Today few people travel the Denali Highway. It is a direct route if any of the 40 people in Paxon want to visit the 222 in Cantwall. Other than that, it's pretty much tourists and photographers that travel the road. The October 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine lists the Denali Highway as number 2 in their list of “roads that are pure fun to drive” highlighting “the gritty charms of a remote Alaskan highway.”
We spent a few hours one afternoon and traveled about 30 miles down the highway from Cantwell. The scenery along the road is beautiful. Being an unimproved road, you can pull off most anywere and not worry about traffic.
|Wide Open Spaces|
|We stayed here for a while|
|It's Not A Secret|
When we stopped at the creek there was another photographer there from Colorado doing the same thing. We traded places along the edge of the creek stealing each other's shots.
The name fireweed stems from its ability to rapidly colonize areas burned by fire.
|Grass In Lake|
We spotted a couple Trumpeter Swans at the far end of the lake. The Trumpeter Swan is the largest of North American waterfowl. It summers in Alaska before migrating down the coast to a slightly warmer client. It is also a conservation success story, returning after being reduced to near extinction by the early 20th century.
We made our way down the lake getting closer and closer to the Swans. I made more photos each time we stopped afraid that they would fly off at any moment. They never left, gracefully swimming back and forth looking for food under the water.
It was getting dark at this point and it was difficult to make photos from a long distance in the low light. All the Swan photos were shot with a 420mm telephoto lens on a tripod. There was no other way to get these shots.
We stayed as long as possible, but had to return to our cabin for one more night before heading off to Seward. This last photo was taken just outside our cabin when we woke up the next morning.
|McKinley Creekside Cabins|
The cabins were a neat place to stay outside Denali. Let me know if you have questions about where we went or where we stayed on our trip. I can tell you about some fantastic places!