Denali Park Road/Frontcountry

Pretty Rocks, Climate Change, and the Bridge

NPS Photo of the Pretty Rocks landslide

Since the National Park Service began working on a solution for the slumping road at Pretty Rocks, the DCC Board has had many lengthy discussions about the best outcome of the crisis. As the full scope of the bridge project gradually emerged – and as the impacts became clearer, the cost escalated, and the timeline lengthened – those conversations have only intensified. NPS is firmly committed to its fix and the first season of construction is winding up, but we – and we suspect many of our DCC members – still have doubts, both about this specific project and about whether the goal of the project even makes sense.

Yet still there is strong yearning to get back to the western side of the road, to the landscapes, views, and wildlife of Toklat, Highway Pass, Stony Hill, Eielson, Wonder Lake, and points in between. We ultimately decided to each write a perspective on this moment in the park road’s history and will publish them for you one after another. We welcome your comments and your own perspective. In this era of rapid ecological change, Pretty Rocks may be just a harbinger rather than the ultimate crisis for the park road. We need to be ready for the next challenge, with a clear vision for how to respond.

Part 1: Go West, by Scott Richardson

Part 2: Climate Change and the Park Road, by Nan Eagleson

Part 3: West Side Story, by Steve Carwile

Part 4: Connecting Hearts, Motivating Action, by Nancy Russell

Part 5: Fragility, by Charlie Loeb

Part 6: Denali Park Road – Regret and Hope, by Nancy Bale


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