Most of us will never see a lynx. Though found in Alaska, most of Canada and some states along the northern border and in the Rockies, these majestic cats are rare and elusive. If you catch a glimpse of one in the snowy forest, look for their long legs, large paws, long dark tufts on the ears and a short, black-tipped tail. Excellent hunters – hare are their primary prey – they’ll probably see you before you see them. Photo by Sara Germain, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Frosty and noble, sled dogs are incredible athletes. Each March the Iditarod Sled Dog Race runs through a harsh and beautiful landscape to Nome, Alaska. The race uses the Iditarod National Historic Trail, a 2,300-mile system of winter routes that first connected ancient Native Alaskan villages. The trail cuts through tundra, spruce forest and across rivers serving up some truly tough conditions. Thinking of trying it out? The Bureau of Land Management recommends knowledge in extreme winter camping and travel by ski, dog team, snowmobile or fat tire bike. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management.
It’s easy to marvel at the striking symmetry of Shishaldin Volcano on Unimak Island. One of the many active volcanoes in Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, it stands 9,373 ft above sea level, making it the highest mountain peak on the Aleutian Islands. In this land of cold and ice, the steam from this smoking volcano makes a remarkable sight. Photo by Kristine Sowl, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
You don’t have to get up to enjoy a spectacular sunrise this time of year at Kenai Fjords National Park. Alaska’s short December days mean the sun comes up around 9:45 in the morning and sets before 4:00 in the afternoon. So bundle up and take your time finding the perfect spot to enjoy it among the coastal mountains of this incredible park. Photo by Jim Pfeiffenberger, National Park Service.
Happy Birthday, Glacier Bay National Park! Designated from a national monument to a national park on this day in 1980, Glacier Bay covers 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords. From sea to summit, the Alaska park offers limitless opportunities for adventure and inspiration. And the most incredible blue water you’ll ever see. Photo by Cliff LaPlant (www.sharetheexperience.org).
With a heavy heart, we say farewell to our director of social media, Rebecca. For the past 4 years, she has helped shape Interior’s digital voice, built a passionate public lands online community and written a great deal of the inspiring content you’ve enjoyed here. We wish her success in all her future endeavors. Thank you. Photo of a momma bear at Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska by Kevin Dietrich (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Happy Halloween! Let’s celebrate with this scary cute baby arctic fox at Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Arctic foxes are found in two color phases: white and blue. White-phase foxes appear brown in the summer and pure white in winter. Blue-phase foxes appear gray in the summer and a lighter gray in the winter. Blue-phase foxes are uncommon, so this photo is a rare treat. Photo by Ryan Mong, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Regal and majestic, Canada lynx have long tufts of black fur on the tips of their ears, a ruff of long hairs that frames the face, and a short, black-tipped tail (distinguishing it from its smaller relative, the bobcat). Their fur varies from yellowish to rusty to reddish-brown, muted with silver and tipped with white – an ideal coloring for an animal active in the shadow hours of dawn and dusk. These forest-dwelling cats live in northern latitudes with a range extends from Alaska throughout much of Canada and into the boreal forests in the northeastern U.S., the Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountains and the Cascade Mountains. With large paws and long hind legs, lynx are highly adapted to hunting their primary prey (the snowshoe hare) in deep powdery snow. This one was spotted at Denali National Park in Alaska during the summer.
Learn more about the different cats found in the U.S.: on.doi.gov/2LWPXwq.
Photo by Kent Miller, National Park Service.
Happy Alaska Day!
On this day in 1867, the Territory of Alaska was formally transferred from Russia to the United States, and in 1917, Alaska Day was created to celebrate this historic moment. From stunning mountains to winding rivers that snake through valleys, there are over 222 million acres of public lands in Alaska and much of it’s managed by the Interior Department. This beauty scene is Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River. The river flows west past the jagged limestone ridges of the White Mountains and is a popular spot for river adventurers. It’s great for a float trip, wildlife viewing and fishing. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
It’s National Wildlife Refuge Week! From Patuxent Research Refuge on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (seen here) on an Alaska island, refuges are the perfect places for people to connect to the outdoors and appreciate wildlife. Clever and cute, these foxes are just an example of some of the amazing things you might see when you visit a refuge. See more: https://on.doi.gov/2P6CcZw Photo by Josh Blouin (www.sharetheexperience.org).