Bring back some good or bad memories

November 8, 2020

Wonderful Alaska Wilderness in the 1970s Through Dennis Cowals’ Lens

During August 1973 and August 1974, Dennis Cowals documented sites of the future Alaskan Pipeline both on the ground and from the air.

These wonderful photographs from The U.S. National Archives were taken by Dennis Cowals that document the pre-pipeline Alaska wilderness from Prudhoe Bay south to Valdez, the terminus of the pipeline.

Caribou Feed on Lichens and Moss. The Bird Is an Alaskan Raven, August 1973

"Alaska Cotton" Found in Marshy Areas Along Entire 789-Mile Route of the Pipeline, August 1973

A Pair of Young Rams, 3-5 Years Old, at the West Salt Lick of the Atigun Gorge, Four Miles From the Point Where the Pipeline Will Cross the Atigun River, August 1973

A Rainbow Seems Rooted in a Rock Wall That Forms the North Side of the Atigun Gorge, 5 Miles East of the Point Where the Pipeline Will Cross the Atigun River, August 1973

A Young Female Fox near Galbraith Lake Camp, August 1973

A Young Ram at the West Salt Lick in Atigun Gorge, near the Point Where the Pipeline Will Cross the Atigun River, August 1973

Aspen, Birch and Spruce Are Characteristic of This Region, August 1973

Brilliant Autumn Colors on the South Side of the Atigun River Five Miles Inside the Gorge. View Looks South, August 1973

Caribou Feed near the Sagavanirktok River. The Pipeline Will Follow the Sag River South Some 110 Miles, August 1973

Caribou Shed Their Antlers Annually; They Can Be Found Almost Anywhere on the North Slope, Or Here, in the Atigun Valley the Site of Pump Station #4 Appears on the Skyline of the Hill in the Background, August 1973

Caribou Trot Across the Tundra, near Prudhoe Bay Where the Pipeline Will Start, August 1973

Day's Work Done, the Parka Squirrel Stands on the Bank and Surveys Its Domain. Franklin Bluffs in Background, August 1973

Emerging From His Hole, the Parka Squirrel Takes a Look Around for Predators--Anything Bigger Than Itself, August 1973

This Parka Squirrel Is Gathering Green Grasses to Eat During the 9-Month Winter, August 1973

Three Young Dall Sheep at the West Salt Lick in the Atigun Gorge, Four Miles From the Point Where the Pipeline Will Cross the Atigun River, August 1973

Wading Shore Bird Searches Out Insects in Pond, August 1973

Wheat-Like Alpine Grasses, August 1973

White Female Wolf in the Atigun Valley, August 1973

Young Female Fox near Galbraith Lake Camp Wrestling with a Turkey Neck, August 1973

A Sunset View South through the South Portal of Keystone Canyon to Jpeak 5079, August 1974

Logs From a Small Sawmill Operation on the South Shore of Port Valdez Like Jackstraws in the Water, August 1974

Port Valdez Waters Appear Milky Under Some Lighting Conditions, August 1974

Rugged Terrain Typical of Coastal Mountains Fronting on Prince William Sound, August 1974

Salmon Spawn in the Streams That Drain Salt Marshes Such as the One Shown Here, August 1974

Salmon Spawn in the Streams That Drain Salt Marshes Such as This One Outside Valdez, August 1974

South Shore of Port Valdez Showing Heavy Spruce Timber Stands Down to the Rocky Shoreline, August 1974

The "Alaska Standard" Is Typical of the Small Old Vessels Which Carry Petroleum Products (Not Crude Oil) to Coastal Communities, August 1974

The Alaska Ferry "Bartlett" Heading West Across Prince William Sound, near Valdez. The Columbia Glacier, One of Alaska's Biggest, Appears in the Background, August 1974

View South Across the Tsina River Toward the Chugach Mountains. Pipeline River Crossing at Mile 745 Is Just Out of View at the Extreme Left of the Frame, August 1974

Waterfall in Mineral King Valley North of Valdez, August 1974

(Photo © Dennis Cowals)





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