When we think of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, we visions of massive, jagged mountains and winding glaciers that wind their way to infinity come to mind. But Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is also home to a wonderful array of forest ecosystems; the sheer scale of the park’s geography is illustrated perhaps nowhere more clearly than in the diversity of its forests. From the subarctic, scraggly, broken black spruce boreal forests, particularly on the north side of the park, mixed deciduous and spruce forest in the Copper River Basin area, to the lush green Sitka spruce dominated rainforests along the coastal reaches of the park.
I’ve spent time trying to capture some sense of these places in various seasons, from spring through winter, but fall is really my favorite time in the forest. The intensity of the change is so fantastic; as if Mother Nature is trying to squeeze an entire season into a single week, the forest can go from green to brown in an amazingly brief period of time. And to watch those colors change, daily, with changing altitude is fascinating. Fall literally creeps down the mountainsides in August and September.
I’ll add further images to this gallery as time permits, so do check back in.