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frontcountry photo pair
Photo Credits: Bradford Washburn (Negative #2393) (1938), NPS (2005)
Ecoregion: Alaska Range Mountains
Change Type: Human development and impacts
Human development and impactsAnimation is availableAnnotation is available
This photo pair captures development in the Denali Visitor Center area over a span of 67 years. In the 1938 photo, the buildings are the then currently being built McKinley Park Hotel, which burned to the ground in 1972, and the Alaska Railroad Depot near the railroad tracks in the lower right of photo. In the 2005 photo, buildings include the Denali Visitor Center, Murie Science & Learning Center, Denali Bookstore, and the Aramark Bus Barn. The dramatic increase in parking spaces highlights the shift in how visitors arrive at the park. Although many still arrive by train, the construction of the Parks Highway in 1971 greatly reduced the time it takes to travel by car from metropolitan Fairbanks or Anchorage. Also notice the filling in of trees and shrubs. In the 1938 photo, much of the area around the hotel site had previously been cleared for an oat and barley farm.