Alaska photography; where to go? (Denali Park? Homer? Seward? Kenai?)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by J.W., Jul 17, 2003.

  1. J.W.

    J.W. Guest

    I'm interested in visiting Alaska to do some photography. The first
    priority would be spectacular scenery. Wildlife photography
    opportunities would be nice but wonderful scenery is the major
    priority. I've been to Alaska before but only in Anchorage and the
    drive down to Seward.

    I'd be there only for a few days. Where should I go? I hear great
    things about Denali Park. How deep into Denali Park do I need to go?

    Thanks for any advice.
    J.W., Jul 17, 2003
    #1
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  2. J.W.

    Galen Scott Guest

    Re: Alaska photography; where to go? (Denali Park? Homer?Seward? Kenai?)

    in article , J.W. at
    wrote on 7/17/03 4:51 PM:

    >
    > I'm interested in visiting Alaska to do some photography. The first
    > priority would be spectacular scenery. Wildlife photography
    > opportunities would be nice but wonderful scenery is the major
    > priority. I've been to Alaska before but only in Anchorage and the
    > drive down to Seward.
    >
    > I'd be there only for a few days. Where should I go? I hear great
    > things about Denali Park. How deep into Denali Park do I need to go?
    >
    > Thanks for any advice.
    >

    I first went to Denali in 1984. At that time, as I remember, you could drive
    into the park way past McKinley and to a lake where there was a lodge. It
    was *many* miles into the park. It was before Memorial Day and the tourism
    was light. LOTS of photo-ops. From our Motor home with my 300mm/2.8 Canon
    fluorite w 2x extender, I got a great shot around 9:30 pm of a mother moose
    and her newborn calf in the brush and in the background, you could make out
    the silhouette of a Brownie, from she was protecting the calf. A ranger
    drove up and told us that it had been going on for a couple of days and that
    Disney was sending a film crew up from L.A. to cover that event.

    I digress.

    Back to the park about six years later. It is later in the year- June or
    early July, I think and it is NEVER entirely dark. This time, we could only
    get just inside the park and had to ride in and out on a big yellow school
    bus. You could get off at one of any numerous stops and stay as long as you
    wanted and another bus would come along from either direction and take you
    to your next point of choice. I do NOT know if it was a change of policy
    that was year-round or not. Perhaps if you get there before there are a
    bunch of tourist running around driving off the road, maybe you can drive in
    by yourself. However, I would say that this time of year, you will HAVE to
    take the bus. Not a big deal - the drivers are VERY informative as well.

    I suggest that you pick up a copy of " The Milepost" before you go on your
    road adventure. It is "The Bible" for the Alaskan road tourist. Copious
    descriptions of every inch of all of the Alaskan roads. It is well worth the
    $25 list price (may be cheaper online if you have the time).

    As you head north from Anchorage around milepost 130 on the Parks Highway,
    there is a spectacular view of McKinley from it's south side on the highway
    turnout. If it is a clear day, that is a "must" shot.

    You should also take the boat ride to Glacier Bay National Park. There is
    nothing like the myriad of blues in that ice. The sound of "calving" is like
    nothing you have ever heard!

    I also recommend that if you have the time, head north from Fairbanks toward
    Barrow on the Dalton Highway. The road parallels the Alaskan Pipeline and is
    quite rough in places. If you don't get all the way to Pt. Barrow, at least
    make the Artic Circle (so you can say that you've been there anyway. But
    watch out for aircraft landing on the road and mosquitoes the size of
    sparrows.

    Happy hunting! Be sure and take a few extra memory cards, you'll be SURE and
    use them....
    Galen Scott, Jul 17, 2003
    #2
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  3. J.W.

    Mark M Guest

    "J.W." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > I'm interested in visiting Alaska to do some photography. The first
    > priority would be spectacular scenery. Wildlife photography
    > opportunities would be nice but wonderful scenery is the major
    > priority. I've been to Alaska before but only in Anchorage and the
    > drive down to Seward.
    >
    > I'd be there only for a few days. Where should I go? I hear great
    > things about Denali Park. How deep into Denali Park do I need to go?


    The above two posts are good ones.
    If you only have a few days, then I think the drive to Denali and back would
    be perfect.

    If you are lucky, you might even see Mt. McKinley WITHOUT entering the
    park...like this shot I took a couple years ago right on the highway:
    http://makeashorterlink.com/?S6AC12E45
    Believe it or not, this image is shot over 100 miles away from the mountain,
    though it looks much closer.

