Home to Fairbanks, the only major city in the Interior of Alaska, this region has been lovingly named, ‘the heartland’. This cold and rugged region of Alaska is marked by expansive wetlands flanked by the towering Alaska and Brooks mountain ranges. Yet, for the true adventurer, this is where the real frontier of Alaska begins.
Grizzly bear, herds of caribou and wolves run wild along gently rolling rivers and forests of spruce and birch trees in the lush Interior region of Alaska. Mt. McKinley can be toured through motorbus excursions to Denali National Park. Hiking, skiing and fishing bring visitors to the area and you can step back in time to pan for gold in one of the busiest and most well-preserved Gold Rush settlements in the state.
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The Bouchard’s International Dog Mushing and Sled Museum is a must-see for anyone really wanting to get into the heart of Alaska’s interior region. A well-curated museum in Fairbanks, it takes you through years of dog training, evolution of the sled, and a history of racing in Alaska’s rugged interior.
Also worth your time, is the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Displaying over 80 vehicles, including an 1898 Hay Hotchkiss and tulip shape Cadillac from the turn of the century, it’s one-of-a-kind vintage car and clothing displays will transport you to an Edwardian past.
Spend some time at a refurbished Gold Mine settlement on the Fairbanks Gold Rush Town Walking Tour. Comprised of 29 original settler and business cabins, you can tour original interiors of buildings like the white church at Pioneer Park and the Kitty Hensley House.
If you are looking for a spectacular show of nature, there are many tours that combine the Chena Hot Springs with fascinating views of the Northern Lights.
Denali National Park located between Anchorage and Fairbanks and is home to some of the best trails in the Interior region of Alaska. Famed for the tallest peak in North America, the top of Denali Mountain, it’s a great place to view wildlife from bald eagles to Dall sheep and brown bears.
The Chena River State Recreational Park, to the west of Fairbanks, is nestled in a thick forest next to the Chena River. Recreational features of the park include picnic sites, a boat launch, volleyball court, and a swing set. Located on the route from the airport to Fairbanks, it’s a great place to stretch out your legs and view nature along your way.
Kanuti and Yukon Flats are two national wildlife refuges that lie north of Fairbanks in the Interior region of Alaska. The Kanuti sits atop the arctic circle and supports a variety of hearty fish and shellfish that can endure the cold climate. Marshlands on Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge serve as a protected migratory area for nearly 160 species of birds. Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, perhaps the better known of the two, also straddles the arctic circle. The protected forest and river habitats host up to 2 million ducks, 18 species of fish, mink and other small to medium-size mammals.