Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
The headwaters of Alagnak Wild River lie within the rugged Aleutian Range of neighboring Katmai National Park and Preserve. Meandering west towards Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea, the Alagnak traverses the beautiful Alaska Peninsula, providing an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique wilderness, wildlife, and cultural heritage of southwest Alaska.
Alaska’s parks, forest and refuges are rich and varied. The Anchorage Interagency Visitor Center helps visitors and residents to have meaningful, safe, enjoyable experiences on public lands; and encourages them to sustain the natural and cultural resources of Alaska. This center and three others statewide help provide trip-planning, interpretation, and education for kids and all ages.
During World War II the remote Aleutian Islands, home to the Unangan (Aleut) people for over 8,000 years, became a fiercely contested battleground in the Pacific. This thousand-mile-long archipelago saw invasion by Japanese forces, the only American soil occupied in the war; a mass internment of American civilians; a 15-month air war; and one of the deadliest battles in the Pacific Theater.
Given its remote location and notoriously bad weather, Aniakchak is one of the least visited units of the National Park System. A vibrant reminder of Alaska's location in the volcanically active "Ring of Fire," the monument is home to an impressive six-mile wide, 2,500 feet. deep caldera formed during a massive eruption 3,500 years ago.
Explore a dynamic wilderness dotted with hot springs, ancient lava flows, and the largest maar lakes in the world. Ramble across tundra seeking muskox, caribou, and signs of ice age life. The Bering Land Bridge provided a pathway for plants, animals, and people to cross from old world to new. Today local residents use this land just as their ancestors have for generations.
North of the Arctic Circle, the monument forms 70 miles of shoreline on the Chukchi Sea. More than 114 beach ridges provide evidence of human use for 5,000 years. The Inupiat continue to use the area today. Vast wetlands provide habitat for shorebirds from as far away as South America. Hikers and boaters can see carpets of wildflowers among shrubs containing wisps of qiviut from muskoxen.
Denali is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along it see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America's tallest peak, 20,320' Mount McKinley. Wild animals large and small roam unfenced lands, living as they have for ages. Solitude, tranquility and wilderness await.
This vast landscape does not contain any roads or trails. Visitors discover intact ecosystems where people have lived with the land for thousands of years. Wild rivers meander through glacier-carved valleys, caribou migrate along age-old trails, endless summer light fades into aurora-lit night skies of winter. It remains virtually unchanged except by the forces of nature.
Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site-one of the world’s largest international protected areas. From summit to sea, Glacier Bay offers limitless opportunities for adventure and inspiration
On the rooftop of the world, the Iñupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, Alaska, tells the story of the Iñupiat people. They have thrived for thousands of years in one of the harshest climates on Earth, hunting the bowhead, or "Agviq." In the 19th century, these lonely seas swarmed with commercial whalemen from New England, who also sought the bowhead for its valuable baleen and blubber.
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These numbers are just a sample of the National Park Service's work. Figures are for the fiscal year that ended 9/30/12.