Trails Across Time: History of an Alaska Mountain Corridor


The Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm of Alaska is now a National Heritage Area. Come travel along the historic trails, tracks, and waterways of one of Alaska’s most scenic places. The valleys and mountains, communities and people of this unique place tell the larger story of a wild place and a rugged frontier. From the geologic forces that shaped the landscape to Native trails, a gold rush, and the eventual building of a railroad and highways, the area reflects the broader history of Alaska as a whole. Let the journey begin here amid the memories and mountains of the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area.


“Trails Across time is a marvelous bio-regional history that describes a place, establishes it in time, and sets indelibly in memory the people who lived and worked there and called it their own, in other words, history at its best.” ~Stephen W. Haycox, Ph.D., Professor of History, University of Alaska

“Those interested in the history of the exploration and development of the Kenai Peninsula will find this book a useful resource and anyone traveling the roads and trails described here will welcome Trails Across Time as a fascinating companion on their journey.” ~Mark Weber, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

“It is one of the best accounts of Kenai-Cook Inlet history that I’ve seen.” ~Pat Williams at age 95, Seward, Alaska



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Author Kaylene Johnson

Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan’s work is inspired by the scale of Alaska’s landscape and the unique personalities that thrive there. She says it is a place of dichotomies — expansive light in summer, deep dark in winter; where vast landscapes fill one’s view while tiny tundra flowers bloom at your feet. Alaska, she says, is a place where an artist can feel rooted in what is real and true and at the same time feel free to create in expansive and challenging ways.

Author Kaylene Johnson with her horse
The Confessional

We asked & our authors answered…

Kaylene has been known to:  completely forget about time when hanging around horses.

Things she likes:  reading to her husband before bedtime; hiking; horseback riding; cross-country skiing; the scents of rain, freshly cut grass, and saddles.

She’ll never get caught:  Jumping out of an airplane. Deep sea diving. Forget it.

Favorite pop culture expression and where it’s from: Pop Culture? Seriously, who are the Kardashians?

Alaskans she most admires:  Dick Griffith, Mardy Murrie, Ray Bane (stay tuned)

Favorite Alaska places:  Brooks Range, Chugach Mountains, my backyard


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Author Kaylene Johnson

Kaylene Johnson is a professional writer and long-time Alaskan who lives in Eagle River, Alaska. She enjoys spending time in the backcountry and spent a season in the Brooks Range as a wrangler and cook.

Sneaky Peek

Communities like Hope and Sunrise formed their own vigilante committees to dispense justice. Miners meetings were held to determine property ownership, settle claim disputes, and deal with crime. Theft was punishable by hanging. Entire communities showed up at miners meetings to act as judge and jury of the accused.

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