Q. What is considered the most breathtaking place in Alaska? I really need to know. Thanks, Megan
A. What a question this is, Megan! I say that because there are so many, I hardly know how to answer. Also, every person is different as to what thrills them. You know that old saying, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. So I guess I’ll just have to answer for myself.
My personal favorite, (although you understand there are about 500 that are a close second), is the Arrigetch Peaks region of the Brooks Range of mountains, which stretch across Alaska above the Arctic Circle. My son, Nick, was killed tragically in 1990, but when he was alive he and his wife Susan, and daughters had a sports fishing lodge in the Brooks Range at Walker Lake. Walker Lake is the biggest freshwater lake north of the Arctic Circle. I helped cook at Gates of the Arctic Lodge several summers. Oh, what wonderful memories I have of that magical time.
Nick delighted in taking guests on a swing around the Arritetch Peaks as he brought them by floatplane from Bettles, Alaska.
There was never a person who wasn’t just blown away by the beauty and vastness of that wonderful area. Arrigetch is an Eskimo word which means ‘fingers of the hand outstretched’ and that pretty well describes those majestic sharp peaks reaching for the sky. There was one particularly wonderful area to fly thru. One of the mountains has what looks like two towers on top. You can fly the plane between them. Nick would tell the guest to look down as they passed between the towers. Immediately thru them, the ‘ground’ plunged away from you for what I believe was a couple thousand feet! Oh, my, your stomach sort of followed your eyes right down! I don’t think any man made amusement park could give you such a thrill. Spread out below were vast valleys, with twisty ‘braided’ looking rivers winding off into ‘forever’.
That area was set aside by the federal government as a national park and preserve in December of 1980; but because our son’s lodge was already there, and had ‘grandfather rights’ it was allowed to stay. When he was killed, the lodge was done away with; even removed totally by the Park Service. You can still visit Walker Lake of course if you have the funds to be flown in, but there is no longer a nice lodge in which to stay. Sad, I think. The Arrigetch Peaks are still there though, eternal for all time. I think of them often. -BJ