Denali National Park

August 27, 1999

Natural History Tour

Alaska Range
The Alaska Range

These pictures were taken while we were on what is known as the 'Natural History Tour.' Because so many people visit the park, they cannot accommodate all who would like to tour the back country. This tour is a compromise. It takes about 3 or 4 hours. We did see wildlife and learned a lot about the flora and fauna of the park. We had hot chocolate too!

We're told that Denali is back there somewhere behind those snow-capped mountains. With autumn approaching, the tundra displayed a myriad of colors.

Tundra on the foothills

With Mt. McKinley a whopping 20,230 feet tall, one might think that
most of those show-capped mountains are nearly that tall, as well.
But that's not the case. Depending on the latitude, timberline on
these mountains is between one and two thousand feet! Here in the
park, timberline hovers around one thousand feet. Compare that to
the Rocky Mountains, where timberline is usually found between ten
and eleven thousand feet. With the exception of Mt. McKinley and
its very close neighbors, most of the peaks we saw in Alaska were
in the range between two and five or six thousand feet in height.

Above timerline

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This page last updated February 2, 2000.