    If you do choose to take a bus to Eilson (sp), make sure you take the
    earliest one, as you'll see far more animal activity. However, you'll still
    see tons of caribou, moose and perhaps grizzlies even later in the day. On
    our first trip into the park via the bus, we saw (gasp) 22...yes,
    twenty-two, grizzly bears including cubs. This is unusual though, as the
    last time we were there we only saw one.

    While you're driving from Anchorage, don't fail to stop along the way to
    walk into the woods a bit (just make plenty of noise and the grizzlies won't
    bother you). You will miss a LOT if you just drive by in your hurry to get
    to Denali.
    -Pick/eat wild blueberries (there are tons in August)...
    -Explore various trails (not just the marked ones)...
    -Check out some of the effects on rocks from freezing (there are some very
    interesting leyering effects on rocks small enough to pick up)...
    -Get out whenever you near some of the significant bridges along the
    highway. They seem to be in areas that attract critters, like these:
    http://makeashorterlink.com/?U1EC25E45


    If you ever have a week or more to spend there, post again and I'll tell you
    about a MUCH more exciting way to see the real WILDS of Alaska. :)
    Mark M, Jul 18, 2003
    #3
  4. J.W.

    Jinkyu Yang Guest

    > If you ever have a week or more to spend there, post again and I'll tell
    you
    > about a MUCH more exciting way to see the real WILDS of Alaska. :)


    I am planning to go to Alaska from Aug. 16 to Aug. 27. The postings above
    make me already excited. :)
    I am more interested in taking landscape pictures with slide films than
    taking animal pictures.
    Could you recommend me good spots for about 10-day photo trip?
    I also wonder public transportation in Alaska (ex. from Ancorage to Denali
    National Park) would be available in a cheap rate, since it would be
    extremely difficult to rent a car as an under-25 guy.
    Thank you very much for your advices in advance.

    Jinkyu Yang
    www.stanford.edu/~jingyos
    Jinkyu Yang, Jul 18, 2003
    #4
  5. J.W.

    Steve Wilbur Guest

    In article <bf85ld$e8$>, "Jinkyu Yang"
    <> wrote:
    > I also wonder public transportation in Alaska (ex. from Ancorage to Denali
    > National Park) would be available in a cheap rate, since it would be
    > extremely difficult to rent a car as an under-25 guy.
    > Thank you very much for your advices in advance.


    I live in Anchorage...and I can tell you there is no public transportation
    to speak of. Certainly not from here to Denali. You will almost certainly
    need to rent a car or make some other arrangements. If you don't want to
    rent a car, your best bet is probably to take the train from here to
    Fairbanks. I don't know if it stops at Denali or not - I would think it
    would but I just don't know. Do a google for Alaska Railroad and go to
    their home page to check it out.
    Steve Wilbur, Jul 18, 2003
    #5
  6. J.W.

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: "Jinkyu Yang"

    >I also wonder public transportation in Alaska (ex. from Ancorage to Denali
    >National Park) would be available in a cheap rate, since it would be
    >extremely difficult to rent a car as an under-25 guy.


    Cheapest, fastest way to get from Anchorage to Denali is to take one of the
    small passenger vans, which pick-up downtown and drop off at the railway depot
    in Denali. We usually rent a car, but last year rode a van since we were
    staying 11 days in the wilderness and there's no place to drop off a rental car
    in Denali. I think it was about $130 or so.

    You can also ride the train, which costs a lot more and takes several hours
    longer, but allows you to look around more :)

    But in general it's hard to get around Alaska without a rental car.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Jul 18, 2003
    #6
  7. J.W.

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: (Steve Wilbur)

    >I live in Anchorage...and I can tell you there is no public transportation
    >to speak of. Certainly not from here to Denali.


    http://www.alaskatravel.com/bus-lines/schedule.html for daily bus service from
    Anchorage to Denali (or Seward).

    >your best bet is probably to take the train from here to
    >Fairbanks. I don't know if it stops at Denali or not - I would think it
    >would but I just don't know.


    Yes the train stops in Denali, it reaches Denali in the early afternoon each
    day.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Jul 18, 2003
    #7
  8. "J.W." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > I'm interested in visiting Alaska to do some photography. The first
    > priority would be spectacular scenery. Wildlife photography
    > opportunities would be nice but wonderful scenery is the major
    > priority. I've been to Alaska before but only in Anchorage and the
    > drive down to Seward.
    >
    > I'd be there only for a few days. Where should I go? I hear great
    > things about Denali Park. How deep into Denali Park do I need to go?
    >
    > Thanks for any advice.
    >

    On our trip to Alaska, we rented a car and drove over probably 90% of the
    paved highways in the state. The road between Anchorage and Tok goes
    through fabulous scenery. Not many tourists see it, because Tok is pretty
    close to nowhere.

