Alaska’s upland bird hunters enjoy an unlikely Ice Age leftover

By Ken Marsh

The setting seemed more Great Plains than Alaska: Rusting farm machinery backlit by a fiery sunset, barley fields rippling in long golden swaths, the horizon a living canvas of geese and sandhill cranes whirling in noisy flocks…


©Ken Marsh

Alaska fly-fishers are a dedicated bunch, driven to keep on swinging until the cold, bitter end. No matter what.

By Ken Marsh

The morning had gotten off to a traumatic start, the kind that makes a guy want to step back and reexamine his priorities. No one had said anything…


By Ken Marsh

“They rippled green with a wondrous sheen, they fluttered out like a fan;
They spread with a blaze of rose-pink rays never yet seen of man.”

— Robert Service
The Ballad of the Northern Lights

Photo by Thomas Lipke on Unsplash

I don’t recall my first aurora. When you’re raised in Alaska some…


By Ken Marsh

“The winter! the brightness that blinds you, … The woods where the weird shadows slant;

The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery, I’ve bade ’em good-by– but I can’t.”

— Robert Service, Spell of the Yukon

Thirty years ago, living as a trapper in Alaska’s upper Susitna Valley…


Fall in Alaska is magnificent, but short, which is why it pays to follow along and flail like hell to grasp every colorful moment.

By Ken Marsh

Alaska’s old-time prospectors had a saying that gold is where you find it. And where you find it may surprise you. A friend…


Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve — a true wilderness park — promises refuge and spiritual passage.

By Ken Marsh

Most striking were the mountains: Stacked high through the ages by tectonic forces, sculpted by Cambrian seas and the coming and going of Pleistocene ice, limestone crags shot…


Coaxing Alaska silver salmon to strike dry flies is sport of the highest order.

By Ken Marsh

I found the fish late that afternoon lurking in the frog water (angler’s slang for languid sloughs, stagnant creek mouths), a dozen or more cruising slowly, prowling. That’s typical of silver salmon. …


A cyclist pauses along the trail at Southcentral Alaska’s Lower Russian Lake.

In a land where urban intrigue and iconic wilderness are linked by a network of trails, why watch from a window? Hop on a bike and become a part of scene.

By Ken Marsh

I was mountain biking Southcentral Alaska’s Russian Lakes Trail after a day of fishing when I…


For an angler, though, nothing defines Alaska more distinctly than grayling. ©Ken Marsh

Ancient, elegant and innocently gullible, the little fish with the big dorsal fins promise admission to a world of clean, wild waters and unspoiled vistas.

By Ken Marsh

I’d uttered my good-byes earlier that evening, not aloud, but inwardly, and without sadness. Of course, the grayling wouldn’t have heard me…


Wildlife viewing around Alaska’s biggest city gains fresh dimension once the snow flies.

Moose are common in Southcentral Alaska and can be seen year round from the mountains backing Anchorage to the city’s greenbelts, parks and neighborhoods. ©Ken Marsh

By Ken Marsh

Lit by morning stars and a bright gibbous moon, the first tracks leaped out within a few steps of the trailhead. A short-tailed weasel, or ermine as they’re called when their coats turn snow-white…

Ken Marsh

Anchorage-based writer specializing in Alaska’s awesome outdoors.

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