Alaska: "The Last Frontier" is Within Your Reach

Aptly nicknamed “the last frontier,” Alaska is an awe-inspiring vast expanse where the laws of nature still reign supreme, where travelers are met with more wildlife than people and more glaciers than stop lights. Alaska is comprised of five distinct regions: Alaska’s Inside Passage, Southcentral, Interior, Far North and Southwest. Read on to learn what each unique region has to offer.

The lush scenery and blue-green fjords that make up Alaska’s Inside Passage are teeming with Alaskan wildlife, including bald eagles, sea lions, porpoises and whales. The Inside Passage is home to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indians whose history is reflected in the area’s striking totem poles.

Relive the excitement and adventure of Alaska’s Gold Rush at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, a 13,191-acre park surrounding the historic town of Skagway. Fifteen historic buildings in downtown Skagway have been restored, giving travelers a glimpse into pioneer life during the peak of the Gold Rush.

Southcentral Alaska is home to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the largest national park in the United States at six times the size of Yellowstone. Four major mountain ranges converge inside Wrangell-St. Elias, including nine of the 16 highest peaks in the country. The most populated of Alaska’s regions, Southcentral offers the amenities of the modern world while serving as a gateway to the wilderness experience.

In Alaska’s Interior region, travelers will find Mt. McKinley, the tallest peak in North America. Filled with wide expanses of tundra, this region is ideal for experiencing summer’s midnight sun or winter’s northern lights. In Fairbanks, travelers flock to Gold Dredge No. 8, the only gold dredge in Alaska that is still open to the public. Known as the “workhorse of the Riverbed,” this National Historic Site serves as a tribute to the bravery of early pioneers.

Alaska’s Far North region is filled with a rich history and natural wonders, from the gold rush days of Nome to the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. To reach the Far North, ardent travelers must forage past the legendary Arctic Circle. Most areas in this frigid locale are accessible only by plane, leaving the jaw-dropping landscapes pristine and preserved. Alaska’s Arctic is home to the Inupiat Eskimos, many who follow their ancestral traditions of a subsistence lifestyle.

From the volcanic terrain of Katmai National Park to the windswept Aleutian Islands, the Southwest region of Alaska is a naturalist’s dream. Here, brown bears, reindeer and caribou amble across hills and plains, salmon, rainbow trout, whales and sea lions splash in icy waters, and over 240 species of bird flutter through the skies.

No matter what region of Alaska’s frontier you choose to explore, you are sure to encounter scenic beauty and wildlife that is like nowhere else on Earth. Click on the link below to learn more about America’s Last Frontier with a free Official State of Alaska brochure.

posted on 10/18/2011 via TravelAlaska.com

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