The Interior of Alaska consists of most of the land that includes and lies between the state’s two great mountain ranges: the Alaska Range just north of Anchorage, which includes Denali (Mt. McKinley), and the Brooks Range to the north. In between the mountains lies most of the landmass of Alaska. It is an interior bowl, with temperatures that range from hot in the summer to bitterly cold in winter.
Parts of the Interior are above the arctic circle, but most of it is technically subarctic. Given its northerly latitude, however, this is a land of extreme variation in sunlight, with 24-hour days in summer offset by equally lengthy periods of darkness in winter.
The Interior is in the rain shadow of the Alaska Range, so it is generally quite arid. Most precipitation falls in the form of snow, but even that is limited because of the shadow of the mountains. As a result of dry and hot conditions in summer, wildfires caused by lightning strikes are a significant issue, often blanketing large areas with smoke.