North! To Alaska!

alaska mendenhall glacier
Is there any State in the Union that elicits a sense of adventure like Alaska? Not only is it the largest state (Sorry Texas!), but it’s easily the most remote, mountainous, and wild. In celebration of the 49th State, National Geographic Adventure is presenting Ten Trips into the Alaskan Frontier.

The unique element of this article is that it offers both a modern and classic adventure in a similar vein. For instance, in their section on the Alaskan Range they recommend a classic trek, hiking Denali’s Empty Quarter, and a more modern one, Scouting the Iditarod trail.

Should you choose to hike Denali, you’ll need a permit for the backcountry, which you can only get a day in advance and without reservations. The article also warns that sections of the trail may be closed due to bear sightings (!) or river floodings. If that sounds a little too rough, then perhaps the Iditarod trail is more your style. You’ll hike through Rainy Pass, one of the more prominant sections of the Iditarod sled dog race. Going in the Summer means scenic views, blooming wild flowers, and running streams that are frozen solid when the mushers roll through.

The article has other suggested adventures as well, with both modern and classic options for The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Glacier Bay National Park, Tongass National Forest, and Yukon Charley River and Kondike Preserve A little something for everyone!

Oh, and I found this particular bit of advice quite useful: “Old-timer’s guide to bear identification: If it climbs the tree to kill you, it’s a black bear. If it knocks the tree over first, then kills you, it’s a griz.”

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “North! To Alaska!”

  1. Make no mistake, there are bears pretty much everywhere in Alaska. The Denali trail is just one of the few places that will close because of bear sightings, because of its high use by clueless toursists likely to run from bears or try to pet them or something.

  2. Yeah! The bears really are all over the place. And the clueless tourists end up getting mauled because they don’t respect them. Then the bear gets blamed.

    Personally, I think it’s a perfect example of Darwin’s Natural Selection theory in practice. 😉

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