Anchorage belies credibility—and yet, there they are.
Seward At the small boat harbor and along the coastal walk on Resurrection Bay in the summer, sea otters play near the docks, often times joined together in rafts and carrying babies on their chests as they float. Bald eagles soar above the fishing vessels and perch on their masts. The glorious treasure of Kenai Fjords National Park can be accessed from Seward via various tour operators. Beyond calving glaciers, the park overflows with marine life—whiplash warning here—you’ll be looking left, right, up, and down to catch all of it: orcas, humpbacks, puffins, sea lions, seals, and the occasional mountain goat or bear on a passing hillside.
Muskox face off while foraging along the Dalton Highway just before Deadhorse. Rain, snow flurries, and blue sky all descended during a 30-minute viewing session.
Incoming! Hundreds of clownish-looking horned puffins roost and feed at “puffin island” at Lake Clark.
Denali The number-one bucket-list item in Denali remains the mountain itself, towering over the park at 20,310 feet and only visible on the clearest of days. Even then, the tempest makes her own weather, which means only about a third of the park’s visitors get a glimpse of the “shy one”—oops, I mean “The High One.” Thankfully, wildlife teems throughout the park, offering roadside viewing and photo ops from the buses that drive tourists on the sole 92-mile stretch of road bisecting its six million acres. First stop: the Denali Visitor Center. Before you even get on the tour bus or drive your private vehicle to mile 15, you’ll want to stop at the visitor center—and not just because it affords a souvenir map and wood-carved bear Christmas JULY/AUGUST 2019 A L A S K A
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Alaska Magazine July 2019