    There is a dirt road from the highway north of Tok that takes you to Denali.
    We didn't go that way, but it is supposed to give some great views.

    The West side of Denali takes you over a good road with magnificent views
    acroos Cook Inlet. We were lucky to see a chain of volcanoes about 50 miles
    away across the inlet, clear as can be, when we went south on the road. On
    the way back, about 3 hours later, the volcanoes couldn't be seen any more.

    The half-day boat rides to see glaciers are a must. We took one out of
    Seward, and another out of Whittier. Both were good, but the latter had
    more spectacular scenery.
    Marvin Margoshes, Jul 18, 2003
    #8
  9. I've lived in Anchorage for 11 years.

    Denali is hit or miss on the mountain itself. The best time of year to
    see it is Jan or Feb, the mountain gets dawn earlier than Anchorage
    due to its height and just glows on the horizon.. Summertime the
    mountain is usually clouded over.

    As you get close to the park from the south, you do get some nice
    rolling tundra that is pretty. But, in general, you'll be very
    fortunate to get a clear view of Denali itself in Summer.

    Homer/Kachemak Bay is gorgeous and the drive down to Homer from
    Anchorage is spectacular. The Seward highway south of Anchorage is one
    of the top 10 scenic drives in the country. Just 40 minutes south of
    town is the Portage area with several hanging glaciers visible from
    the road. The Turnagain Arm of Cook inlet is very scenic (unless the
    tid is out, then it's mud for as far as the eye can see)

    Once you get past Kenai/Soldotna you get out to driving along the
    western coast of the Kenai Penn. and can see the volcanos across Cook
    Inlet. Redoubt and further south Augustine stand out above the
    mountains. You can get a great shot of Redoubt from Skilak lake.

    Kachemak Bay is where all those eagle pictures are taken where you see
    the eagle soaring and far away in the background is a mountain range.






    On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 20:22:53 -0700, "Mark M" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >"J.W." <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >>
    >> I'm interested in visiting Alaska to do some photography. The first
    >> priority would be spectacular scenery. Wildlife photography
    >> opportunities would be nice but wonderful scenery is the major
    >> priority. I've been to Alaska before but only in Anchorage and the
    >> drive down to Seward.
    >>
    >> I'd be there only for a few days. Where should I go? I hear great
    >> things about Denali Park. How deep into Denali Park do I need to go?

    >
    >The above two posts are good ones.
    >If you only have a few days, then I think the drive to Denali and back would
    >be perfect.
    >
    >If you are lucky, you might even see Mt. McKinley WITHOUT entering the
    >park...like this shot I took a couple years ago right on the highway:
    >http://makeashorterlink.com/?S6AC12E45
    >Believe it or not, this image is shot over 100 miles away from the mountain,
    >though it looks much closer.
    >
    >If you do choose to take a bus to Eilson (sp), make sure you take the
    >earliest one, as you'll see far more animal activity. However, you'll still
    >see tons of caribou, moose and perhaps grizzlies even later in the day. On
    >our first trip into the park via the bus, we saw (gasp) 22...yes,
    >twenty-two, grizzly bears including cubs. This is unusual though, as the
    >last time we were there we only saw one.
    >
    >While you're driving from Anchorage, don't fail to stop along the way to
    >walk into the woods a bit (just make plenty of noise and the grizzlies won't
    >bother you). You will miss a LOT if you just drive by in your hurry to get
    >to Denali.
    >-Pick/eat wild blueberries (there are tons in August)...
    >-Explore various trails (not just the marked ones)...
    >-Check out some of the effects on rocks from freezing (there are some very
    >interesting leyering effects on rocks small enough to pick up)...
    >-Get out whenever you near some of the significant bridges along the
    >highway. They seem to be in areas that attract critters, like these:
    >http://makeashorterlink.com/?U1EC25E45
    >
    >
    >If you ever have a week or more to spend there, post again and I'll tell you
    >about a MUCH more exciting way to see the real WILDS of Alaska. :)
    >
    Bruce Shellenbaum, Jul 18, 2003
    #9
  10. J.W.

    Steve Wilbur Guest

    In article <>, "Marvin Margoshes"
    <> wrote:
    > There is a dirt road from the highway north of Tok that takes you to Denali.
    > We didn't go that way, but it is supposed to give some great views.


    No there isn't. Denali is nowhere near Tok (i.e. severl hundred miles
    away). The road north of Tok takes you to Chicken, or Dawson somewhere.

    > The West side of Denali takes you over a good road with magnificent views
    > acroos Cook Inlet.


