Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Flying over Wrangell - St. Elias National Park

Wrangell – St. Elias National Park is the largest National Park in the United States, and it contains spectacular mountain ranges and massive glacier system in the vast wilderness.
The best way to experience this largest park is take a flight over the mountain ranges and glaciers in a small bush plane. I’ve been on the planes a quite a few times since mid May.
I was flying among the high peaks of St. Elias Mountains in late May. I was thrilled to flying very closed to glacier covered rugged peaks.Also, there are so many glaciers between the mountains. Several smaller glaciers merge into a huge glacier! It was truly magnificent place.
I also flew over some major rivers in the park. The rivers start from the massive glaciers, and they get wider and braided as they go downstream. The braided river reflects sunlight through the thin clouds and it shining like silver.Here is the famous Mt. Blackburn and Root Glacier merges into Kennicott Glacier. I've lived this area for 4 months.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kennecott Mill Town

One of the big attractions in Wrangell – S. Elias National Park is the Kennecott Mill Town. (The mining company was named after the Kennicott Glacier. However, when they registered the name, they misspelled as Kennecott.)

Soon after the richest copper was discovered in this remote part of Alaska, the mill and the railroad to transport copper ore were built in this area supporting town of Kennicott in early 1900s. That was before Wrangell – St. Elias National Park was established (in 1980).

While the mill was operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except July 4th and Christmas Day), the mining employees and support employees lived Kennecott. Since the Kennecott mines closed in 1938, it quickly became a ghost town until the ruins were rediscovered for tourism. The old mill buildings are registered as a National Historic Landmark, and they are being stabilized and restored.

I’ve been photographing these picturesque buildings in the different times of the days. My favorite time is during sunset. The red buildings glow under the warm sunset light.

More information about Historic Kennecott is: