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Alaska Canada (AlCan) highway in British Columbia. Canon 5D Mark III, 100-400mm f/4L IS, (100mm), 1/320 sec @ f/8, ISO 200.

This classic view of the AlCan Highway weaves its way through British Columbia and the Yukon Territory about 400 hundred miles from the Alaska border. I’ve traveled the highway many times over the past three decades, and while it has changed significantly, it still holds that charm of remote and unpopulated feel. Early to mid September is a beautiful time to make the journey as the leaves and surrounding tundra is turning ripe and colorful under autumn’s spell. At first I was shooting this scene from the road level, but later ran up an adjacent slope to get a slightly different perspective.

  • Darris - Stunning . . . I’ve been to both Canada and Alaska but haven’t yet driven the AlCan Highway. A definite addition to my ‘must experience’ list.

    I’m really enjoying (and sharing) your images. Brings AK home again . . .September 25, 2012 – 1:16 pmReplyCancel

    • desertvoice - Alaska has been beautifully made by God! I have driven AlCan highway several times. It’s a onece-in-a-lifetime experience.June 21, 2014 – 8:18 amReplyCancel

    • Patrick Endres - Darris, it certainly is a journey worth making at some point.September 25, 2012 – 2:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Michael Burke - I just discovered your blog, and wanted to say that I love your images! You really manage to capture the essence of nature and wildlife. Thank you for sharing a virtual Alaska with us.September 25, 2012 – 2:08 amReplyCancel

  • Phyllis B. - Beautiful, hope to make this drive one day.September 24, 2012 – 12:57 pmReplyCancel

Fish creek, flanked by the forest hillsides of the Tongass National Forest, Hyder, Alaska, southeast. Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS (55mm), 1/15 sec @ f/16, ISO 100

Fish creek is located in near Hyder, Alaska, the only mainland accessible town along Alaska’s southern portion of the panhandle. It is a tiny place and accessed from the Cassiar Highway in British Columbia, Canada. Fish creek is a popular destination for bears who come in search of the salmon that lay in its clear waters. The Tongass National Forest borders the area and it was in classical form during my short visit, which was misty, rain filled clouds that would come and go through the mountains.

  • Karen Casebeer - What a great shot, Patrick! It’s so realistic, I feel like I’m there.September 21, 2012 – 6:21 amReplyCancel

Wildland fire in the Tanana Valley south of Fairbanks, Alaska, is fueled by high winds. Canon 5D Mark III, 500mm f/4L IS II, 1/6 sec @ f/4, ISO 400

Within 24 hours this weekend, 80% of the leaves were stripped from the trees in the vicinity of my house in Fairbanks. Powerful winds swept across Alaska’s interior advancing the look of winter on the landscape considerably. These winds also offered oxygen to a wildfire burning south of Fairbanks in the Tanana Valley. It was leaping in orange flames this morning on the pre dawn horizon.

  • chuck ashley - Hi Patrick,
    Nice shot of the fire, sad to hear about your leaves being blown away with those high winds. I saw from Anchorage Daily News that winds around Girdwood were pushing a 120 mph with the Portage Glacier area received 5 inches of rain. I have a feeling this winter will come early & harshly-stay warm & dry as you can Patrick!
    Look forward to your next photo
    Chuck AshleySeptember 17, 2012 – 5:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Patrick Endres - Jan, The sunrise was quite pink this morning, so the angle of light here, although the sun is not risen yet, is coming from a near perpendicular angle and probably contributes to the pastel, more pink color.September 17, 2012 – 11:41 amReplyCancel

  • Jan - What makes the colors so pastel? Is there lots of moisture in the air or the angle of light in the far north?
    Here ( high desert Nevada) a fire photo is very orange no mater time of day.
    Your fire is very pretty.September 17, 2012 – 11:37 amReplyCancel

Fresh snow falls over the boreal forested hills in Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory, Canada. Canon 5D Mark III, 500mm f/4L IS II, 1/125 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 200.

It is upon us. The edge of winter that is. It’s a beautiful time of year with autumn colors broacasted across the hillsides and mountain slopes. It is especially beautiful when a snowfall comes a little early, before the leaves have fallen, and the white decorates the leafed out trees. This happened when I was in the Yukon Territory, in Kluane National Park this week.

I took this photo with Canon’s new 500mm version II. I use the 500 for landscapes often, and while it does not serve as a great test for the lens, it worked beautifully. I took a series of these images and stitched them into a panorama, this being one of four.


  • Carl D - Hey Patrick

    Nice image; the snow really sets it off.

    Kluane is a great park to visit; you’re welcome to go over and photograph there as often as you like. :)


    CarlSeptember 13, 2012 – 11:01 amReplyCancel

  • Patrick Endres - Jim,
    Yes, liking the 500 so far. It appears, at a first glance that the vignetting is much improved, which becomes a notable factor when merging images into a panorama. I use photoshop, which is pretty simple, clean, and integrated with Lightroom. It works well.September 13, 2012 – 10:01 amReplyCancel

  • Jim McCann - Patrick, You do get around, don’t you! And I see you also took the big hit on a new 500. Nice lens.

    And what program do you use for stacking? I just attended a seminar and saw what Helicon Focus can do for landscapes. Impressive.September 13, 2012 – 9:57 amReplyCancel

Autumn colored red bearberry and blueberry plants on the tundra in interior, Alaska. Canon 5D Mark III, 24-105mm f/4L IS (90mm), 1/60 sec @ f/9, ISO 400

The crimson red color that inflames the Alaska alpine tundra in autumn is so intense it sometimes hurts to look at it. I grabbed this photo while out on a day hike with some friends in the Alaska range. Labor day weekend is a pretty good target date to capture autumn color in its splendor in the mountain country of interior Alaska. I did not have my tripod with me on this outing, and a larger aperture would have increased the depth of field sufficiently.