    West side of Denali? Huh?? You can't get over there in a car, there are no
    roads! I can only guess you mean would be the East side, since that's the
    only side you can get to without a plane.
    Steve Wilbur, Jul 18, 2003
    #10
  11. "Steve Wilbur" <> wrote in message
    news:ultramafic-1807031013290001@10.0.1.49...
    > In article <>, "Marvin Margoshes"
    > <> wrote:
    > > There is a dirt road from the highway north of Tok that takes you to

    Denali.
    > > We didn't go that way, but it is supposed to give some great views.

    >
    > No there isn't. Denali is nowhere near Tok (i.e. severl hundred miles
    > away). The road north of Tok takes you to Chicken, or Dawson somewhere.
    >
    > > The West side of Denali takes you over a good road with magnificent

    views
    > > acroos Cook Inlet.

    >
    > West side of Denali? Huh?? You can't get over there in a car, there are no
    > roads! I can only guess you mean would be the East side, since that's the
    > only side you can get to without a plane.

    The road North from Tok takes you to Faibanks. You are on the Alcan highway
    for the first stretch. One road branches to the East to Dawson. The road
    to Denali starts by going South from Delta Junction, then heads West in the
    direction of Denali. I haven't been on either, but they are supposed to be
    spectacular - but slow - drives.

    Actually, I think there are great photos to be had from anywhere in Alaska.
    Kodak should subsidize the tourist industry.
    Marvin Margoshes, Jul 18, 2003
    #11
  12. J.W.

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: "Marvin Margoshes"

    >The West side of Denali takes you over a good road with magnificent views
    >acroos Cook Inlet.


    There is no road system "west of Denali", only the paved highway running
    north/south between Anchorage and Fairbanks, and the dirt "Denali Hiway" to the
    east running between Paxson and Cantwell. And Cook Inlet runs into Anchorage,
    over 200 miles south of Denali.

    >We were lucky to see a chain of volcanoes about 50 miles
    >away across the inlet, clear as can be, when we went south on the road


    This sounds more like the views from the Sterling Highway between Soldotna and
    Homer, south of Anchorage and far south of Denali. You probably saw Mt.
    Iliamna and the Redoubt Volcano.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Jul 18, 2003
    #12
  13. J.W.

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >>"Marvin Margoshes" <> wrote:
    >>
    >> There is a dirt road from the highway north of Tok that takes you to
    >>Denali. We didn't go that way, but it is supposed to give some great
    >>views.



    >From: (Steve Wilbur)


    >No there isn't. Denali is nowhere near Tok (i.e. severl hundred miles
    >away).


    Marvin is no doubt talking about the dirt "Denali Highway" running between
    Paxson and Cantwell, which is reached via the Richardson Highway (though it's a
    bit far from Tok). He's right about the views, especially the last 50 miles as
    you near Denali.
    Bill Hilton, Jul 18, 2003
    #13
  14. J.W.

    George Kerby Guest

    Re: Alaska photography; where to go? (Denali Park? Homer?Seward? Kenai?)

    On 7/18/03 1:53 PM, in article ,
    "Bill Hilton" <> wrote:

    >> From: "Marvin Margoshes"

    >
    >> The West side of Denali takes you over a good road with magnificent views
    >> acroos Cook Inlet.

    >
    > There is no road system "west of Denali", only the paved highway running
    > north/south between Anchorage and Fairbanks, and the dirt "Denali Hiway" to
    > the
    > east running between Paxson and Cantwell. And Cook Inlet runs into Anchorage,
    > over 200 miles south of Denali.
    >
    >> We were lucky to see a chain of volcanoes about 50 miles
    >> away across the inlet, clear as can be, when we went south on the road

    >
    > This sounds more like the views from the Sterling Highway between Soldotna and
    > Homer, south of Anchorage and far south of Denali. You probably saw Mt.
    > Iliamna and the Redoubt Volcano.
    >
    > Bill
    >
    >

    I'm glad that Marvin is not a Bush Pilot in your State. Man, he'd run outta
    fuel. LOL!!!


    ______________________________________________________________________
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    George Kerby, Jul 18, 2003
    #14
  15. J.W.

    bmuller Guest


    >
    > "J.W." <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > >
    > > I'm interested in visiting Alaska to do some photography. The first
    > > priority would be spectacular scenery. Wildlife photography
    > > opportunities would be nice but wonderful scenery is the major
    > > priority. I've been to Alaska before but only in Anchorage and the
    > > drive down to Seward.
    > >
    > > I'd be there only for a few days. Where should I go? I hear great
    > > things about Denali Park. How deep into Denali Park do I need to go?


