3 Experiences You can Only Have in Alaska

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

3 Experiences You can Only Have in Alaska

Due to its remoteness and harsh environment, Alaska has long been known as the “last frontier.” Braving tough conditions was worth it to the fishermen, frontiersmen, loggers and miners eager to profit from the state’s natural bounty. Long after those excursions, there remains plenty of room to explore: Alaska is the largest U.S. state, equal in land area to about one-fifth that of the entire 48 contiguous states combined. The former Territory of Alaska gained statehood in 1959, making it the 49th state. Amidst its natural grandeur of forests, tundra, mountains and glaciers, Alaska’s largest centers of population include the capital, Juneau, as well as Anchorage and Fairbanks.  Finding some of Alaska’s most unique wonders requires trekking to more remote climes.

See Alpenglow at Midnight

Credit: Sadie P Photography/Shutterstock

Alaska’s extreme northern latitude means that the sun doesn’t fully set for months on end, which is where it picked up the nickname “Land of the Midnight Sun.” As such, the optical phenomenon known as “alpenglow” — which is perceived by the human eye as a soft, shimmering glow off of mountainsides around sunset or before sunrise — occurs during a sizable portion of the year. The condition can only truly happen after the sun is over the horizon, meaning no direct sunlight reaches the colored cliffs. Alpenglow is reflected sunlight bouncing off of precipitation, ice crystals and airborne particulates back up onto the mountains above the horizon. With the sun setting well after midnight throughout the summer in a land full of stunning mountain scenery, Alaska is prime territory to take in one of nature’s free light shows.

Picnic in the Shadow of Denali

Credit: Bob Pool/Shutterstock

Denali National Park and Preserve is six million acres of wild land in northern Alaska accessible by a single road though one park entrance. The 92-mile Denali Park Road is open to the public mid-May through mid-September, but only on the first 15 miles to Savage River. Beyond that, park-goers board buses for narrated tours to explore further. There are hiking trails near the road, mostly close to the park entrance, as much of the massive park is an actual animal preserve and off limits to tourism. The highlight of the park is its namesake mountain, known to indigenous people as Denali. Renamed after an American president from 1917 to 2015 before reverting to its original moniker, the snow-draped is the tallest peak in North America at 20,310 feet. While the National Park Service offers only campground accommodations within the park, area lodges on privately owned land within or near the park offer a great base camp for those who don’t want to totally rough it. They include Camp Denali & North Face Lodge, Kantishna Roadhouse, Denali Backcountry Lodge and Skyline Lodge.

Follow in the Steps of Klondike Gold Miners

Credit: Jef Wodniack/Shutterstock

Commemorating the gold strikes and hard times alike, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is operated by the National Park Service in Skagway, in southwest Alaska. A popular tourist spot for cruise travelers who dock in the historic town, more than 20 of its boomtown buildings are part of the park experience. The rustic structures give the feel of a time when miners and ladies of the night would have mingled at saloons in the late 1890’s. Nearby, actually walk where miners and their mules trod the famous Chilkoot Trail. Hikes through the rugged terrain hint at what early explorers endured — and how the trail got its nickname of the “meanest 33 miles in history.” Another nearby attraction is rail excursions on the White Pass and Yukon Route, a Canadian and U.S. narrow-gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway with Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon, Canada. The line’s White Pass Summit Excursion provides a scenic, 40-mile round trip from Skagway up to the summit of White Pass at nearly 3,000 feet.

9 Tallest Mountain Peaks on Earth

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

9 Tallest Mountain Peaks on Earth

Measuring a mountain on where its base starts instead of how high it rises against sea level is a more accurate way to gauge where the tallest mountains on earth can be located. Topographical prominence is how much the mountain sticks out from the surrounding landscape. This form of measurement has been used to calculate the nine tallest mountain peaks on Earth, and the tallest mountain might come as a surprise.

Puncak Jaya

Credit: Almazoff / Shutterstock.com

Also called the Carstensz Pyramid, at 16,024 feet above sea level, it is the highest summit of Mount Carstensz. This majestic mountain is in the Sudirman Range of the western highlands in Papau, Indonesia. Visitors can expect to see soaring vistas and a tough climb if they want to summit the peak. It is known as one of the famous Seven Summits, and Puncak’s peak is the only one that has rock climbing.

Vinson Massif

Credit: Wayne Morris / Shutterstock.com

As the tallest mountain on the most southern continent, Vinson Massif is located just 660 nautical miles from the South Pole. It is also one of the famed Seven Summits and overlooks the Ronne Ice Shelf. The highest mountain on the cold tundra of Antarctica, Vinson Mountain is one of the most isolated and remote mountain climbs to be found anywhere on earth. To climb Vinson, mountaineers need a lot of extra cash and have to qualify for the climb. On average, it costs about 40,000 USD to climb.

