As Alaska’s visitors cross the Arctic Circle, legend has it that many pilots give the plane a slight “bump” letting passengers know they’ve crossed the legendary circle. Alaska’s Arctic is home to the Inupiat Eskimos, many who still live a subsistence lifestyle and still preserve their history verbally from generation to generation. The Far North is filled with a rich history and natural wonders, from the gold rush days of yore to the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.
The communities of Alaska’s Far North are accessible from Fairbanks or Anchorage via jet or small aircraft. This is one of Alaska’s most diverse regions, filled with cultural opportunities, wildlife and a landscape ranging from coastal plains to mountain ranges.
Shaped by the staggering force of massive glaciers millions of years ago, Alaska’s Inside Passage boasts wildlife-filled fjords and lush island scenery — habitat for bald eagles, sea lions, porpoises and whales. Its mountains are carpeted with majestic forests. Inside Passage Alaska is home to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indians whose history is reflected in towering totem poles. Russian settlers left a legacy of onion-domed churches gleaming with icons.
In Alaska’s heartland, you’ll see the continent’s tallest peak, Denali, and wide expanses of tundra. The forests are teeming with wildlife and bird life ranging from the formidable grizzly to stately herds of caribou to the state bird, the Willow Ptarmigan. Experience summer’s midnight sun or the winter’s northern lights. Wildlife can be seen on the highway that runs by Denali National Park, carrying visitors to and from Anchorage and Fairbanks. Interior is the original home of Alaska’s Athabascan Indians. Gold miners, farmers and fur trappers later discovered the riches of this region.
Home to over half of Alaska’s population, Southcentral is a playground of activities from world-class fishing to hiking and wildlife viewing. With mountains and lakes, Southcentral offers the advantages of remote wilderness, but is linked via roads. World-class rainbow trout and salmon shimmer brilliantly, beckoning to prospective anglers. Southcentral has the amenities travelers seek, while serving as a gateway to the wilderness experience.
For those with a naturalist streak, few places on earth compare with the wonders of Southwest Alaska. Brown bears amble along the hills and plains, and more than 240 bird species inhabit Alaska’s Southwest region. The region’s terrain ranges from a landscape of volcanoes in Katmai National Park created by the 1912 eruption of the Novarupta volcano, to the windswept Aleutian Islands that make a 1,000-mile sweep toward Asia.