Blueberry Bee

By Susan Sommer Each fall around Alaska, friends and family gather buckets and bags and head to their favorite blueberry spots. These, of course, are kept somewhat secret from the masses, but in general, anywhere there is tundra, you should look for blueberries. While high on a hillside or low...

A Lakeside Seat

By Steven Merritt Just like checking the hiking box for Flattop Mountain in Anchorage is a must for visitors or newcomers alike to southcentral Alaska, no trip to Whittier would be complete without a side trip on the Portage Pass Trail, which offers access to Portage Lake and unmatched views of...

Open Mouth, Insert Fish

By Michelle Theall After more trips around Alaska than I can count, I had yet to see bubble-feeding whales until this summer. I filled in for a photo instructor aboard the National Geographic Quest on a Lindblad/NatGeo cruise of the InsidePassage, with my eye on this ultimate bucket-list reward....

Summer Send-off

By Alexander Deedy As a kid, I always used to glance apathetically at the giant vegetables on display at the Alaska State Fair. I’d spend a little more time lingering by the animals, then zip off to the rides section and burn through tickets on the Gravitron and Tilt-a-Whirl. These days I...

No Reservation Required

By Susan Sommer Want to see what the weather is like at any given moment around Alaska? You’ll find the most comprehensive system on the FAA Aviation Weather Cameras site. Choose Alaska for the location on this Federal Aviation Administration resource to find out if your destination is sunny or...

The Bounty of July

By Steven Merritt “Seventy-five fish.” The early-morning text needed no more explanation. I envisioned my friend Mike in his garage with coolers full of sockeye salmon, a pot of coffee, a fillet knife and the satisfaction of putting a winter’s worth of enjoyment in the freezer. Mike’s...

Catch and Release

Text and photos by Michelle Theall I just landed in Sitka after leaving Haines, where I spent two lovely weeks in the Valley of Eagles. While bald eagles are everywhere in Haines, they’re also everywhere in Southeast, including Sitka. Still, there’s a difference between them: we’ll call it...

World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

By Serine Reeves The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics have been held in Fairbanks every year since 1961, drawing contestants from many surrounding villages. Gathering to play games and celebrate with storytelling, dancing and sharing of food is an ancient tradition of Native people of the circumpolar...

Fabulous Fireweed

By Alexander Deedy Through July and August, fireweed seems so ubiquitous in Alaska it’s often said it should be our state flower. The plant is so prolific in Southcentral that just seeing a picture of fireweed in bloom during the depth of winter will bring me a flood of summer memories. The...

5 Favorite Hikes

Easy to difficult outings near Anchorage By Susan Sommer Hitting the trail is a great way to enjoy summer in Alaska—it’s good exercise, you can unplug from technology for a few hours, and you might encounter wild animals. Here are five scenic hikes within easy reach of Anchorage. 1. Turnagain...