Pico de Orizaba

Credit: robertcicchetti / iStock

Also known as Citlaltepetl, which means Star Mountain, Pico de Orizaba is a stratovolcano that boasts a glacier and is the tallest mountain in Mexico. It’s also the third tallest in North America. Rising almost 20,000 feet above sea level, it stretches the border between the Mexican states of Veracruz and Puebla. Pico is one of three volcanic mountains in Mexico that is home to a glacier.

Mount Logan

Credit: A. Michael Brown / Shutterstock.com

Located in Canada’s Yukon Territory, Mount Logan is the tallest mountain in Canada and the second tallest in North America with a summit of 19,551 feet. What’s even more amazing is that the Mount Logan massif has one of the most extensive non-polar ice fields in the world, which means the climb is both difficult and rewarding.

Pico Cristobal Colon

Credit: Martin Mecnarowski / Shutterstock.com

Named for Christopher Columbus and located in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, this is the tallest mountain in Colombia. This pristine mountain has a year-round snowcap and offers spectacular views and some of the richest examples of biodiversity found on earth. If a mountain climb isn’t in the books, visitors to this mountain can take a cable car to the top.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Credit: 1001slide / iStock

dormant volcanic mountain in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro National Park, this is the tallest mountain in Africa. Most experts agree that the best time to attempt the climb is during the dry months of the year. Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones and has seven different routes that can be used to reach the summit.

Denali

Credit: Elizabeth M. Ruggiero / iStock

Officially this mountain is known as Denali, but it’s also commonly referred to as Mount McKinley. Called by either name, it’s the tallest mountain in the United States and in North America. Denali creates its own weather, so it’s often guarded by thick, dense clouds and has several glaciers resting on its slopes. Temperatures ofteAn dip below -100 F. It has a summit over 20,320 feet above sea level, and two summits rising above the Denali Fault line.

Aconcagua

Credit: Elijah-Lovkoff / iStock

Located in the Andes mountain range, this mountain is almost 23,000 feet above sea level. It’s not only the tallest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, but also the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. It was originally a volcano, but shifting tectonic plates rendered the volcanic activity dormant. Now, as part of the Seven Summits, this challenging climb delights even the most experienced mountaineer. At the summit, there’s only 40% as much oxygen as at the base.

Mount Everest

Credit: Easyturn / iStock

At a peak of almost 30,000 feet, this is the tallest mountain in the world. Mount Everest also boasts being the tallest mountain from base to peak. It might also be the deadliest, since more climbers die on the way to the summit than on any other mountain. Its Tibetan name, Qomolangma, means “Goddess the Third” and is the international border between China and Nepal.

No matter which mountain peaks capture the interest of the climber, no climb should ever be taken lightly. These are serious mountains with treacherous terrain and quick-changing weather conditions. From Denali to Kilimanjaro and all the mountains in between, each one is formidable, majestic, and completely worth the effort of the climb.

3 Experiences You can Only Have in Alaska

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

3 Experiences You can Only Have in Alaska

Due to its remoteness and harsh environment, Alaska has long been known as the “last frontier.” Braving tough conditions was worth it to the fishermen, frontiersmen, loggers and miners eager to profit from the state’s natural bounty. Long after those excursions, there remains plenty of room to explore: Alaska is the largest U.S. state, equal in land area to about one-fifth that of the entire 48 contiguous states combined. The former Territory of Alaska gained statehood in 1959, making it the 49th state. Amidst its natural grandeur of forests, tundra, mountains and glaciers, Alaska’s largest centers of population include the capital, Juneau, as well as Anchorage and Fairbanks.  Finding some of Alaska’s most unique wonders requires trekking to more remote climes.

See Alpenglow at Midnight

Credit: Sadie P Photography/Shutterstock

Alaska’s extreme northern latitude means that the sun doesn’t fully set for months on end, which is where it picked up the nickname “Land of the Midnight Sun.” As such, the optical phenomenon known as “alpenglow” — which is perceived by the human eye as a soft, shimmering glow off of mountainsides around sunset or before sunrise — occurs during a sizable portion of the year. The condition can only truly happen after the sun is over the horizon, meaning no direct sunlight reaches the colored cliffs. Alpenglow is reflected sunlight bouncing off of precipitation, ice crystals and airborne particulates back up onto the mountains above the horizon. With the sun setting well after midnight throughout the summer in a land full of stunning mountain scenery, Alaska is prime territory to take in one of nature’s free light shows.

