Supraglacial stream in the Alaska Range
Canwell Glacier and Rainbow Basin – Hiking Guide

The Canwell Glacier is an approximately 10-mile long valley glacier on the south side of the Delta Mountains in the Eastern Alaska Range. It is reasonably easy to access the area, but there are no nearby amenities and only one “Jeep” trail through the south side of the valley. The weather changes quickly in this...

Parhelia, or sun dogs in the sky over a snowy forest in Fairbanks, Alaska
Parhelia

Parhelia - Fairbanks, Alaska Buy This Print There was strong parhelia and sun pillar while driving home from the Yukon Quest start yesterday. This photo was taken at 1:40 pm, very close to solar noon. So that's about as high in the sky the Sun gets this time of year. The bright side is that we are...

Michelle Phillips dog team starting the 2020 Yukon Quest in Fairbanks, Alaska
Yukon Quest 2020

This morning 15 dog mushers began their 1000-mile journey on the 2020 Yukon Quest. We watched them all off on their way to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory just as they left the start gate. It typically takes about a week-and-a-half to two weeks to complete. Richie Bettie starting the 2020 Yukon Quest in Fairbanks, Alaska |...

Golden light hits the top of the trees near Ruby Creek in the Alaska Range
2019 Photo Highlights

Forty of my favorite photos from 2019. Landscapes and wildlife from glaciers in the Alaska Range and Chugach Mountains, Denali National Park, and more!

Juvenile yellow-crowned night heron at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge
Birds (and more) at Pelican Island

The Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is roughly 5400 acres of protected water and land. Located near Sebastian, Florida, the refuge is a beautiful conservation site in an otherwise sprawling urban area. This oasis of forest and mangroves on the Indian River Lagoon is home to over 140 species of birds. Additionally, hundreds of species...

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch on January 6, 2020
SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch

For a few seconds, it looked like the Sun was rising over the river. Standing almost 45 miles away the sky and water were completely lit up. We watched the Falcon 9 launch from the pier at Barefoot Bay while looking over the Indian River. The Falcon 9 is delivering 60 new satellites to low...

Biking the Park Road

Three day bike tour in Denali National Park before the tourist season opens. Dall sheep, grizzly bears, and ptarmigan were spotted among other animals along with some beautiful vistas.

Hiker descending the Savage Alpine Trail to the Savage River in Denali National Park in winter.
Winter Hiking in Denali National Park

Winter is my favorite season in Denali National Park. It is empty. I rarely run into anyone, and when I do it might be a quick passing in the parking lot. Early spring is nice too, but the landscape doesn't have the vibrant colors that summer and autumn bring. Summer is beautiful, but once the...

Little islands of moss covered forest floor appear in the snow. Spring in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Photo of the Week – “Spring is Here”

We are entering the grossest season of the year here in Fairbanks. The snow is melting and what is left is no longer pristine and white. It's rather dirty and often filled with garbage, especially beside the road. Getting outside seems to be more difficult. The air temperature is unpredictable. I was surprised to walk...

Night Sky over the Chena River along the Angel Rocks Trail.
Photo of the Week – “Night Sky over the Chena”

On March 20th there was a coronal mass ejection resulting from a solar flare. It was thought that it was partially earth-directed and that it may result in a G2 geomagnetic storm, which for us typically means a good night for aurora. We hiked out to Angel Rocks in hopes of watching the aurora, but...

Cat tries to tie her hat at Granite Tors
Photo of the Week – “Tors in Winter”

"Tors in Winter" Photo of the week ending March 17, 2019 This week's photo of the week is of Cat trying to tie her hat on tight with mittens on at Granite Tors. After having a relatively calm and warm hike up, we found much colder and windy conditions on the top of the hill....

A stand of spruce trees on Murphy Dome at sunset.
Spruce Over the Years

I think 2012 was the first year I photographed this little stand of spruce trees on Murphy Dome. I have kept returning to this spot over the years that I've lived in Fairbanks. The photo above was taken on March 17, 2019, the most recent photo I have taken of these trees. For at least...

Looking at Double Mountain over the frozen Savage River in Denali National Park.
Photo of the Week – “Icy Savage River”

“Icy Savage River” — Photo of the week ending March 10, 2019 Looking at Double Mountain over the icy Savage River in Denali National Park & Preserve. Taken on March 8th, 2019. The snow-wall was held up on the Range to the south of us the whole time we were hiking, always giving a threat...

Glacier Calving. Splashback from a chunk of the Columbia Glacier breaking off into Columbia Bay.
Columbia Glacier Calving

Tidewater glacier calving is an extremely powerful event that everyone should get a chance to witness. If you haven't ever seen this, it's time to hop on a plane to Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, or Antarctica and find a way to go watch it happen. If you've never heard of glacier calving before, it's simply the...

Watching the first sunrise of 2018 from Ester Dome. Fairbanks, Alaska.
Welcome 2018

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but I'm still resolving to write more and take more photos in 2018. I've been occupied with work the last couple years and it's led to a lag in exploring, photographing, and writing. That's slowly driving me insane. So, I'm committing to one adventurous trip a month, preferably...

Aurora at Angel Rocks
Yikes . . . Has it really been this long?! Spring in Alaska

It sure doesn't feel like it, but it's been over a year since I've published a blog-post. I've still been writing, editing, and updating, but not publishing new things. I've still been out taking photos in Alaska, just not as much as I would hope too. It's been hard to get out because work has...

Alignment of Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Moon with Aurora Borealis
Aurora Borealis – October 6, 2015 – Planetary Alignment!

I woke up early to photograph a cool planetary alignment of Venus, Mars, and Jupiter with a quarter moon. I lucked out because the aurora was still going strong at 4:30 am! We were also fortunate enough to have clear skies, something that was not too common last autumn. I had to wait about an...

Hike up Nome Creek

Ridges and tors over red and yellow valleys to the east of Nome Creek I took a little 12 mile ridge hike at Nome Creek in the White Mountains in early September of 2015. I love the drive to this area. Turning north onto US Creek Road off of the Steese Highway affords some awesome,...

Aurora Borealis – September 11, 2015

The first impressive aurora borealis display I witnessed this season was shortly after midnight on September 11. It broke up fairly quickly, becoming diffuse, but it was brilliant for about 10 minutes. There were some great crimson colors on the bottom of the main band. This color comes from lower altitude nitrogen and is often...

View from Polychrome Overlook. Denali National Park
Summer – Denali National Park

I don't get to Denali National Park as often as I should, especially since I live only 2 hours away. Friend or family visits are an awesome excuse to hit the park, since it is, or should be on everyone's bucket list. It had also been 2 1/2 years since I've seen my mom, so...