Whether it was walking the shores of the Arctic Ocean with polar bears, dipnetting on the banks of the Kenai River with thousands of Alaskans, climbing to the top of Alaska's most-climbed mountain on summer solstice, or dancing with St. Lawrence Islanders on the eve of their fall whale hunt, Alaska Dispatch was there this year, photographing it all.

Alaska exists in the imagination of outsiders as a land of rugged beauty, with tall mountains, dark forests, massive glaciers and abundant wildlife. But among all that vast natural beauty and wilderness live over 700,000 Alaskans. Some work in office buildings, others in fishing boats or on oil rigs. Some study the glaciers, others hunt the whales.

In these 30 photos exist a slice of life in the Last Frontier. We hope you enjoy them.

See Alaska Dispatch's best scenic photos of the year, here.

See Alaska Dispatch's best Iditarod photos of the year, here.

Contact photographer Loren Holmes at loren(at)alaskadispatch.com