Winter has Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge in its icy grip. For countless generations, the Upper Tanana Valley of Alaska has served as a natural travel corridor – for wildlife, native people and explorers. Despite the blanket of snow, many animals live here year round – including the Great Grey Owl, which preys on small rodents. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Virtually unchanged except by the forces of nature, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska is as wild as it is vast. Through endless summer days and winter nights colored by the Northern Lights, visitors travel by rivers and mountains yet to be named. With no roads, no trails and very few people, it’s the perfect place for those seeking solitude and natural beauty. Photo by Carl Johnson, National Park Service.
Ranging over 4 million acres in southwest Alaska, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve offers excellent opportunities for adventure, exploration, learning and just plain fun. However, it can be hard to get a lot done when all you want to do is stare at the epic views. Photo along the Telaquana River by J. Mills, National Park Service.
Life is better with friends. Just ask these two bear cubs playing leapfrog at Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Be sure to thank your friends today and tell them how much they mean to you. Friends Day Photo by Hunt Karen (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Even in winter, there is plenty of amazing outdoor activities to do at Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. From early November to May, visitors can explore the park by fat bikes, cross-country skis, snowmobile and dog sled. No matter your experience, you’ll enjoy the stark beauty of winter at Kenai Fjords. Photo by National Park Service.
This time of year, Denali National Park in Alaska gets less than 6 hours of sunlight each day. The sun comes up around 10:30 a.m. and sets at 4:00 p.m. In the dark and cold, you quickly come to appreciate every streak of light across the sky and every moment of warmth on your skin. Still, there is beauty and spring is coming. Photo by Tim Rains, National Park Service.
Did you know: Caribou and reindeer are the same species? (They are different subspecies, though.) Found in Alaska and Canada, caribou can reach 3-4 feet tall at the shoulder, and both males and females grow antlers. Their hooves act like snowshoes to keep them from sinking in the snow. We wonder if this one perfected here is getting ready for the big ride tonight. 🎅 Photo courtesy of Steve Forrest.
A nearly full moon rises over the snow-laden landscape of Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. It’s a magical park to explore no matter the time of year! Photo by W. Hill, National Park Service.
America’s largest national park is also one of its most beautiful. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska is open all winter, and snowmobiles (Alaskans call them snowmachines) are a popular way to see this breathtaking landscape. Visitor centers and ranger stations are closed, so park goers should be well prepared and self-sufficient. Photo by National Park Service.
A serious bird with a playful look, Northern Hawk Owls live year round in Alaska. Able to spot prey a half mile away, this skilled hunter can also seize small animals hiding under a foot of snow. This one at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is keeping his eyes on you. Photo by Lisa Hupp, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.