Denali is certainly more than a mountain. The national park holds an astounding amount of wild land, more than six million acres. You can drive the single road that bisects the park during the summer, or if you're interested in a more unique experience, you can catch a plane with Talkeetna Air.
It is challenging to try and take in the entirety of the national park without taking a plane. Once you're up in the air, you gain an incredible sense of perspective on how vast the area is.
While flying you’ll be able to pass over glaciers such as the Great Gorge of the Ruth and many others. The view of these formations from up high is spectacular.
If you don't choose to take a flight tour of the mountains (which you can do straight from Anchorage), the drive has some nice scenery as well. The trip by car is about three hours to Talkeenta from Anchorage so it isn't too long!
- Bring warm clothes
- Plan far ahead. There aren't many hotels in Talkeetna, and they fill up quickly during the summer months
- Denali and Mt. McKinley are two different names for the same mountain. Locals call it Denali and everyone else calls it Mt. McKinley
- High shutter speed! If you are shooting from a plane you are moving extremely fast so you want to make sure to compensate with your shutters
- Bring an extra body if you are shooting professionally. Learned my lesson on this trip as I dropped my camera and jammed my 24-70 lens onto my 6D and couldn’t get it off for the entire trip
- Canon 6D
- Canon 24-70mm ƒ2.8 L II
- Canon 70-200mm ƒ2.8 IS II
- Canon 24mm ƒ1.8 I
Alaska Conservation Foundation protects Alaska's natural environment and the diverse cultures and ways of life it sustains.
The organization is currently the single largest grant maker to Alaskan conservation efforts. They have been fighting arctic drilling, mining, and environmentally hazardous development projects for over 35 years.
It is a nonprofit that will have its work cut out for the next couple of decades as international mining operations look toward Alaska for new locations for drilling and mining. Alaska currently holds around 1/8 of the world coal deposits. Conservation efforts and nonprofits such as ACF will be instrumental in making sure that proposed projects that could destroy this precious land do not materialize.