A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
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The Alaska Range is the Interior's defining feature. In Denali National Park, Wonder Lake reflects Mount McKinley reflects at sunset.
Alaska can be divided into five broad regions.
In this area above the Arctic Circle people depend on the land and its many resources.
See America's northernmost rain forest or a humpback whale.
This area is home to the country's busiest fishing port.
This vast area is alive with gold mining and plenty of outdoor activities.
Also known as Alaska's Panhandle, the area is filled with forests, glaciers and hiking trails.
Sprawling area includes Fairbanks and Denali National Park
Interior Alaska -- the hub of Alaska -- has just about everything that epitomizes the Last Frontier.
There is gold mining, which started before the Klondike rush and continues enthusiastically today, especially around Fairbanks. Denali National Park, containing North America's tallest peak, sprawls along the Alaska Range south of Fairbanks.
The great Yukon River flows westward across the region from Canada toward the Bering Sea. Waterfowl by the million nest in the drainages of the Yukon and other rivers of the Interior.
The Interior, for our purposes, is the area south of the Arctic Circle, north of the Alaska Range, west of Canada and (arbitrarily) east of 154 degrees west longitude.
Drivers should especially watch for moose and caribou; bears and wolves will be harder to spot from the highway but may be seen on forays into the wilderness.
The trans-Alaska pipeline crosses vertically through the region, delivering oil south from Prudhoe Bay and on down the historic Richardson Highway to Valdez.
The Interior is an outdoors-oriented region. Activities include fishing, hunting, hiking, camping with or without RVs, rafting, golf, snowmobiling, dog-sled riding, skiing, birding and gold panning.
The Interior's tours and attractions include museums, riverboats, gold mines, ice carving, music festivals and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the kingpin of the state's higher education system. UAF researchers focus on rocket science, earthquakes, the aurora, mining and northern agriculture.
Other fun things to see include bears, museums, flightseeing over the mountains, glaciers, the trans-Alaska pipeline, hot springs and the northern lights (September to April).
Denali National Park, the size of Massachusetts, draws hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. National wildlife refuges are sometimes hard to reach, but they hold bears, moose and caribou and millions of migratory nesting birds.
The White Mountains National Recreation Area, northeast of Fairbanks, is available year round, as is the Chena River State Recreation Area east of Fairbanks. Several national wild and scenic rivers, perfect for rafting and canoeing, flow through the Interior.
Fairbanks has a full range of lodging and restaurants, and most towns along the highways have both a place to stay and a place to eat. Denali has summer-only lodging in "Glitter Gulch," just outside the park entrance.
Dining throughout the region is what one might expect in the Lower 48, but with fewer chain restaurants and a lot more salmon. The menus include American, Chinese, Italian and Mexican foods.
Interior Alaska's climate is warm, often hot, in the summer. Temperatures in Fairbanks may reach the upper 80s in July and August. (In the winter, temps may bottom out below -40.)
Situated just below the Arctic Circle, the Interior has long days in the summer. At the solstice, Fairbanks has 24 hours of daylight and bright twilight.
The rainy season is late summer through autumn. The first stick-to-the-ground snow can be expected in Denali in September, and Fairbanks may get snow soon afterward. Most of the snow will be gone by late April, and spring comes in May.
The Army has Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. Eielson Air Force Base sits outside North Pole, and the National Guard operates the Clear radar station at Anderson. The once-closed Fort Greely, near Delta Junction, gets a second life as one site of the new missile defense system.
Interior Alaska includes these cities, villages and installations:
Anderson, Cantwell, Central, Circle, Delta Junction, Eielson Air Force Base, Fairbanks, Fort Greely, Healy, Livengood, Manley, Nenana, North Pole, Northway, Salcha and Tok.