Untitled photo

Alaska

Alaska

Alaska is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth. Enormous mountains rise from a sea that is home to incredible sea life, and where the whales end their thousands of miles long migration in the summer from the waters of Mexico. Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the US combined and stretches to three different seas.

The state has 17 out of 20 of the highest peaks in North America. Denali, the highest in North America, reaches 6190 meters followed by St. Elias at 5488 meters. There are 39 mountain ranges in Alaska, six of them visible from its largest city, Anchorage. Many of the mountains are unexplored and first ascents can be made all over the state.

The largest state in the United States is also the least populated with one person per square mile, yet 224 native tribes still inhabit its land. There are millions of acres of unexplored wilderness and places no man has ever set foot on. The biggest national park in the continental USA, Wrangell St. Elias, is located in Alaska, as well as the least visited, Gates of the Arctic National Park.

Alaska has two of the largest forests in the US as well as the Northernmost rain forest in the world. This lush ecosystem is the largest and wettest in the US and home to bears, moose, wolves, lynx, wolverine and many other animals. Two of the biggest bears in the world, the polar bear and the Kodiak bear, are found in Alaska. Moose can be spotted on a daily basis right out of your very window in town. The biggest bald eagle concentration in the world is found in Haines every fall when they come feed on the famous Alaskan salmon. The salmon is shared with bears and fishermen who travel to Alaska every summer as it is considered  one of the best places in the world to fish and hunt. The longest land mammal migration is found in Alaska every year when the caribou journey from the northern tundra toward the south.

Alaska's northern location is not only harsh for its animals but its people as well. Many move to Alaska only to leave after a short while due to its harsh weather and dark winters. The weather is extreme indeed. Some of the coldest temperatures have been recorded here and the winds reach gale force speeds regularly. What many escape becomes an opportunity to others who can endure the winters. Alaska is one of the best locations in the world to watch the Aurora Borealis and it can be seen 243 days on average in places as long as there is   enough darkness and clear weather.

Needless to say, it is a place like no other and while you may think you can't put a price on a place like this, Alaska sold for only 7.2 million dollars in 1867 when Russia, located only 50 miles away, sold it to the US followed shortly by its infamous Gold Rush. Many signs of Gold Rush history are still present with well preserved mines, including the tallest wooden structure in America, Kennecott mine.

Alaska should be high on any traveler's list of places to see. Just bear in mind that it is largely undeveloped land and lacking infrastructure, including roads. Juneau is the only capital in the US inaccessible by road. As inaccessible as Alaska is, worry not: There are 6 times as many pilots and 16 times as many planes per capita in Alaska compared to the rest of the US. Instead of taking a private plane to unexplored wilderness, perhaps it is best explored by packing your backpack and heading into the wilderness by foot, skis or kayak.  Do take care though and travel with a partner. On average, 5 out of 1000 people go missing every year, roughly doubling the national average of missing persons.

What you see on this page is a ten year effort to show you this incredible land.


Alaska
Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In