Sunday, June 19, 2011

Driving Across the Tundra

From the National Park, which is about 7500' elev., we drove numerous switchbacks on Rte. 34 until we reached the mountaintop which is more than 12,000'. The road took us across the peaks and over the tundra for several miles. Today was Martha'a turn for the white knuckle driving that is inevitable when climbing to these altitudes. I would not have enjoyed driving the motor home up here with the crazy crosswinds and weather that can change on a dime.

The road was closed at first due to new snow that fell last night. Once the road was plowed and the sun melted the ice, the road reopened at 2:00 pm. We had hoped to drive up here on the old gravel road which would have made it a 30 mile loop, however that road doesn't open until at least July 4th.

Even below the tree line there is more than 10 feet of snow!

This was the most amazing thing to watch; the clouds blowing and flowing over the peaks like ocean waves. Click on photo to enlarge!

The visitor center, with frozen pipes and no restrooms. BTW The wood timbers on the roof are to prevent wind damage.

A Ranger told me they plow a much as 24 feet of snow. That must be in the winter, this time of year it's only 12 feet.

The Never Summer Mountains. We've enjoyed these snowy peaks from 5000' for a couple weeks now; what fun it is to now be among them.

A short hike earlier in the day to Nymph Lake, a mere 9700', proved to make us a bit winded and light headed.


  1. Kudos on the shorts in the snow! I once went 16 months without wearing long pants (at age 42) but I was never in the snow.

  2. I remember seeing those high cut snow banks in that area as well back in 92. Snowy mountains have a majestic appeal all of their own. Having driven the Motor Home through the Rockies west of Denver a few years ago I know what you mean by white knuckle driving.......

  3. Now THAT's alot of snow!! We travelled that road last summer (and there was still snow on it), but nothing like this. Some amazing shots!