Alsek River, Dry Bay


Alsek River, Dry Bay

by | Aug 1, 2018

The Alsek River flows into the Gulf of Alaska at Dry Bay, close to the northern boundary of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, about 162 miles (261 km)  northwest of Juneau and 50 miles (81 km) southeast of Yakutat, Alaska. The river starts at the confluence of the Dezadeash River and Kaskawulsh River in Kluane National Park and Reserve in the Yukon, then flows south into British Columbia where it joins with the Tatshenshini River in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park.

The upper river was used as a trade route by First Nations, in particular the coastal Tlingit people. In about 1897, Jack Dalton established a trading post near the location where the present-day Tatshenshini begins to flow westward. This trading post flourished during the Klondike Gold Rush, and today, the site of Dalton’s trading post is a popular location for salmon fishermen, and as a launch point for rafting trips.

Most of the Alsek watershed is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the spectacular glacier and icefield landscapes, in addition to the importance of its habitat for grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep, and “glacier bears” an extremely rare blue-grey color phase of the black bear. Read more here and here. Explore more of the Alsek River and Dry Bay here:

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This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2019 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The colour scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

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