Best way to see Alaska's vast expanses? There's a reason Alaska is home to more pilots per capita than any other state in the U.S. With so few roadways, truly taking in the 49th state requires an airplane.

Alaska Dispatch photographer Loren Holmes and publisher Alice Rogoff, also a certified pilot, took advantage of the midsummer light from the front of the Cessna 206. The plane departed Merrill Airfield in downtown Anchorage, heading north over Point MacKenzie toward the Mat-Su and Alaska Range, just beyond. The pair's destination: Mount Stevens.

The Alaska Range, located north of Anchorage, runs in a crescent shape across the southcentral region of the state, beginning at Lake Clark in the southwest and ending at White River in Yukon Territory, Canada. The Range houses some of the largest mountains in Alaska, including Mounts McKinley, Foraker and Hunter.

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