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General Flora and Fauna Guide for Alaska

Virginia, USA
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General Flora and Fauna Guide for Alaska

My husband and I will be traveling in Alaska in Aug and Sept. We've been planning for a long time and have an almost carved in stone itinerary. We will be driving into Alaska on the Alaska Highway, traveling to Anchorage ( via the Glenn Highway) Seward, Denali, Fairbanks and then to Haines for the Ferry Trip home.

As we have begun to pack, one of the things we realized that we are missing is some good Naturalist Guides. We are Easterners and have some good eastern books...and some of them have Western editions as well...but we are interested in one or two specific to Alaska...fairly general (for example, we really don't need one as specific as Mushrooms) useful on short hikes or from the road and in Denali. Thanks for your helpl

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Wasilla, Alaska
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1. Re: General Flora and Fauna Guide for Alaska

For the drive up, I highly recommend ordering a copy of The Milepost. www.themilepost.com . It's the essential guide for the drive.

I drove tour bus for a couple of years and had a book that I think was called Wildflowers of Alaska. But I can seem to find it, or a link for it.

I did come across this book on Amazon: amazon.com/Wildflowers-Denali-National-Verna…

Ketchikan
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2. Re: General Flora and Fauna Guide for Alaska

A couple of people in the state write the kind of books you are looking for. though some titles may be out of print and must be purchased at amazon.com or www.abebooks.com or similar OP book vendors. I like James Kavanagh's "Alaska Trees and Wildflowers" which is part of a pamphlet series he has done on flora, fauna and wildlife in our state, and Robert H. Armstrong's "Guide to Alaska Birds" to start, but both have published multiple titles. Dave Smith's book "Alaska Mammals" is fun and Janice Schofield Eaton has made it her lifes work to catalog "Alaska's Wild Plants." These types of books tend to be stocked in locally owned bookstores and museum and Forest Service bookstores which you will find as you travel. Anchorage is sorely lacking for bookstores right now, but Titlewave in the Northern Lights Shopping Center might have these types of titles...their stock varies from day to day as it is primarily a used bookstore..but they have a gnormous collection and it is well worth a stop if you are in the area.

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3. Re: General Flora and Fauna Guide for Alaska

Thanks, I've ordered the Kavanagh pamphlets from Amazon....I'll look for others as we travel....

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4. Re: General Flora and Fauna Guide for Alaska

CJT, if you're interested in flora then get "Wildflowers Along Alaska Highway" by Verna Pratt. Can you get it before your trip? I have an old edition but wildflowers are still the same. They are organized by colors and many pictures let you identified them easier as you're driving. The book shows the area where wildflowers are. There will be plenty of wildflowers along the highway once you leave Fort Nelson and oil/natural gas traffic disappears. Do not hesitate to pull off the road and take a closer look. It is amazing that once you stop for one specific flower you see from your car then as you walk to take a photograph you'll see many other species. The book helped me identified many species every time on every drive to Alaska. If you're fascinated by beauty of wildflowers bring with you a small magnifying glass to see some times amazing details of tiny flowers.

You can use the same book while in AK. I also have "Wildflowers of Denali" by the same author but many species listed are repeated and unless you're planning to return often I would forgo this one.

North Dakota and Saskatchewan should have fields of blooming canola and flax. They are not wildflowers but we found sea of blues and yellows exciting and couldn't resist taking pictures. We took some back roads to get to our overnight lodging in SK.

If you're staying in the Northern Rockies Lodge on Muncho Lake take a walk along the lake shore (turn right) and walk as far as you can. There should be some amazing wild orchids blooming if you're leaving soon. When are you there? Before you get to this lodge slow down for wildlife. We always see stone sheep near the road. They are unique to the area and there are signs informing about these animals. After Muncho Lake you'll see signs "Buffalo on Road." They are really there but leave early in the morning from the lodge. Stop in the hot springs. I don't personally care for them because of sulphur smell but fauna along the boardwalk is very interesting and could be colorful. There are animals like brown bears, caribou, moose, fox so slow down and look around. We saw lynx (twice) between Watson Lake and Whitehorse. If you have time take a ride along Cassiar Highway south from intersection with Alaska Highway. There should be some wildflowers in the are where wild fire burnt lots of forest last year.

Once you cross the border and take your pictures in front of the sign "Welcome to Alaska" and on the way to Tok there are variety of wildflowers along the highway including bog orchids.

On Glen Highway between Glennallen and Sheep Mountain Lodge there should be fields of fireweeds and jacob's ladder blooming.

To find areas where animals resides in the beginning of our annual trips I found "Alaska Wildlife Viewing Guide" by Sydman very helpful. I don't know if there is a new edition but this little book I have lists places inside at least one AFB. Years ago we went there to see loons. We showed our identification, got directions and were on the way to the lake. Unfortunately after 9/11 visits there are not any longer possible.

Enjoy your drive and keep your eyes wide opened.

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5. Re: General Flora and Fauna Guide for Alaska

ttt for J. who sent me PM

6. Re: General Flora and Fauna Guide for Alaska

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