Traverse Alaska was founded so that visitors can experience a bit of Alaska magic. The philosophy is simple. Small groups. Big adventures. Rewarding experiences. It is our quest to inspire a deeper connection with the natural world and foster a greater respect and understanding of wild lands. We believe that the only way to do that is to get out and play. Feel what it’s like to walk on tundra, splash glacial water on your face, and learn about the flora and fauna that have also chosen to make this land home.
Meet the Traverse Alaska Guides
I came north from Kentucky in 2007 to play outside in the wildest mountains I could find, and decided to make Alaska my home. Since I arrived in Alaska I’ve been guiding visiting family, friends and clients through this wild and amazing territory and I’ve always taken pride in knowing they’ve experienced some of the best Alaska has to offer. You have to get out and play. Being a part of the land of the Far North for even a moment is an incredible experience. My initial plan, when I first stepped foot in Alaska, was to “check it out” and after nine years, I’m still “checking it out”.
You don’t have to be a world-class outdoors person to go on a trip with me, however you must have an adventurous spirit, enjoy being active in the outdoors, and have a positive attitude.
Greetings from the Far North! I arrived in Alaska a decade ago to pursue a career in wildlife biology. Since 2007 I have worked for both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service as Wildlife Biological Technician specifically studying the diverse avifauna that migrates to Alaska each summer. My work has taken me through the boreal forests in search of nesting waterfowl, along the bluffs of some Alaska’s largest rivers observing peregrine falcons, into the alpine of Denali National Park to monitor golden eagles and above the Arctic Circle to identify passerines by their song.
Once the birds have migrated south for the winter I hit the trails with my team of sled dogs! My first winter in Alaska I was fortunate enough to cross paths with a very successful Iditarod musher and learned the craft of dog mushing. I have been running dogs ever since and now own and operate my own sled dog team for pleasure as well as conducting guided trips in Alaska’s wilderness.
Whether I’m leading small groups of people down a braided glacial river via packraft, identifying birds above the Arctic Circle, or pointing out wildlife from runners of dog sled, I’m focused on providing safe and enjoyable experiences for those that come to Alaska looking for a “behind the scenes” experience.
My passion is lifelong learning…whether it be for myself or for the folks I guide throughout Alaska. I have been an educator for forty-four years. My classrooms have been indoors and outdoors in New York, Colorado, Minnesota, Vermont and now Alaska. For the last ten years, I was the Education Program Coordinator for Alaska Geographic at the Murie Science and Learning Center in Denali National Park and Preserve. Besides training seasonal staff, I developed programs to help tourists understand what they were seeing as they rode buses in the Park. I went hiking in the Park with small groups as we immersed ourselves in the wilderness of Denali.
In order to learn about and experience Alaska, I have hiked, backpacked, canoed, biked, skied, and snowmachined, in various parts of the state. It has been an amazing time. I have stood my ground as a grizzly came running towards me. I have watched moose calves taking their first tentative steps after being born. I have picked blueberries while being surrounded by Dall sheep. I’ve been close enough to caribou to hear the clicking of their tendons as they walked. I’ve howled with wolves. I’ve also enjoyed watching the faces of visitors as they see Alaska up close and personal. Come join me to experience the intimate Denali and all the amazing opportunities it offers visitors willing to take the time to look a little deeper.
I moved to Alaska from Minnesota to work as a sled dog handler at a small family kennel in Denali Park and have been loving every minute of the adventure. In my free time I like to go skijoring, packrafting, hiking, canoeing and biking – trying to explore as much of my new backyard in as many ways as possible! Before moving to Alaska I lead 10-40 day canoe trips on remote rivers in Northern Minnesota and as far north as the Arctic Ocean in Canada. I love sharing my passion for reveling in wild places with those around me. Alaska is an incredible untamed place to explore. I enjoy the freedom of being able to take off in any direction and immerse myself in wilderness whether it’s discovering a patch of sweet cranberries, rinsing my face in a glacial stream, smelling the aroma of Labrador Tea or spotting other wildlife that call this place home.
I grew up in Iowa, eventually attended Iowa State University where I graduated with a major in forestry and minor in animal ecology. I have always been drawn to wild places and in 2010 I found my way to Alaska. I spent the next six summers working as a hiking guide in Denali National Park, teaching people about many of the amazing natural processes that take place each season in Denali as well as Alaska. In 2013 my partner and I decided make Alaska our year round home. Each day I learn something new about the vast and wild area that I live in. This summer I am really looking forward to sharing some of that knowledge with all of you.
I came to Alaska in 2009 for a photography job for a summer. One summer in Denali spiraled into the next, and summers spun into winters, and before I knew it, I became a year-round Alaskan. My work experience in this wild landscape includes: directing and guiding week-long educational programs, guiding small-group photography courses, photographing river rafting adventures, and writing/photographing stories for a range of media outlets across Alaska. I spend most of my time exploring Alaska by human power—biking, hiking, skiing and packrafting—always with a camera in hand to document experiences along the journey. Everyday I feel lucky to witness this untamed frontier, and love learning about its natural history, culture and impacts on the future. Alaska’s wild landscape has a way of grabbing you in a way few other places do, and I look forward to sharing those elements that make this environment so captivating.