Friday, May 19, 2017

National Lands: Alaska (Part 1)

Denali National Park
Denali National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Alaska has many amazing national parks. The most famous is Denali National Park & Preserve which is located north of Anchorage. The area has six million acres of land with the centerpiece of Denali, a mountain 20,310 feet tall which is the highest in North America. The Denali Visitors Center is the starting point for hikers. Shuttle busses take visitors into the park. No private vehicles are permitted. Backpacking requires a permit. The Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve does not have any trails or roads. This wilderness area is located just south of the Brooks Range in the northern half of the state. Visitors should be experienced in outdoor skills because no services or even cell phone reception exist in the park. Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve is located in the lower southeast section of the state north of Sitka. The border of Canada is to the east. The park has 3.3 million acres. Most visitors see this area by boat whether it is a cruise ship or a kayak. Hiking and camping are available in the area.  Katmai National Park & Preserve is located in the southern section of the state and the northern part of the Alaskan peninsula. The area is accessible only by plane or boat. Fishing, boating and hiking are available activities. The Kenai Fjords National Park is located south of Seward and Anchorage. Boat tours are available and visitors can explore the area by kayak. Rangers lead walks to the glacier area.

A glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park ...
A glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska, USA. Photographed from a small prop plane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Kobuk Valley National Park is to the west of Gates of the Arctic and south of the Brooks Range. The park has no facilities, but hiking, boating and fishing are available activities for those who are prepared for the wilderness area. Lake Clark National Park & Preserve has access by small plane. Hiking, Kayaking, fishing, camping and rafting are available in this wilderness area.  Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve has 13.2 million acres. This park is located to the east of Anchorage on the border with Canada. The Gulf of Alaska is to the south. Activities include hiking, biking, fishing, backpacking and kayaking. This is the largest national park in America. Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve is located on the Alaskan Peninsula and is accessible only by air and boat. It is the least visited park in the system.  Rafting, hiking and fishing are available. Cape Krusenstern National Monument is north of the Arctic Circle. The area is remote with no roads, no trails and no facilities. Visitor need to excel in backcountry skills.