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Published: December 28th 2015
Iconic reflection photos of Denali are taken from two primary locations: Reflection Pond and Wonder Lake. Both spots are beyond the Wonder Lake Campground. The only way to reach them is on foot or by taking the infrequent bus to Kantishna, the furthest point on the bus route and hopping off about a mile up the road.
The most important consideration is going when the water is still and this is normally early in the morning. We coordinated our trip to catch the bus to Kantishna (mile 90), jump off at Reflection Pond, walk up to Blueberry Hill, then wait for the return bus to our campground which would return in an hour.
We had phenomenal fortune again because both bodies of water were mirror smooth, there were no clouds around Denali and we continued to be mosquito-free! Even the venerable Ansel Adams had to suffer the biting demons to capture his immortal images of Denali and Wonder Lake.
Reflection Pond is only about ½ miles beyond the turnoff to the Wonder Lake campground. It’s a small pond and an easy downhill walk from the road. The bank is marshy, wet and muddy but if the conditions are
right, getting a great image of Denali is guaranteed.
After we took the shots we wanted within our time frame, we walked a mile or so up the road past the Wonder Lake Ranger Station (mile 86.5) to Blueberry Hill, a berry-covered mound which offers great views of Denali reflected in long skinny Wonder Lake from its northern edge.
Taking photos from Blueberry Hill was another fantastic experience with perfect conditions. When it became time to catch the bus, we walked down the slope to the station and chatted with the ranger, a very nice white-haired woman who had just walked across the road to add some wild blueberries to her morning cereal. What a great place to live and work!
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