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Thread: Hatchers Pass? Worth the drive?

  1. #1

    Default Hatchers Pass? Worth the drive?

    Hi guys,

    Ill be visiting in June and July. I was told the doing the drive from Palmer to Willow going through 'hatcher's pass' was awesome. It was a 3 hour drive without stops but well worth it.

    What is it? I have no idea. Is it worth the drive for photos?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
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    I've only been here since Oct and only driven to the mine since that is where they close the road in the winter but is is great there.

  3. #3
    Member tull777's Avatar
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    I moved to Alaska over a year ago and visit Hatcher Pass regularly. Don't expect to see much wildlife. Ground squirrels, rock chucks and maybe a pika. I have never seen one large mammal in all my trips through Hatcher Pass. It's worth the drive though and it is beautiful. The pass did not open until late June last year due to snow. Is this your first trip to Alaska?

    Here are a bunch of shots from Hatcher Pass...

    http://www.pbase.com/tull777/image/88329036

    http://www.pbase.com/tull777/image/87432313

    http://www.pbase.com/tull777/image/67301348

    http://www.pbase.com/tull777/image/88329111

    http://www.pbase.com/tull777/image/88330078

    http://www.pbase.com/tull777/image/88329110

    http://www.pbase.com/tull777/image/85387051

    http://www.pbase.com/tull777/image/86113682

    Hope this helps!

    http://www.pbase.com/tull777

    http://www.eddiefisherphoto.com/


    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

  4. #4
    Member EricL's Avatar
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    Hatcher Pass is a great place to drive through when the pass is open. I call it the "mini Denali" without the crowds or bus rides. We do some atv riding up there as well and you then get to see a whole other side of Hatcher Pass. As usual, try to visit it on a clear day!!
    EricL

  5. #5

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    Hey Tull. Yup. First trip. Been wanting to come/go to Alaska for years now, and Im finally coming!

    Id probably do the trip to Hatchers on the 27th of June, or I would do on the 10th, or 11th of July (schedule).
    Im fairly new to photography but as you all know, anywhere you visit, you HAVE to bring the camera!

    It seems like the trip is worth while from the pictures Tull posted. I just have to make sure its nice weather when I go!

  6. #6
    Member tull777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricL View Post
    Hatcher Pass is a great place to drive through when the pass is open. I call it the "mini Denali" without the crowds or bus rides. We do some atv riding up there as well and you then get to see a whole other side of Hatcher Pass. As usual, try to visit it on a clear day!!
    I agree ...visit it on a clear day!!

    http://www.pbase.com/tull777

    http://www.eddiefisherphoto.com/


    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

  7. #7
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    yes!!! Great drive
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  8. #8
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Over the last 1/4 century I have been going to the Hatcher Pass area and I have gotten some fantastic photos. If you have time and relatively good legs you can make a few stops on the way. If you are going from the Palmer end your first stop should be at the base of the hill, at the first bridge. Year round, there are great photo ops here. All the pull outs have great photo ops as well. The next big stop could be the MotherLode Inn...the road makes a hairpin turn behind the MotherLode, but across the road is a large parking area that has a trail that goes deep up the valley to Lime glacier. If you like pictures looking up, this is a great place. Heading on up the road, the next big parking lot is at the base of Marmot Peak. The climb up Marmot is a little steep early on, but easy to climb with good shoes...once up on the ridge line you have fantastic views of Independence Mine on one side and the MotherLode on the other. The farther you go along the ridge, the more country you can *shoot* (you can do this in under an hour to 6-8 hours if you want to go all the way around to Independence Mine). Next stop is the Hatcher Pass Lodge (were I prefer to eat). Just up the road is Independence Mine with staggering photo ops. Back to the dirt road leading over the pass...at the peak of this road is another pull out. Take the trail East, heading where Independence Mine will be on your right. Ther ridge line is short, and not to steep, with great shots as high as you want to go. Next you start to slowly drop down heading to Willow and around each turn is more and more to shoot. The more climbing you do, the more animals you will see. Moose are few and far between during the summer months, but you will see them more on the Willow side. No caribou. On rare occasions you might see a black or brown bear, but don't count on it. Tons of birds and marmots. Last year I had a pair of bald eagles doing a dance overhead while up a ridge...for 10 minutes they gave me a show and got within 30-40 yards!

    To answer your question, yes there are great places to shoot photos up and down HatcherPass Road
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  9. #9

    Default Thanks guys!

    I think...I know, Im going to do this trip. I plan a nice, long 12 hour day out of it. Awesome.

    Thanks

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