Tag Archives: Mt Drum

Copper River, Wrangell Mountains, Simpson Hill Overlook

The Copper river and Mt Drum, from Simpson Hill Overlook. View of the Copper River basin and Wrangell Mountains, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

The Copper river and Mt Drum, from Simpson Hill Overlook. View of the Copper River basin and Wrangell Mountains, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image thumbnail to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

OK, enough with the waterfalls already! Here’s another image from my spring trip earlier this year, from Simpson Hill Overlook, off the Richardson Highway, near Glennallen, Alaska. This is a scene I’ll never tire of; looking down the Copper River, with the Wrangell Mountains in glorious sunshine. The mountains you can see in this image are Mt. Drum on the left and Mt. Wrangell the broader, dome-shaped mountain on the right in the background.

Just out of sight to the left of the frame is Mt. Sanford, and  Mt. Blackburn to the right. How many vantage points do you know of in North America where you might choose to exclude from your photo two mountains both of which stand over 16 000′ high? That speaks volumes, in my opinion, about how amazing this viewpoint is. The 5th (Blackburn) and 6th tallest peaks (Sanford) in the US and they don’t make the photo? Craziness!

The Copper River is pretty grand too. Not to get bogged down by meaningless numbers and superlatives, but the Copper River is 300 miles long, and the 10th largest river, by volume, in the US. The Copper River is also the north and western boundaries of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, coolest park in all the world! It’s perhaps best known, however, for its nearly infamous Red Salmon run, usually over 2 million spawning salmon, loaded with fatty Omega-3 oils that make for some delicious supper.

I was really hoping for some sweet delicious alpenglow on this particular evening …. but ….. alas, such wasn’t to be my fortune. The light faded soon after I shot this – the boreal forest in the foreground grew dark, and the mountain light ebbed and dwindled; distant dim clouds low on the northwestern horizon thwarted my efforts at capturing some rich color on the snow-capped peaks, as seems to be the case all too often.

This scene is one of the very few ‘roadside‘ vantage points from which to photograph some of the big mountains in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Willow Lake is another. The views on a clear day from these places rival anything I’ve seen anywhere else. The problem, I guess, for photographers is that the clear days are few and far between. Enjoy ’em when ya can! 🙂



Simpson Hill Overlook and the Copper River

Wrangell Mountains, Sanford, Drum, Zanetti and Wrangell, spring, Copper River, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a photo I took last spring, just at start of the season Alaskans call “breakup”. This photo is taken from the roadside overlook just south of Glennallen, at Simpson Hill. Simpson Hill is rapidly disappearing, as the Copper River (in the foreground) erodes and cuts away at its base. Soon enough the spot may be known as “Simpson Mound”. This is probably one of the very few (maybe 2) iconic viewspots for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the largest (and way coolest) National Park in the US. There are certainly many other grand views to be had, and amazing sites, but few that are so frequently photographed from.

The mountains, viewed from this spot, are simply awesome. From left to right, the mountains are Continue reading