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The Arctic -- The Arctic Circle is the official boundary of the Arctic. The line, at 66° 33[pr] north latitude, is the southern limit of the true midnight sun -- south of it, at sea level, the sun rises and sets, at least a little, every day of the year. But in Alaska, people think of the Arctic as beginning at the Brooks Range, which is a bit north of the circle, including Barrow and Prudhoe Bay. The northwest Alaska region, which includes Kotzebue and, south of the Arctic Circle, Nome, also is Arctic in climate, culture, and topography. The biggest geographic feature in Alaska's Arctic is the broad North Slope, the plain of tundra that stretches from the northern side of the Brooks Range to the Arctic Ocean. It's a swampy desert, with little rain or snowfall, frozen solid all but a few months a year.

Southwest Alaska/Aleutian Islands -- Stretching from the Aleutians -- really a region of their own -- to the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island, and the southern part of the mountainous west side of Cook Inlet, this is a wild maritime region. The hub of the wet, windy Aleutians is Unalaska and its port of Dutch Harbor. Katmai National Park and the adjoining wild lands are the main attraction of the Alaska Peninsula, although there also are fishing lodges on the salmon-rich rivers and on the lakes to the north, including areas in Lake Clark National Park and Iliamna Lake. On the peninsula's west side, Bristol Bay is known for massive salmon runs, and avid anglers may be interested in its wilderness lodges, using Dillingham or King Salmon as a hub. The lakes and west side of Cook Inlet are accessed primarily by Kenai, Homer, and Anchorage flight services for fishermen and hunters. Kodiak is hardly a southwest Bush community, but it fits better in this region than anywhere else, and the town is a hub for villages and bear viewing on Kodiak Island.

Western Alaska -- This is the land of the massive, wet Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, or the Y-K Delta, as it's known. Their land never exploited by white explorers, the Yup'ik people here live in some of Alaska's most culturally traditional villages. In places, Yup'ik is still the dominant language. Bethel is the main hub city of the delta but holds little attraction for visitors.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.