Alaska is so large and comprises such a diverse array of habitats, wildlife and cultures that it is nearly impossible to describe it as a single entity. Geographically speaking, it’s usually broken down into several regions — Southeast, South-Central, Southwest, the Interior, and the Far North. In the southernmost reaches of the state, dense rainforests of sitka spruce, douglas fir and yellow cedar drape elegantly into glacially-carved fjords, where humpback whales and orca pry the still channels of the inside passage. Further north, immense herds of caribou travel a vast arctic tundra, where diminutive mosses and herbs cling to life despite heavy winds, snow, and brutal winter temperatures.
"We arrive in Glacier Bay in the early morning, and a zodiac is sent to get the ranger before we disembark. The rainforest here is spectacular — still and calm, with a warm light penetrating the mossy forest floor. Never have I seen green in such vibrance and of so many shades, and never a red as rich and warm as the heartwood of the fallen timbers. A varied thrush sings almost everywhere you go, as if the forest itself is speaking. The moist, drooping leaves of the Vaccinium are just beginning to take shape… it’s hardly surprising that a moose cow and calf are spotted near the trail!”
— Journal Entry, 5.14.17. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Alaska’s natural bounty has drawn human attention for tens of thousands of years, and today its resources remain legendary. A booming tourism industry draws millions of visitors annually, while salmon, halibut and king crab are hunted offshore.