On this day in 1867, the Territory of Alaska was formally transferred from Russia to the United States, and in 1917, Alaska Day was created to celebrate this historic moment. From stunning mountains to winding rivers that snake through valleys, there are over 222 million acres of public lands in Alaska and much of it’s managed by the Interior Department. This beauty scene is Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River. The river flows west past the jagged limestone ridges of the White Mountains and is a popular spot for river adventurers. It’s great for a float trip, wildlife viewing and fishing. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
It’s National Wildlife Refuge Week! From Patuxent Research Refuge on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (seen here) on an Alaska island, refuges are the perfect places for people to connect to the outdoors and appreciate wildlife. Clever and cute, these foxes are just an example of some of the amazing things you might see when you visit a refuge. See more: https://on.doi.gov/2P6CcZw Photo by Josh Blouin (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The only winter trail in the National Trails System, the Iditarod National Historic Trail protects what was once an important artery of Alaska’s winter commerce during Alaska’s Gold Rush Era from 1880-1920. Today, the Iditarod includes a 1,000-mile main trail between Seward and Nome, and an additional 1,400 miles of side/connecting trails that link communities and historic sites. Not much of the trail’s landscape has changed since the days of the stampeders, which means today’s adventurers on the Iditarod can #FindYourWay to the same experiences and challenge of Alaska’s frontier days. The Iditarod is just one of the many trails that provide the public with vital access to the outdoors. Today, the National Trails System includes nearly 60,000 miles of trails – making it larger than the Interstate Highway System! Photo by Kevin Keller, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve in Alaska erupts with color during the short fall season. Reds, oranges and yellows carpet the ground at this continental crossroads. More than just an epic landscape, research at the Bering Land Bridge continues to uncover evidence of prehistoric animals and the first people to settle North America. Photo by National Park Service.
After hiking past the turbulent Tanalian Falls, the serenity of Kontrashibuna Lake is a pleasant surprise. Just one of many stunning landscapes at Lake Clark National Park & Preserve in Alaska, the lake’s frigid waters are colored a light blue by glacial dust and lap at the edges of rich forests and rugged mountains. Fall colors make the area even more popular with intrepid visitors. Photo by W. Hill, National Park Service.
Summer green becomes autumn orange in the blink of an eye at Denali National Park in Alaska. Termination dust – what Alaskans call the high altitude snow that signals the end of summer – coats mountains and sprinkles onto valleys. The red leaves of blueberry bushes carpet the landscape and offer bears a last dessert before hibernation. It’s a feast for the eyes. Photo from a previous fall by Tim Rains, National Park Service.
Take a trip to gold country in Alaska. Canoeists along the Fortymile River can see modern prospectors working the river gravels, as well as remnants of several large historic dredges, as they float through thick stands of black spruce and tussocks that grow above the permafrost. It never truly gets dark here in summer, making more time for fun and exploring. The long days melt into a pink dusk that slowly transitions into a lengthy dawn. This is the longest river in the system with the main stem and tributaries stretching for almost 400 miles. #FindYourWay on more wild and scenic rivers: https://on.doi.gov/2vBIC9K
Happy National Dog Day from Denali National Park in Alaska!
Denali is the only park with a working dog team. Since the 1920s, sled dogs have worked with rangers at Denali National Park and Preserve to keep the grounds of this Alaska park safe. Visitors can see sled dog demonstrations in the summer, view the dogs at work in the winter and visit their kennels year round.
Pictured here are Pinata (the little grey pup), Party (the Golden girl) and Cupcake (the one with sprinkle feet) from the park’s litter in 2016. Photo by National Park Service.
Pictured here are Annie and Party in the perfect pose. Photo by National Park Service.
Many mountains and streams go unnamed on maps of Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve in Alaska. The wilderness is vast and untamed, forcing the people who explore this gorgeous landscape to depend on themselves. Maintaining its wild and undeveloped character, the park offers opportunities to experience both quiet solitude and thrilling recreation. Photo by National Park Service.
When describing glaciers in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska, superlatives are hard to avoid. Within our largest national park exists the nation’s largest glacial system, with rivers of ice flowing dozens of miles through majestic mountains. In summer, runoff from glaciers swells rivers and precipitates an explosion of green. From the ground and the air, it’s an epic sight. Photo by Neal Herbert, National Park Service.