360Panos logo thematic lists

Previous Thematic Listing:
Passes - Northwest, Rockies
Next Thematic Listing:
National Parks - Alaska Two

National Parks in Alaska

Page One


Denali National Park and Preserve

The Parks Highway runs along the east border of the park, and on clear days affords a distant view of Mt McKinley.

 thumbnail - Denali North Viewpoint

The Denali North Viewpoint on the Parks Highway unfortunately cloudy

near Nenana on the Parks Highway, Alaska

August 6, 2000
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
South of Denali

Healy, on the Nenana River, is the gateway community to Denali. Most tourist-oriented development is concentrated here, at the east entrance to the park.

 thumbnail - Nenana River Bridge

A new pedestrian bridge over the Nenana River allows hikers and bikers access to the park entrance from Healy.

Healy, Alaska

August 14, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Healy

The park visitor center is near the Alaska Railroad station, along with a cafeteria, some shops, and the main campground.

 thumbnail - Denali Visitor Center at Riley Creek

Denali National Park is the largest tourist attraction in Alaska and has a comprehensive set of visitor facilities.

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 11, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Denali Station and Riley Creek Area

One of the most popular sights at Denali is the sled dog kennels, with a daily demonstration.

 thumbnail - Denali sled dogs and their kennels

One of the most popular sights at Denali is the sled dog kennels. There are demonstrations several times daily, which the dogs love as much as the spectators.

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 11, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Denali Station and Riley Creek Area

Private vehicles are only allowed to drive a few miles into the park. A guard station at Savage River allows only official buses, certain tours, and campers with reservations at Teklanika River to pass.

 thumbnail - Savage River Trail

There is a short nature trail at Savage River, mile 13 on the park road. This is where most vehicles must turn around, only registered Teklanika Creek campers and buses are allowed through.

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 14, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Denali Park Road East of Eielson

Denali National Park and Preserve - Denali Park Road

The only car-camping along the park road is at Teklanika River. Hard-sided vehicles are required because of the danger posed by grizzly bears in the area.

 thumbnail - Teklanika River Campground

Available by reservation and for hard-sided camping vehicles only (because of bears) Teklanika River Campground is as far into the park as private vehicles are allowed to drive. This is Mile 29 on the park road.

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 13, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Denali Park Road East of Eielson

The Toklat River Visitor Center is about one third of the way along the park road. It offers restrooms and a few displays. Cross-country hikes begin here, and the backcountry ranger base is nearby. If the weather is bad many people transfer here to a bus heading back.

 thumbnail - Toklat River Contact Station

Rainy misty weather at the Toklat River Contact Station (visitor center), first stop on the bus tour.

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 12, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Denali Park Road East of Eielson

On clear days the road-shoulder stop at Polychrome Ridge offers spectacular views, possibly including Mt McKinley.

 thumbnail - Polychrome Ridge viewpoint

Polychrome Ridge has spectacular views on clear days, but not to Denali itself. Mile 47 on the park road.

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 13, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Denali Park Road East of Eielson

The Eielson Visitor Center is most visitors' destination on the park road bus tour. It offers a clear view of "the mountain" if weather permits, and local hikes across the tundra.

 thumbnail - Denali seen from the Eielson Visitor Center

We were fortunate to see Denali from the Eilson Visitor Center. Two-thirds of park visitors never see the mountain, and I had not seen it on two previous visits.

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 13, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Eielson Visitor Center

The Denali Park Road continues to Wonder Lake, with classic views of Mt McKinley possible. The road ends at the small community of Kantishna, where there are lodges and cabins.

 thumbnail - Wonder Lake on a cloudy day

Wonder Lake is famous for its view of "the mountain" 27 miles away, but only on clear days. This is Mile 86 on the park road.

