Sunday, February 3, 2013

Denali Sunset

In the mid July, I went camping in Denali National Park to photograph Mount McKinley, or Denali as it is known to Alaskans, the highest peak in North America.

It was overcast in the morning when I entered the park via the park shuttle. Unfortunately, Denali (Mt. McKinley) is often hid behind clouds during the prime summer season. At an elevation of 20,328 feet high, the mountain generates its own weather.

After several hours on the park's only road, I arrived at Wonder Lake Campground, at Mile 85. The campground's location offers a broad-side view of Mt. McKinley. However, most of the early part of the day revealed only gray clouds as background. It was cloudy all afternoon while hiking the McKinley Bar Trail to the river and back. I didn't expect to see the any of the mountain that day.
Around the time when I arrived back at the campsite that evening, the clouds started moving and created some windows. Part of the mountain peak began appearing. It was in mid summer in the interior Alaska with over 20 hours of day light when the mountain slowly revealed itself.
In just a few hours, the veil was gone; Mt. McKinley was out! The clouds moved away and by late afternoon the sun also came out. In the northern latitude, sunset takes a long time... which is a photographers dream! The lower-angled sun lit up the mountain with golden orange light. As the sun slowly shifted above the horizon, McKinley was aglow in pinkish orange for quite some time.

Mother nature sometimes shows us magnificent and beautiful views.