Alaska, wild and vast, with & # 39 is one of the treasures of the world – a huge landscape of cloud-swept peaks, deep blue lakes and mammoth glaciers. Between its mountain ranges stretch endless forests and tundra plains where wolves howl from their lookouts and herds of migrating caribou flow like dark waves across the countryside.
while Inland from Anchorage to & # 39 is another great mountain wall, the Alaska Range, with Mount McKinley and Denali National Park as its central part. McKinley floats over the landscape like a cloud catching the sun. Called Dan ( "the big one") at the Athabaskan Indians, the mountain was renamed in 1986. Its south summit, the highest point in North America, it was the first to reach the climbers in 1913.
Huge inter & # 39; er Alaska extends to the north, extending to ice Brooks.
The internal climate is characterized by extraordinary extremes. In the middle of winter, when a & # 39 is the sun for a few hours in the day, the temperature rarely rises above the height above the ground. In midsummer, the days last longer than 20 hours, temperatures often reach the 70s and residents of cool water skiing on the lakes and rivers.
It is a land of clear sky and wide horizons, in a chaotic mountain, wide valleys and winding rivers. Mightiest of the Yukon River, which flows about 2,000 miles from northern Canada to the Bering Sea. The mountains are clothed in dense temperate rainforest hemlock, cedar and spruce. Many of the trees are designed for pulp mills in Ketchikan and Sitka but those that are left uncut in the deep valleys reach heights of 200 feet and live a thousand years or more. The forest provides a protected home for bears, mountain goats and mule deer. Bald eagles nest in ancient snags overlooking bays wandered seal and humpback whales. And every summer millions of salmon swarm in the streams to spawn.
Jack London described the Yukon in the "Call of the Wild", when it was inhabited by hermits, hunters, trappers and prospectors. Even today, you can find the same robust species that live in remote cabins and river banks sat. But the days are gone when hordes of prospectors followed the Yukon northward – the odyssey that left some people are rich, some poor and some are buried under the snow.
Most of today's adventurers come looking for wildlife, not gold. Even residents of Fairbanks, the largest city inter & # 39; er, get a taste of frontier life – when the thermometer reads – 50º F and shiny curtains aurora dancing in the night sky; when the main streets are closed to Dog sleds; and when moose drop in to see the bush in suburban backyards.
Beyond Fairbanks lie limitless stretches of forest, wetlands and peat large number of three million lakes in Alaska. For millennia, Athabaskan Indians lived wild lands, the game capturing for food. Currently, they are hunted with rifles, snowmobiling and a trip to the boats. Times may change, but not all of the old ways are forgotten. In some trapline cabins along the border of the forest, the elders can be found to teach children how to fish tail snowdrift or how to transport the pair of moose in a boat made out of his own skin.