Alaska Is Essentially One Big Park—And It’s Our Very Best

Here are a few of our favorite things about all it has to offer

Jun 5, 2016
Outside Magazine
Aerial View

A bush plane flies over a glacier deep in Wrangell–St. Elias    Photo: Mint Images/Aurora

National Parks Centennial

See the complete list of 100 reasons to love the parks (and a few things we'd improve)

The 49th state has 54 million acres of national parklands, thanks in large part to the Carter administration. But so much green goodness can be overwhelming, so we enlisted the help of John Baston, a guide with Mountain Travel Sobek who has led trips in all eight of Alaska’s national parks. He agreed to a round of rapid-fire word association to pin down what’s great about each one. 

Kobuk Valley: Sand dunes
Gates of the Arctic: Backpacking 
Glacier Bay: Kayaking 
​Kenai Fjords: Gulf of Alaska
Lake Clark: Giant lakes 
Wrangell–St. Elias: Enormous 
Denali: Highest mountain 
​Katmai: Bears 

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