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Horseshoe Lake photo pair
Photo Credits: Wallace A. Cole Coll. (Denali NP&P Museum) (1970), Tamás Szerényi (2010)
Ecoregion: Alaska Range Mountains
Change Type: Invasion of wetlands by woody vegetation
Invasion of wetlands by woody vegetation
This photo pair was taken from along what is now the Horseshoe Lake Trail, looking north over Horseshoe Lake, the Nenana River, and into the Nenana Canyon. Many changes are visible in this pairing. Starting in the background, in the upper right portion of the frame, there is an apparent infilling of shrubs on subalpine slopes. Moving closer to the foreground, there is also an infilling of shrubs on the steep banks of Nenana River and on the cut of the railroad (most visible in the earlier photo as the straight line of gray material above the Nenana). Interestingly, you may notice the opposite is true for a large section of rock in the upper right of the frame. This is the entry of the Nenana Canyon and during construction of the George Parks Highway in 1971 or during improvements to the highway thereafter, this rocky section was likely blasted to control rock fall and/or make room for the new roadbed. Colonization of gravel bars by vegetation is visible when examining the large island in the Nenana River. Peering through the tree branches in near the right edge of the 2010 photo, you can see a red roof. Just to the right of this frame is the large area of private development that serves most of Denalis visitors today, while in the 1970s, very little of this land had been developed. When looking to Horseshoe Lake itself, notice and infilling of vegetation from the lake edge, reducing the surface area of the lake.