A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Fairbanks: 30°/53°/Intermittent clouds
Juneau: 36°/53°/Partly sunny
It's a rite of spring for many Anchorage skiers: a trip across Portage Lake to the glacier face. It can be a crowded place on a bluebird weekend, so photographer Marc Lester set out to experience it in a different way: He skied out all alone at night.
Bird Treatment and Learning Center invited the public to visit and learn about bald and golden eagles at its Save the Eagles event on Saturday, January 12, 2013.
Vapor rises and overflow freezes in this view of the Matanuska River on Wednesday. Take a photographic tour along the Glenn and Old Glenn highways in the Valley on a clear, cold day at the Focal Point photo blog.
A small plane is just one of the many ways to experience the beauty Alaska offers. These are recent photos from a flight along the Susitna River towards the Alaska Range.
The short drive along Turnagain Arm reveals a unique arena for many outdoor activities. The sunsets aren't bad either.
Starting its 25th season, the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center in Portage is now open to visitors seven days a week.
"Big tour ships don't bring busloads of visitors until this week," said Lezlie Murray, visitor services director Chugach National Forest, who spends much of her week at Begich, Boggs.
Beginning Thursday, Portage Glacier Cruises will resume trips across the lake to within 300 yards of the receding glacier, which hasn't been visible from the visitor center for years as it continues receding.
By next week, there will be five trips a day, seven days a week.
Early season can be among the better times to visit.
"The whole lake fills up with ice because of all the calving that took place all winter long," said Russ Reno, site manager for Portage Glacier Cruises. Most years, he said, the glacier moves 500 feet forward during winter and then loses 520 feet when it warms up for a net loss.
"It looks like the lake ice is way ahead of schedule," Reno said. "There was very little snow out there this winter."
After a week of gorgeous weather, rain and windy blew in on Saturday.
"That brought chunks of ice down to our end of the lake," Murray said.
One of the biggest days at Portage this summer is the 25th anniversary celebration on July 17. Workers, contractors and visitors will reunite and share stories at the center.
Another Portage attraction is the Trail of Blue Ice, the 6-mile route linking the Seward Highway with the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center. Cyclists, joggers, skiers and walkers can enjoy its flat profile and scenic meandering that take the traveler off the main road and into some of the area's most spectacular scenery.
Along the way are three bridges, intricate rockwork and hundreds of feet of elevated boardwalk. Most impressive is the section between the Black Bear and Williwaw campgrounds that includes a 65-foot tied-arch bridge that rises from the forest yet also blends in naturally.
Reach reporter Mike Campbell at email@example.com or 257-4329.