Alaska, Arts, History

Alaska’s Past is Still Being Written

Contributed by KMTA

Kenai History featured in Trails Across Time: History of an Alaska Mountain Corridor

Ever wondered about the quartz veins in the road cuts along the Seward Highway? Did you know Johnson Pass hasn’t always been a recreational trail – prospectors blazed it in the 1890s and it soon became a wagon road thoroughfare. Want to see the coastal geography of Alaska through Captain Cook’s eyes in 1778? Or perhaps you’d like to learn how stone lamps dating back to 2000 B.C. reveal a history of multi-cultural use on the Kenai Peninsula.

An updated 2017 edition of Trails Across Time: History of an Alaska Mountain Corridor features riveting new stories and photos about Alaska’s first and only National Heritage Area. Originally published in 2005, Trails Across Time explores the historic trails, tracks, and waterways of one of Alaska’s most scenic places. 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. The valleys and mountains, communities and people of this unique place tell the larger story of a wild place and a rugged frontier.


Published by Ember Press, the book is a publication of the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm (KMTA) National Heritage Area. The KMTA National Heritage Area is one of forty-nine Heritage Areas across the nation. Established in 2009 through an act of Congress, the KMTA National Heritage Area mission is to recognize, preserve, and interpret the historic resources and cultural landscapes of the Kenai Mountains–Turnagain Arm transportation corridor.

Author, Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan is a long-time Alaskan whose books include Our Perfect Wild: Ray & Barbara Bane’s Journeys and the Fate of the Far North (University of Alaska Press, 2016); Canyons and Ice: The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith (Ember Press, 2012); A Tender Distance: Adventures Raising My Sons in Alaska (Alaska Northwest Books, 2009); and other books, articles, and award-winning essays. She is the executive director of the KMTA National Heritage Area.

For more information about the National Heritage Area, please visit:


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