Picnic in the Shadow of Denali

Credit: Bob Pool/Shutterstock

Denali National Park and Preserve is six million acres of wild land in northern Alaska accessible by a single road though one park entrance. The 92-mile Denali Park Road is open to the public mid-May through mid-September, but only on the first 15 miles to Savage River. Beyond that, park-goers board buses for narrated tours to explore further. There are hiking trails near the road, mostly close to the park entrance, as much of the massive park is an actual animal preserve and off limits to tourism. The highlight of the park is its namesake mountain, known to indigenous people as Denali. Renamed after an American president from 1917 to 2015 before reverting to its original moniker, the snow-draped is the tallest peak in North America at 20,310 feet. While the National Park Service offers only campground accommodations within the park, area lodges on privately owned land within or near the park offer a great base camp for those who don’t want to totally rough it. They include Camp Denali & North Face Lodge, Kantishna Roadhouse, Denali Backcountry Lodge and Skyline Lodge.

Follow in the Steps of Klondike Gold Miners

Credit: Jef Wodniack/Shutterstock

Commemorating the gold strikes and hard times alike, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is operated by the National Park Service in Skagway, in southwest Alaska. A popular tourist spot for cruise travelers who dock in the historic town, more than 20 of its boomtown buildings are part of the park experience. The rustic structures give the feel of a time when miners and ladies of the night would have mingled at saloons in the late 1890s. Nearby, actually walk where miners and their mules trod the famous Chilkoot Trail. Hikes through the rugged terrain hint at what early explorers endured — and how the trail got its nickname of the “meanest 33 miles in history.” Another nearby attraction is rail excursions on the White Pass and Yukon Route, a Canadian and U.S. narrow-gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway with Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon, Canada. The line’s White Pass Summit Excursion provides a scenic, 40-mile round trip from Skagway up to the summit of White Pass at nearly 3,000 feet

9 Tallest Mountain Peaks on Earth

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

9 Tallest Mountain Peaks on Earth

Measuring a mountain on where its base starts instead of how high it rises against sea level is a more accurate way to gauge where the tallest mountains on earth can be located. Topographical prominence is how much the mountain sticks out from the surrounding landscape. This form of measurement has been used to calculate the nine tallest mountain peaks on Earth, and the tallest mountain might come as a surprise.

Puncak Jaya

Credit: Almazoff / Shutterstock.com

Also called the Carstensz Pyramid, at 16,024 feet above sea level, it is the highest summit of Mount Carstensz. This majestic mountain is in the Sudirman Range of the western highlands in Papau, Indonesia. Visitors can expect to see soaring vistas and a tough climb if they want to summit the peak. It is known as one of the famous Seven Summits, and Puncak’s peak is the only one that has rock climbing.

Vinson Massif

Credit: Wayne Morris / Shutterstock.com

As the tallest mountain on the most southern continent, Vinson Massif is located just 660 nautical miles from the South Pole. It is also one of the famed Seven Summits and overlooks the Ronne Ice Shelf. The highest mountain on the cold tundra of Antarctica, Vinson Mountain is one of the most isolated and remote mountain climbs to be found anywhere on earth. To climb Vinson, mountaineers need a lot of extra cash and have to qualify for the climb. On average, it costs about 40,000 USD to climb.

Pico de Orizaba

Credit: robertcicchetti / iStock

Also known as Citlaltepetl, which means Star Mountain, Pico de Orizaba is a stratovolcano that boasts a glacier and is the tallest mountain in Mexico. It’s also the third tallest in North America. Rising almost 20,000 feet above sea level, it stretches the border between the Mexican states of Veracruz and Puebla. Pico is one of three volcanic mountains in Mexico that is home to a glacier.

Mount Logan

Credit: A. Michael Brown / Shutterstock.com

Located in Canada’s Yukon Territory, Mount Logan is the tallest mountain in Canada and the second tallest in North America with a summit of 19,551 feet. What’s even more amazing is that the Mount Logan massif has one of the most extensive non-polar ice fields in the world, which means the climb is both difficult and rewarding.

Pico Cristobal Colon

Credit: Martin Mecnarowski / Shutterstock.com

Named for Christopher Columbus and located in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, this is the tallest mountain in Colombia. This pristine mountainhas a year-round snowcap and offers spectacular views and some of the richest examples of biodiversity found on earth. If a mountain climb isn’t in the books, visitors to this mountain can take a cable car to the top.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Credit: 1001slide / iStock

dormant volcanic mountain in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro National Park, this is the tallest mountain in Africa. Most experts agree that the best time to attempt the climb is during the dry months of the year. Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones and has seven different routes that can be used to reach the summit.

