Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Denali, Photos, Travel 17 Comments

Wild lynx, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Wild lynx, Denali National Park, Alaska.

I love these rare animals!  The crazy hare population boom in Denali has definitely crashed, and from all I have read, the lynx population will follow a similar trend with a year lag – so I thought this might be one of my best chances to get more photos of a lynx at least for many years to come – so I was thrilled to spend about a half hour with two of them in Denali last week.  I have a similar image with it looking right at me, but I think I prefer this version with it looking off into the brush.

I had an awesome trip to Denali.  Along with lynx, I had wonderful close up experiences with wolves at least every day, saw huge moose, great sheep, bears, nice sunsets and sunrises, and even had the mountain out a couple of times!

Comments 17

  1. Very Cool! Do you have a Pro permit to get into the park or was this in the first 15 miles, just curious? I was there 3 weeks ago, saw one lynx (barely) from the shuttle bus, unfortunately the bus had to stay on schedule and didn’t wait long, only a handful of us saw it. I didn’t get a photo.

  2. Excellent shot Ron, I guess that answers my twitter question :-). I had some almost opportunities during my last trips but the lynx still remain elusive to my shutter button. Looks like a very good setting for a lynx shot on a sunny day! I’ll be curious to see some more of your images.

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    @ Tom Thank you. Yes, I’m very fortunate to qualify for a pro permit, it really is a wonderful privilege. Getting a lynx from the bus would be tough. They have been seeing one around the Tek campground – that would be your best bet if you do get a chance to go back.

    @ Patrick Thanks! The bright sunny light wasn’t exactly ideal conditions, but as I’m sure you understand, I will take a lynx in any light! So do you not have any images of a lynx? That would surprise me given your vast coverage.

  4. Great shot! I’d love to see a lynx. We spent 3 nights at Tek in July and all I saw was a squirrel.

  5. Ron, just curious. Having been to Denali and confined to a bus, I saw a few creatures including a couple of grizzlies from a relative distance, but nothing that compares to your shots. Do you just hike through the park and happen onto the wildlife or do you do extensive research and ascertain the areas where certain creatures are frequently spotted? I know wolves can be especially elusive having hiked extensively in Algonguin, Ontario and never spotting even one. Love your work!

  6. Great picture Ron! Did you use a single focus point and just move the camera around until that focus point was over the lynx, or how did you get the lynx in focus?

  7. Such a beautiful creature – and this is coming from someone who generally doesn’t like cats (think anaphylactic shock…). I’ve wanted to photograph them for a long time now, just haven’t had much luck finding one in Denali (or elsewhere). You’ve had several good encounters with lynx, perhaps they know of my allergies and are just trying to save me from the sharp end of an epi-pen? Hahaha.
    Great shot, as always Ron!

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    @ Thanks Scott – Tek was a bit slow this summer – often there will be a bear or something near the campground, but I never saw one this year in that area.

    @ Ron R Thanks. It does help that I have been going there for a lot of years. For an animals like wolves, there are a few “hot spots” that I will frequent over and over, but there is still a fair bit of “luck” involved. I have trips like this one where I saw lots of wolves, but other ones where I never see a wolf.

    @ Marianne Thank you!

    @ Genevieve – Hey thanks! I did exactly that – the single focus point was just small enough to “fit” between the sticks, so I could focus on its head and then compose. Interestingly enough, I then pulled out my new Rebel for some video – it just happened to be set to multiple focus points – I tried, but it could not focus with multiple points selected.

    @ Ken Thanks!

    @ David I have been fairly fortunate the last couple of years – now is the time to find these guys! Thanks.

    Thanks Vega.

  9. That’s cool you were able to get the permit Ron. I talked to some tourists in the airplane and they were disappointed with Denali because they said the wildlife was too far away. I assume they didn’t have the freedom to go anywhere.

    It would be worth the penalty to keep driving w/o a permit…

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    @ Richard – Denali can be a bit challenging with the bus system. It can really help to get off the bus and to hike around a bit, even if it is on the road. You might have to check it out next time.

    @ Dennis Thanks!

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