Where once there was a 7,000-foot-tall mountain, there now is a crater 3,000 feet deep. With a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) running across it in this instance.
Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve is one of the most remote parks in the National Park System. Located far north in Alaska, the park's present-day landscape was created about 3,500 years ago when a volcano erupted. The blast turned what had been a 7,00o-foot-tall mountain into a crater that's about six miles wide.
A trip to the park, even in summer, can be a trying experience.
Summer temperatures in this part of Alaska average in the high 40s to low 50s degrees Fahrenheit, with most days overcast and wet. Coastal areas are often shrouded in fog and rain. Winds are frequent and even in summer these conditions can lead to hypothermia, the dangerous lowering of the body's core temperature. As symptoms progress it becomes increasingly difficult to respond to them. Be aware of this danger and know how to avoid and treat hypothermia. Wearing layers of clothing makes it easier to regulate your body temperature.