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Thorofare bar photo pair
Photo Credits: J. C. Reed (Denali NP&P Museum Coll. 185) (1931); Leslie A. Viereck (1958), Dave Densmore (1975)
Ecoregion: Alaska Range Mountains
Change Type: Unique features
Unique features
This photo pair captures 44 years of dramatic change on the Copper Mountain Bar. This view looks north to the Eielson bluffs from the foot of Mt. Eielson (formerly known as Copper Mountain). Notice the road cut of the Denali Park Road visible on the bluffs in the later two photos. In the 1931 photo, notice the gathering of white dots at the base of small ridge that juts out into the flatlands near the Thorofare River. This is the site of the Copper Mountain Patrol cabin built in 1928. In 1931, this area was a hub of activity, as a U.S. Geological Survey party was camped there for three months (in white canvas wall tents), and the Mt. McKinley Tourist and Transportation company had tents set up to serve as an overnight accommodation for park visitors on guided horseback trips. By 1958 however, the suitability of this site had changed. Notice how the band of vegetation separating the cabin and the active floodplain of the Thorofare River is quite wide in the 1931 photo, but has mostly disappeared by 1958. A change in the course of the Thorofare River dropped several feet of sediment onto the cabin site, completely burying the cabin! Type "Copper+Mountain+Cabin" into the Search photo pairs box to see more documentation of this remarkable event.