As home North America’s highest peak, and one of America's oldest National Parks, Denali National Park offers a world-class setting for shutterbugs. From beginners to professionals, photography is a great way to forever capture the majesty and immensity of this incredible place. To help you make the most of your time shooting in Denali, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Taking a longer bus trip into the park increases your odds of seeing wildlife.
- Pick a good seat. Take a look at the park map and pick a seat on the side of the bus that gives you the best views.
- Knowing the habits of species ups your odds of spotting them. For example, moose are most often seen late in the season.
- The Wonder Lake area is full of ponds and bodies of water, making it one of the best spots to see water-loving birds and waterfowl.
- The first 15 miles of the road into Denali does afford views of wildlife but you must keep in mind the time of day. The earlier in the morning and later at night you can drive the road, the more likely you are to spot the animals.
- The mountain is not visible from the park entrance, making a bus trip into the interior a must for photographers looking to capture the peak.
- Only about a third of the summer days are clear, making shots of the entire mountain a challenge. Your best bet is to arrive early in the morning or late in the day.
- If you wish to shoot the landscape, consider taking a shuttle bus that allows you to get on and off, re-boarding after you’ve photographed the scenery. However, keep in mind, the shuttle buses are not tour buses.
- If your bus is overly crowded, wait for the next one. This will allow for more room for your equipment and, if you’re lucky, the room to shoot out both windows on both sides of the bus.
- While you can get off the bus to photograph most animals on foot, you must remain on the bus to shoot bears. Good bear pictures are possible when they wander close to the road. Be prepared for every instance by having a 600mm lens for far-off shots and a zoom lens or spare camera with a shorter lens for the event that one ambles alongside the bus.
- Mid-June to mid-July is prime season for wildflowers, which can best be seen on one of the many park hikes found in the park guidebook.
You can visit Denali National Park on YMT Vacations’ Alaskan Discovery Tour. This 10-day journey includes the popular Denali Natural History Tour. You can expand your photography opportunities by upgrading to the Tundra Wilderness Tour that travels 53 miles into the interior. Beyond the Denali experience, this tour also includes travel to the Iditarod Sled Dog Headquarters, the Gold Dredge #8 historic site and Kenai Fjords National Park Glacier & Wildlife Cruise. You’ll see whales, otters, sea lions, puffins and more on this journey to America’s “Last Frontier.” To make your plans to join this exciting tour, call you travel consultant or YMT Vacations at 1-877-483-8845.