Alaska in Summer 2005

Old Aug 10th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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Alaska in Summer 2005

My wife and I are planning a photography trip to Alaska next year. My main interest is landscape(flowers and mountains) but will take wildlife pics when I come across them. My delemmia(sp?) is that my wife is a teacher, therefore we can only travel between June 1 and August 29. I would like to visit Kenai area and Denali. Please advise on best time to go and best photo ops.

Thanks
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 10:41 AM
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The mountains, of course, don't move around much (a little, though, not a good feeling) but the flowers come and go. For best photo ops, I would look at either end of your range. In the spring (and yes, June 1 is still spring) the tundra in places like Denali Park can be very beautiful with lots of (mainly) little flowers, new leaves on birch or willow, things like that. OTOH, by the first of September higher or cooler areas on the tundra will be showing the start of autumn color, berries will be present, so equally colorful. Less snow on the mountains, obviously. Also around then the Fireweed will be peaking, adding hot pink flowers to any picture you take throughout the state. In August the snowmelt will have cleared from the rivers, making them blue instead of gray (except the glacial ones, which will still be green.)

As for best photo ops, well, everything is good; however there's nothing like getting up in a small plane for amazing vista shots, eye-level shots of Denali (amazing). The Kenai Fjords boat tours, or the glacier tours out of Whittier, will add beautiful marine/mountain views to the list, as well as critters big and small.

Also don't miss out on the fabulous gardens people put together in Anchorage and other towns. Like the cabbages, the flowers get real big when the sun's up 20 hours a day.
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 04:50 AM
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I would go in August- as mentioned- more color with some turning leaves and berries. Cities very colorful with flowers. Consider the last 2 weeks of August and spend several days in an area. Take the Denali park SHUTTLE to Wonder Lake, leaving on the first shuttle so to have all day there if desired. Spend a few days in Seward and Homer each. Overall plenty of photo opportunities in Alaska.
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 04:54 AM
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I am a photographer and enjoyed my stay there in August-September. The tundra is amazingly vibrant.
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 05:43 AM
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We visited the last half of June when my flowers were blooming. There were huge patches of Cow Parsley and lupines were still blooming in mid-June. One of my favorite notecards is an artist's rendition of looking at the Homer Spit over a field of Cow Parsley (purchased the card at Pratt Museum). There were many different kinds of flowers blooming in Hatchers Pass and the old mine should provide some interesting photos. One of my favorite old cabins with beautiful planters and baskets was a B&B in Hope. The Kenai/Soldotna area itself would be better for huge expanse of lowland/marsh. Possibly moose feeding. At this time of year we also saw mother moose with calves.
We got lucky on our Kenai Fjords cruise out of Seward. The day was very warm and the ocean was calm. I don't know how often there is low hanging clouds/fog. I got some pictures of mountainous islands enveloped by white clouds. It almost looked eery. We saw the most eagles in Homer and Seldovia. There is a great road up thru Homer with a great view overlooking the airport and Spit. Nice wildflowers along the way.
Take plenty of film!!!
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