Alaska has only 16 of the nation’s 540 national wildlife refuges, but like everything else in Alaska, those refuges are big – really big. With a total of 76.8 million acres, Alaska’s national wildlife refuges cover an area larger than Arizona. Alaska boasts 82% of all land in the national wildlife refuge system, and 86% of all its wilderness areas.
In Alaska’s refuges, you’ll find the largest bears in the world, and some of the world’s largest salmon. You’ll find glaciers and sand dunes, boreal forest and wetlands, bluffs full of seabirds and tundra filled with roaming caribou. A single refuge contains an entire arctic ecosystem, stretching from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Ocean.
Most of Alaska’s refuges are so wild and so remote, they’re difficult to visit. Only one is easily accessible by road from the state’s largest city. But the experience of a lifetime awaits the adventurous traveler…. and the rest of us can take pride that our country was wise enough to protect such large areas for wildlife, where nature can take its course with only minimal interference from human hands.