Denali

Credit: Elizabeth M. Ruggiero / iStock

Officially this mountain is known as Denali, but it’s also commonly referred to as Mount McKinley. Called by either name, it’s the tallest mountain in the United States and in North America. Denali creates its own weather, so it’s often guarded by thick, dense clouds and has several glaciers resting on its slopes. Temperatures often dip below -100 F. It has a summit over 20,320 feet above sea level, and two summits rising above the Denali Fault line.

Aconcagua

Credit: Elijah-Lovkoff / iStock

Located in the Andes mountain range, this mountain is almost 23,000 feet above sea level. It’s not only the tallest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, but also the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. It was originally a volcano, but shifting tectonic plates rendered the volcanic activity dormant. Now, as part of the Seven Summits, this challenging climb delights even the most experienced mountaineer. At the summit, there’s only 40% as much oxygen as at the base.

Mount Everest

Credit: Easyturn / iStock

At a peak of almost 30,000 feet, this is the tallest mountain in the world. Mount Everest also boasts being the tallest mountain from base to peak. It might also be the deadliest, since more climbers die on the way to the summit than on any other mountain. Its Tibetan name, Qomolangma, means “Goddess the Third” and is the international border between China and Nepal.

No matter which mountain peaks capture the interest of the climber, no climb should ever be taken lightly. These are serious mountains with treacherous terrain and quick-changing weather conditions. From Denali to Kilimanjaro and all the mountains in between, each one is formidable, majestic, and completely worth the effort of the climb.

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National Park Service proposes $70 entrance fee for 17 popular parks

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

National Park Service proposes $70 entrance fee for 17 popular parks

Madison Park, CNN • Published 25th October 2017
(CNN) — The National Park Service proposes more than doubling the entrance fees at 17 popular national parks, including Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone, to help pay for infrastructure improvements.
Under the agency’s proposal, the entrance fee for a private vehicle would jump to $70 during peak season, from its current rate of $25 to $30.
The cost for a motorcycle entering the park could increase to $50, from the current fee of $15 to $25. The cost for people entering the park on foot or on bike could go to $30, up from the current rate of $10 to $15.
The cost of the annual pass, which permits entrance into all federal lands and parks, would remain at $80.
The proposal would affect the following 17 national parks during the 2018 peak season:
  • Arches
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Canyonlands
  • Denali
  • Glacier
  • Grand Canyon
  • Grand Teton
  • Olympic
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon
  • Yellowstone
  • Yosemite
  • Zion
  • Acadia
  • Mount Rainier
  • Rocky Mountain
  • Shenandoah
  • Joshua Tree
Peak pricing would affect each park’s busiest five months for visitors.
The National Park Service said the increase would help pay for badly needed improvements, including to roads, bridges, campgrounds, water-line’s, bathrooms and other visitor services at the parks. The fee hikes could also boost national park revenue by $70 million per year, it said.
“The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a statement.
Of the 417 national park sites, 118 charge an entrance fee.
The National Park service has opened the proposal to public comments for 30 days at its website.
The proposal was blasted by the National Parks Conservation Association, a nonpartisan advocacy group.
“We should not increase fees to such a degree as to make these places — protected for all Americans to experience — unaffordable for some families to visit,” the group’s president and CEO Theresa Pierno said in a statement. “The solution to our parks’ repair needs cannot and should not be largely shouldered by its visitors.”
The South Kaibab Trail drops to the Colorado River in the bottom of the Grand Canyon in just under seven miles. Numerous day hike options turn around at phenomenal viewpoints if you don’t want to commit to an overnight trip to the bottom of the canyon.
Ben Adkison
“The administration just proposed a major cut to the National Park Service budget even as parks struggle with billions of dollars in needed repairs,” Pierno said. “If the administration wants to support national parks, it needs to walk the walk and work with Congress to address the maintenance backlog.”
On the National Park Service’s Facebook page, some commented that the proposal was reasonable since it was going to improve and maintain the parks. Others lamented that it would price working class people out of making trips that they had saved up for.
Entrance fees at several national parks, including Mount Rainer, Grand Teton and Yellowstone, went up in 2015 to their current price.
Those fee increases didn’t seem to deter visitors. In 2016, National Park Services received a record-breaking 331 million visits, which marked a 7.7% increase over 2015. It was the park service’s third consecutive all-time attendance record.
Most popular National Parks in 2016 (59 total)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park — 11,312,786 million visitors
Grand Canyon National Park — 5,969,811
Yosemite National Park — 5,028,868
Rocky Mountain National Park — 4,517,585
Zion National Park — 4,295,127
Yellowstone National Park — 4,257,177
Olympic National Park — 3,390,221
Acadia National Park — 3,303,393
Grand Teton National Park — 3,270,076
Glacier National Park — 2,946,681