The Denali Highway is the worst of roads, and it is the best of roads. It is 100 miles of gravel potholes cutting through some of the best scenery in Alaska. Originally, it was the only way to Denali National Park before the Parks Highway was built in 1971. Today, it often looks like it hasn’t been graded since.
It doesn’t help the pothole problem when it rains for weeks during hunting season and thousands of monster pickups and campers pulling 4-wheeler trailers go blasting down the road , banging and bouncing even more gravel out of the holes and onto the windshields of anyone brave enough to face this free-for-all. Such was the case when we were there.
For an avid landscape photographer, potholes and crowds of other outdoor enthusiast are minor “occupational hazards”. Especially when the Call of the Wild drives them through the heart of the Alaska Range on a beautiful fall day.
Fall Color on the Denali Highway
We set out early on the Denali Highway for one of the most exciting photography experiences of our Alaska trip. The rain had stopped and glorious light broke through the heavy clouds to set the Alaska landscape on fire with color.
We had waited a week for the rain to stop – and it did – for one day! It started to rain at the end of the Denali Highway, and never stopped until our Alaska Trip ended. Every day of of the Alaska Highway home it rained – often all night long. We rarely drove on dry pavement. This made our time on The Denali Highway even more precious. These two days were some of the best memories I have of Alaska.
I will not bore you here with words, names, geography lessons, or history. If you want the details of our experience on this amazing road, I will be glad to share it with you – but for now – just sit back, forget you problems, and go with me once again to this wonderful place through photographs. Let them speak of that moment when my heart was on fire with awe and wonder; when praise for the Designer and Creator consumed all my earthly desires.
Here are just a few pieces of a vast landscape that is filled with numerous glaciers, rugged mountains, colorful tundra, sparse forest, rivers, lakes, and sky – all fit precisely into place doing exactly what they were designed to do. This beauty is not random molecular motion creating order from chaos by chance. It is more than the work of past and present glaciers, volcanoes, earthquakes and all the laws of physics. It was ordered by design. And the work of that designer is good, and very good!