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fall color

memphis, tn
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829 posts
30 reviews
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fall color

Is there an area of the state that experiences bold color changes in the fall? If so, where and in which month or week of which month does it usually happen? Trying to plan our trip to include color change if that is possible.

Fairbanks, Alaska
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1. Re: fall color

In Fairbanks you are looking at mid-September depending on how cold the nights become. Unlike many places in the lower 48 we only have one color in fall and that is gold. Normally there is a bunch of alders on the ridge above Farmer’s Loop Road that turn gold a week ahead of everything else. Then the hills turn to gold first and the goldenness begins to descend into the valley.

tripadvisor.com/…26957873

Not a great photo but this was taken the last week of the Riverboat Discovery’s tours. So it is mid-September.

Edited: 10 February 2011, 18:36
Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: fall color

we were in denali on Aug 19-21 in '09 and the colors had already started so we enjoyed the reds and yellows. We also had a little dusting of snow in the park. After Denali we drove the Richardson Hwy down to Valdez and then the Glenn Hwy to Palmer. The colors just got better and better. Not peak but still beautiful.

Fairbanks, Alaska
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3. Re: fall color

yescanada you saw Red Leaves down by Denali? I will have to go check that out, I want to see Red Leaves mixed with the gold that would be cool.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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4. Re: fall color

The tundra in the park has red and orange in it - very beautiful. Places recently sent me some gorgeous tundra photos, but I don't know how to do that posting of photos. Perhaps we can persuade places or fti to share some Denali fall color photos. Denali is starting to change into its fall colors by mid-August and things peak on our local area usually that first week of Sept or so. We are one of the first areas of the state to have fall, so plan to come here first, and then hit the rest of the state. :)

Fairbanks, Alaska
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5. Re: fall color

Coalminer, This works:

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It takes them a couple of days to post them since they want to make sure they are not copy written or obscene.

Paxson, Alaska
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6. Re: fall color

A rule of thumb here is that Labor Day weekend heralds the peak of fall colors here on the Denali Highway - we're on the eastern, higher end. That's pretty close to the peak for most of the Dalton as well.

If your trip is 7-14 days, one suggestion would be to get yourself to Atigun Pass by around Sept. 1 and then work your way south. Alpine tundra autumnal colors can be ravishingly red, courtesy mostly of bearberries but other esp. Ericaceae contribute nicely; standouts in the boreal forest are cottonwood (balsam poplar) and aspen, whose golden leaves can be so intense it seems they glow even without sunlight....but only for three or four days.

Early is better than later, as you can access peak colors by gaining altitude easily in Alaska: Atigun Pass of course, also Murphy Dome in Fairbanks; Isabel Pass on the central Ricahrdson; here on the Denali Hwy; Eureka region on the Glenn; Hatcher Pass area; to a lesser extent Thompson Pass just out of Valdez on the Richardson. If you're on the Kenal, there can be terrific color in the hills just out of Hope.

Seattle, Washington
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for Seattle
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7. Re: fall color

Here's Mirror Lake between Anchorage and Wasilla, taken (IIRC on Sept. 13 or 14) a couple of years ago. http://gardyloo.us/sept08%20059as.jpg

Obviously autumn starts first in the north (tundra mainly) and progresses to the south. For the most part it's done by the last week in September. It's a lovely time to visit, though.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8. Re: fall color

Here is one I took inside Denali NP the last weekend of Aug '10:

igougo.com/photos/journal/pref/2559e36c7d214… .

The tundra and the hills were beautiful throughout the park.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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9. Re: fall color

Thanks for posting that photo Von. Yes, that's the red and gold, but you were 2 weeks later than us so your colors were much more vibrant.

Alaskarat, The red wasn't from leaves of trees; it was a low shrub type of plant.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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10. Re: fall color

One more from our AK trip this past summer. This one was taken on 9/10/10 enroute from Glennallen to Fairbanks on the Richardson. This is the Gulkana Glacier and perhaps my favorite photo of all I took. It is right off the camera . . . nothing done to enhance the colors.

…fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/41176_13765448146… .