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See Alaska from a bush plane (+Photos)

The Chugach mountains light up at sunset during a Jan 26, 2013 flight over Chugach State Park.
Loren Holmes photo
The Chugach mountains light up at sunset during a windy Jan 26, 2013 flight over Chugach State Park.
Loren Holmes photo
A peak in Chugach State Park lights up at sunset during a Jan 26, 2013 flight.
Loren Holmes photo
Redoubt volcano is visible on the horizon during a Jan 26, 2013 flight over Chugach State Park.
Loren Holmes photo
The Chugach mountains light up at sunset during a windy Jan 26, 2013 flight over Chugach State Park.
Loren Holmes photo
Last light on the Chugach mountains, Chugach State Park. Jan 26, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
A mountain ridge overlooking Twentymile river lights up at sunset during a Jan 26, 2013 flight over Chugach State Park.
Loren Holmes photo
Turnagain Arm and the community of Bird are seen at sunset during a Jan 26, 2013 flight over Chugach State Park.
Loren Holmes photo
Ruth glacier, Alaska Range, Denali National Park. July 19, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Hanging glacier above the Ruth glacier, Denali National Park. July 19, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Aerial of downtown Anchorage, with Alaska's tallest building, the ConocoPhillips building. July 19, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Aerial view of downtown Anchorage, Alaska at sunset on April 25, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Aerial view of midtown Anchorage, Alaska at sunset on April 25, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Aliy Zirkle navigates the sea ice on her final push to Nome, Tuesday March 13, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Dallas Seavey leading the way to Golovin in Iditarod 2012. March 12, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Mushers on the trail between Nikolai and McGrath. March 6, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Offshore oil platforms in Cook Inlet. November 1, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Mt. Redoubt, one of four active volcanoes in the Cook Inlet region. November 1, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

Alaska is a grand place. From its wildlife to its landscape, the length of its days to the reach of its tides, there is something special about Alaska. It's rewarding enough to explore with boots on the ground, but Alaska from above takes things to another level.

Denali National Park is an especially wonderful place to see from the air. In the summer it's only a short flight from Anchorage or Talkeetna, a quick jump over lush green forests before you reach the foothills of the Alaska Range. Pushing further into the massif reveals a landscape much bigger than it appears from afar.

During Alaska's marquis sporting event, the annual 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, teams that are larger than life in a side-by-side comparison on the ground transform into miniature replicas when spotted from any number of the many bush planes that fly in service of or nearby the March event. Frozen rivers turn into highways. And the sunset stretches the shadows of dogs into something that more closely resembles camels.

Even Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, is put into context. Alaskans from outside the city sometimes joke that Anchorage is only 30 minutes from Alaska, but from the air you can see that it is fully a part of this great state.

Contact Loren Holmes at loren(at)alaskadispatch.com