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 12, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Denali Park Road West of Eielson

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

There are no roads entering the vast wilderness of this national park. The visitor center is in Coldfoot, the only thing resembling a town for hundreds of miles.

 thumbnail - Gates of the Arctic National Park Visitor Center

Visitor Center for Gates of the Arctic National Park and other public lands

Coldfoot, Alaska

September 2, 2010
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Wiseman and Coldfoot

The national park runs westward from the highway and the Koyukuk River. Here at Wiseman there are a few historic miners' log cabins, and more modern cabins that are inhabited year around.

 thumbnail - The Koyukuk RIver

Evening on the Koyukuk River at Wiseman in the Brooks Range

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska

September 2, 2010
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Wiseman and Coldfoot

Despite the intrusion of the Dalton Highway with its heavy truck traffic, this country is still very wild. There are no side roads, and the only buildings, widely spaced, are for road or piepline maintenance or research.

 thumbnail - The Koyoukuk River near Mount Sukakpak

The Koyoukuk River parallels the Dalton Highway near Mount Sukakpak

on the Dalton Highway south of the Brooks Range, Alaska

September 3, 2010
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Koyukuk River

The Dempster Highway climbs steeply to Atigun Pass at 4,739 feet/1,444 meters in the Brooks Range.

 thumbnail - Chandalar Shelf on the south side of Atigun Pass

Chandalar Shelf in the Brooks Range just south of Atigun Pass

Dalton Highway in the Brooks Range, Alaska

September 3, 2010
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Atigun Pass in the Brooks Range

North of Atigun Pass, Gates of the Arctic National Park flanks the west side of the highway/pipeline corridor, with the Arctic National Wildlfe Refuge on the east side.

 thumbnail - North Slope on the Dalton Highway

The North Slope, north of the Brooks Range on the Dalton Highway

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

September 3, 2010
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
The North Slope

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Other than a very limited number of bed and breakfast inns in nearby Gustavus, the place to stay overnight in Glacier Bay is the lodge at Bartlett Cove.

 thumbnail - Lobby at Glacier Bay Lodge

The comfortable lobby and both indoor and outdoor dining areas at Glacier Bay Lodge.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 5, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Gustavus and Bartlett Cove

The only way to see the glaciers of Glacier Bay is from the water. There are kayak tours, and a few crusise ships are allowed in to certain areas each day. But most people take the national park cruise, a day-long expedition with a naturalist.

 thumbnail - Floating dock at Bartlett Cove

Official national park service nature cruises on Glacier Bay depart from the floating dock at Bartlett Cove.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 5, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Gustavus and Bartlett Cove

The first part of the Glacier Bay cruise is through fiords left bare by retreating ice over the last century and now revegetating. There are lots of sea birds and marine mammals to be seen.

 thumbnail - Glassy smooth Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay was smooth and mirror-like as we returned to Bartlett Cove.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 6, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Glacier Bay Cruise

The climax of the cruise is a close look at one or more glaciers. Only a few still reach tidewater, and those are dangerous to approach closely because they calve ice bergs unpredictably.

 thumbnail - Glacier Bay day cruise at the Johns Hopkins Glacier

The blue ice cliffs at the terminus of the Johns Hopkins Glacier were an amazing sight.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

August 6, 2013
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
Glacier Bay Cruise

Kenai Fiords National Park

Kenai Fiords is best seen from the ocean, on tour boats based in Seward. But at one point, the huge central icefield overflows and comes close to the main highway around the Kenai Peninsula. The Exit Glacier can be approached closely by anyone, and offers serious hikers a challenge since it leads up into the huge complex of glaciers in the interior of the peninsula.

 thumbnail - Blue glacial ice at the Exit Glacier

Blue glacial ice at the terminus of the Exit Glacier, near Seward

Kenai Fiords National Park, near Seward, Alaska

July 30, 2000
See location in Google Maps

More panoramas of:
The Outlet Glacier

Previous Thematic Listing:
Passes - Northwest, Rockies
Next Thematic Listing:
National Parks - Alaska Two