Denali Park Road – Polychrome Pass

This post is part of a series on the Traveling the Denali Park Road – to read the series from the beginning, click here.

9:45 am we pull into the rest stop at Poly-Chrome Pass. Most people don’t come to Denali because they have heard of it’s amazing geology. Except for the big mountain of course, Denali. “Are we going to see it  today?” If I could only predict that! Only 30% see it, but springtime is definitely a good time for beating the odds. We do better in the springtime because of prevailing weather patterns. Nonetheless Polychrome is special. Formed about 65 million years ago as pressure from the pacific tectonic plate sliding under the continental shelf (subduction) forced magma to the surface. Volcanism. Poly, meaning many, chrome meaning color. This is also a good place to see emerging wildflowers. 8 petal avens, their creamy colored flower blanket the mountain sides in June. How many times have I heard ” look over there SHEEP!!!” And here comes the artic ground squirrel brigade. Over there a hoary marmot holds court and a soaring Golden Eagle keeping a keen eye on the whole scene. Will we ever get out of Polychrome?

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