Wild Lands of the West | The BLM, National Geographic Magazine: Alaska Range At The Maclaren River

Blue landscape scene of snow on mountains and wide blue river with green line of forest trees.

Snow-capped peaks of the Alaska Range rise beyond the Maclaren River north of the Denali highway.

Several peaks in view have elevations greater than 12,000 feet. Layers of snow accumulate and are compacted into ice, forming a glacier. As the glacier becomes heavier it moves down the slope, gouging the rock below. This glacial erosion contributes to the rugged, jagged appearance of the Alaska Range, and creates the long U-shaped valleys seen from the road.