Alaska has over 12,000 rivers plus thousands more creeks and
streams, not all of them named. We saw
many of these rivers and streams on our travels but it would be impossible to
see them all from the available highways.
So much of Alaska is not accessible by road, much of it by water only
and some by airplane. The bush pilots of
Alaska would certainly be getting the best views.
|The Gulkana Glacier|
The high snowfall contributes to the many glaciers in the
Alaska Range. We did see several on our
travels and learned that their sizes have been decreasing over the years. I believe this is Gulkana Glacier, which
flows from the icefields in the Range.
|Summit Lake reflects the Alaska Range|
This was Summit Lake but not the first one we saw with this
name, it’s a popular name for mountain lakes.
It was calm and offered a lovely reflection of the mountains overlooking
the lake. I had to hang out the window
to capture this scene on camera as it was behind us, not the first time and
won’t be the last, I am sure. LOL
Mt. Denali is the highest mountain in North America at 6190.5
M (20,310’) high and can be seen from many miles away. It had
been named Mt. McKinley after a US president of 1897-1901 but was most commonly
known as Mt. Denali, an Alaska Athabascan word meaning “the high one”. As of September 2015, this beautiful mountain
is now officially named Mt. Denali.
|More glaciers in Alaska Range|
There were more glaciers to be seen as we made our way south
along the Richardson Highway. We stopped
to fuel up at Glennallen then took Hwy #1 west to follow the Glenn Highway and
spent the night at the Tolsona Wilderness Campground.
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