Alaskalink.US

Best Nordic Centers in North America, Kincaid Park, Alaska

Kincaid Park, Alaska

Don't throw snowballs at the moose; they might just charge you. Follow that rule and you should enjoy your ski at Kincaid Park. When it comes to cross-country ski trails accessible to a major urban area, Kincaid is unsurpassed. Of course, your frame of reference has to be downtown Anchorage, Alaska.
 
It takes a mere 10-minute drive from downtown Anchorage to get to Kincaid's trails. If you don't have wheels, you can ski there along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail for an extended 15-kilometer warm-up.

Of Autumn in McCarthy, Alaska

Autumn in McCarthy, Alaska

The seasons of McCarthy, Alaska are dramatic and extreme in several ways. The amount of daylight ranges from twenty-four hours on the summer solstice to a mere peak at the sun as it sneaks over the horizon and immediately sets again on the winter solstice. Summer gives birth to thick jungle-like forests, springing forth with a rainbow of wildflowers, sweet wild berries, and the hum of mosquitoes; long full days of summer jobs, hiking, dinner parties, and sitting around campfires drinking beer and socializing; and rivers and creeks flowing full and fast with the melting of glacial ice and snow. In winter the bare trunks and branches stand starkly like rickety ladders reaching for the quiet sky; a blanket of sparkling snow covers the frozen waterways and earth; and the short days are spent tending to fundamental chores like splitting firewood, keeping the fire stoked, hauling water, refilling kerosene lamps; and visiting with the remaining locals over coffee and tea. Around and around the seasons cycle, and like a leaf shutter in a camera the darkness closes in only to open again to the brightness of summer.

Alaska’s wolves

Alaska's Wolves

 Alaska is home to the largest remaining population of gray wolves in the United States. Some 7,000 to 9,000 wolves roam the state in habitats as diverse as barren arctic tundra and lush temperate rainforest.
 
Alaska’s wolves play an essential role in maintaining healthy prey populations and biodiversity in their ecosystems. They are also vital to the state’s tourism economy: People from all over the world come to Alaska for the opportunity to see a wild wolf. Wolves are highly intelligent and social animals that communicate with one another using a variety of sounds, facial expressions, postures and rituals. They live in close-knit family groups, or packs, led by an alpha male and female. Pack members have well-defined roles that include participation in the care of the young. Each pack has a home range of approximately 600 square miles and can travel up to 100 miles daily. Gray wolves are not necessarily gray; shades of black, white, brown and tan are common. Adults usually weigh 85 to 115 pounds. In Alaska, wolves feed primarily on moose, caribou, Dall sheep, beavers and rodents.

ALASKA. Potter Marsh is the place to go in Anchorage to watch birds

 Nobody wants to think about it. The days are still warm; the sun still lingers well into the evening.
 
But the birds of Alaska already have winter on their minds, and if you stop and look carefully, there are signs of their retreat everywhere.
 
Migration time is nearly here. And one of the best places to view it is Potter Marsh.
 
"Certainly, activity is starting to wind down, although there are going to be birds there for a couple of months at least," Stan Senner, vice president and executive director of the National Audubon Society's Alaska state office, said of the birds that arrived at the marsh just two months ago.
 
Then, Potter Marsh was bustling with the arrival of migrant loons, waterfowl, shorebirds and geese. It's probably one of the most productive places to view birds in the Anchorage Bowl. In the spring, it attracts such species as the Pacific loon, red-necked grebe, greater scaup, canvasback, Barrow's goldeneye and arctic tern. Tundra and trumpeter swans can be seen during migration, as well as various raptors.

Alaska-St. Elias Range tundra

 The Alaska/St. Elias Range Tundra is a long belt of high, rugged mountains arcing north from the base of the Alaska Peninsula, east to encompass the Alaska Range, and south to include the Wrangell/St. Elias Range on the Canadian/Alaskan border near Yakutat Bay. The Canadian portion of this ecoregion encompasses the southwestern corner of the Yukon Territory and extreme northwestern British Columbia. Elevations range from sea level at the western end, to 600 meters in the broad, lower valleys, often to over 4,000 meters. Mt. McKinley, the highest point in North America, lies within the ecoregion, with an elevation of over 6,100 meters. The St. Elias Mountains are among the highest in Canada, ranging upward to 6000 m asl. Peaks stand as isolated blocks separated by broad ice fields. Because the limit of permanent snow is 2150 m asl, the mountains present great masses of ice and snow, causing great valley glaciers. Permafrost is continuous at high elevation and sporadic and discontinuous at low elevation (ESWG 1995).

Alaska's Brown Bear Viewing Areas & Opportunities

Without a doubt, the majority of visitors as well as Alaska residents hope to see brown bears, black bears, and grizzlies during their adventures in the great outdoors. The growing popularity of Alaska as a vacation destination is attracting increasing numbers of wildlife viewing enthusiasts from all over the world. But the most popular bear viewing areas in the state, aside from visiting Denali National Park, have reached their saturation point for the number of visitors who are allowed into these critically sensitive areas.

ALASKA. Arctic Fox

Classification and Range
The class of foxes belongs to the order Carnivora and in the family Canidae. There are 20 species of foxes in six genera: Alopex (arctic foxes), Cerdocyon (crab-eating foxes), Otocyon (bat-eared foxes), Pseudalopex (South American foxes), Urocyon (gray foxes) and Vulpes (all other foxes).* Debate continues on whether the arctic fox should be classified into Vulpes or into its own genus of Alopex. The arctic fox is also known as the polar fox or the white fox.

ALASKA Red Fox

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes), is the subject of many stories, songs, fables, and parables. Its flashy good looks and its ability to live close to people and their varied activities have undoubtedly contributed to this notoriety. Probably a more important reason is the fox's reputation for cunning and intelligence. Several English expressions testify to the fox's wily mind: “sly as a fox,” “foxy,” “outfoxed,” and “crazy as a fox.” Actually, the red fox has well developed senses of sight, smell, and hearing, which are responsible for much of its reputation.