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Bergh Lake photo pair
Photo Credits: Warren F. Steenbergh (Denali NP&P Museum Coll. 23118) (1954), R. D. Karpilo (2012)
Ecoregion: Alaska Range Mountains
Change Type: Unique features
Unique featuresAnimation is available
This pair of photos shows Stony Creek draining into the former "Bergh Lake" that is shown on USGS topographic maps of Denali. This lake was created when a rockslide impounded Stony Creek in 1953 by blocking the narrow entrance to the Stony Creek Gorge. On July 2, 1986, the erosive action of running water finally cleared the temporary dam and drained the lake. Little evidence of the former Bergh Lake now remains due to the power of running water and time passing. In a dynamic mountainous landscape such as Denali, these kinds of changes occur frequently and are a constant source of wonder and fascination to Park visitors and staff alike. The photo foreground displays a change to the amount and type of vegetation growing on the gravel bar, and if you look closely to the edges of the gravel bar, you may be able to trace stream terraces that have developed over time. Could the presence of the Park Road be affecting downstream flow?