    We just got back from Alaska last week. We did approximately: Anchorage,
    Denali, Fairbanks, Tok, Eagle, Dawson, Whitehorse, Skagway. There is
    magnificent scenery of one kind or another everywhere. But, if you only have
    a few days, I'd say the Denali area has the greatest concentration of
    scenery, wildlife, etc altogether.

    bern muller
    bmuller, Jul 19, 2003
    #15
  16. J.W.

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    I'm adding every asshole that posted and replied to this thread
    to my killfile! You are are usless loosers who need a web fucking!
    Goodbyeeee! FLUSSSH!

    --
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    New email - Contact on the Menyou page.
    "J.W." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > I'm interested in visiting Alaska to do some photography. The

    first
    > priority would be spectacular scenery. Wildlife photography
    > opportunities would be nice but wonderful scenery is the major
    > priority. I've been to Alaska before but only in Anchorage and

    the
    > drive down to Seward.
    >
    > I'd be there only for a few days. Where should I go? I hear

    great
    > things about Denali Park. How deep into Denali Park do I need to

    go?
    >
    > Thanks for any advice.
    >
    Tony Spadaro, Jul 19, 2003
    #16
  17. "Bill Hilton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > >From: "Marvin Margoshes"

    >
    > >The West side of Denali takes you over a good road with magnificent views
    > >acroos Cook Inlet.


    Sorry, I meant the Kenai Peninsula.

    >
    > There is no road system "west of Denali", only the paved highway running
    > north/south between Anchorage and Fairbanks, and the dirt "Denali Hiway"

    to the
    > east running between Paxson and Cantwell. And Cook Inlet runs into

    Anchorage,
    > over 200 miles south of Denali.
    >
    > >We were lucky to see a chain of volcanoes about 50 miles
    > >away across the inlet, clear as can be, when we went south on the road

    >
    > This sounds more like the views from the Sterling Highway between Soldotna

    and
    > Homer, south of Anchorage and far south of Denali. You probably saw Mt.
    > Iliamna and the Redoubt Volcano.


    That's right. Great view, when you can see that far.
    >
    > Bill
    >
    >
    Marvin Margoshes, Jul 19, 2003
    #17
  18. J.W.

    Steve Wilbur Guest

    In article <bfas4p$1dj$>, "Tony Spadaro"
    <> wrote:

    > I'm adding every asshole that posted and replied to this thread
    > to my killfile! You are are usless loosers who need a web fucking!
    > Goodbyeeee! FLUSSSH!


    alrighty then.
    Steve Wilbur, Jul 19, 2003
    #18
  19. J.W.

    Steve Wilbur Guest

    In article <>, "Marvin Margoshes"
    <> wrote:
    > I'm looking at an Alaska map right now. The Alcan highway runs northwest
    > from Tok to Delta Junction. If you go the other way - southeast - you go to
    > Canada.
    > Continuing northwwest from Delta Juntion takes you to Fairbanks. B.t.w.,
    > the views on that road are far from the greatest, but you do see a bit of
    > the pipeline..


    Well, if you're looking at that map and decide for yourself that "the road
    north from Tok" is the one that goes predominately WEST to Delta and not
    the Taylor Highway which runs predominately NORTH to Chicken, there isn't
    much I can say, except that I hope you're not responsible for teaching
    anyone geography.
    Steve Wilbur, Jul 19, 2003
    #19
  20. "Steve Wilbur" <> wrote in message
    news:ultramafic-1907031107200001@192.168.0.100...
    > In article <>, "Marvin Margoshes"
    > <> wrote:
    > > I'm looking at an Alaska map right now. The Alcan highway runs

    northwest
    > > from Tok to Delta Junction. If you go the other way - southeast - you

    go to
    > > Canada.
    > > Continuing northwwest from Delta Juntion takes you to Fairbanks.

    B.t.w.,
    > > the views on that road are far from the greatest, but you do see a bit

    of
    > > the pipeline..

    >
    > Well, if you're looking at that map and decide for yourself that "the road
    > north from Tok" is the one that goes predominately WEST to Delta and not
    > the Taylor Highway which runs predominately NORTH to Chicken, there isn't
    > much I can say, except that I hope you're not responsible for teaching
    > anyone geography.


    I said "Alcan highway runs northwest from Tok to Delta Junction." Go to
    http://www.cftech.com/BrainBank/GEOGRAPHY/Alaska.html, where you'll see that
    Rte 2 goes northeast from Tok to Fairbanks, with Delta Junction about
    halfway. I never mentioned Taylor highway.
    Marvin Margoshes, Jul 19, 2003
    #20
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