As the National Park Service turns 100 years old on Aug. 25, 2016, we're pausing to take a look back at some of the system's magnificent scenes captured by Alaska Dispatch News photographers since the new millennium.
The Park Service manages a network of historic sites, preserves and monuments in Alaska, but this collection is gleaned from visits to six of the eight spots in Alaska, among 59 nationwide, that hold the distinction of being a national park.
Alaska's national parks and preserves include such recognizable names as Denali, Gates of the Arctic, Glacier Bay, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Kobuk Valley, Lake Clark and Wrangell-St. Elias. Among those are the four largest national parks — Wrangell-St. Elias at 13,000 square miles, Gates of the Arctic at 11,700, Denali at 7,400, Katmai at 5,700 — all bigger than Death Valley National Park, the biggest in the Lower 48.
The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, added 100 million acres in Alaska to the system. That meant that two-thirds of the acreage in the National Park Service system was in Alaska.
Enjoy this look around the landscapes, wildlife and visitors of Alaska's share in the National Park Service.