Eielson Visitor Center, Denali National Park, Alaska.
It seems like most National Parks I have visited in recent years have, or are building one, or in some cases two new visitor centers. There are some beautiful new visitor centers, but in my opinion, none of them are as nice as the new Eielson Visitor Center 66 miles into Denali National Park.
This photo was taken on opening morning June 8, 2008, before any visitors had arrived – I wanted to capture a few images without people, and while the place was still spotlessly clean. I guess in a way, I was the first visitor.
The building itself is built right into the hill side, and about as unobtrusive as a building in such a beautiful setting could be. Much of the roof is the actual tundra from the site. It was carefully removed and maintained during the four year construction project, and then replaced as one of the final steps.
I’m standing in the back of the building looking out towards “The Mountain”. If Denali was out, there would be amazing views of it from the large windows you see across the room. I have always recommended that anyone riding the bus into Denali shouldn’t turnaround before the Eielson, because this is the first place you really get a good view of the mountain. Now there is even more reason to ride to Eielson!