The Remarkable Life of Heimo Korth In The Alaskan Mountains, His Discovery and Family Facts

Have you wondered how anyone could survive the harshness of the Alaska Mountains? Well, you can learn lots of lessons from Heimo Korth and his family who have lived for over three decades and counting in the mountains. Regarded as the godfather of the final frontier, Heimo, while a teen, moved to the mountains of Alaska to raise his family. His story was first released in a book in 2004 and has subsequently been written in several editions of movie documentaries.

The Discovery Channels recorded not only the details of the first man to settle on the hills but that of his entire family, who subsequently joined him. Ironically, Heimo and his family live normal lives, even without basic amenities like electricity, internet, and hospitals; this has raised so much curiosity about how they manage to survive in such an unfriendly environment.

Heimo Korth Moved To The Alaskan Mountains As A Teenager

Escaping a circumscribed life and a tough dad, Heimo Korth decided to reinvent himself in the Alaskan wilderness. Korth is a Wisconsin native who came into Alaska between his late teens and early twenties and has never left. Surviving for many years in the arctic environment that lies approximately 200 miles from civilization, the mountain man succeeded in carving out a remarkable subsistence life bounded by the dangers of suddenly overflown rivers banks, by the migrating caribou herds, and ultimately, by the very exigencies of daily survival. Alongside the caribou herds, their closest neighbors are the polar bears.

Heimo Korth
Survival in the arctic weather: image source

The most interesting fact about Heimo’s existence in the Alaskan mountains is that he did not settle in the unfriendly environment alone, the mountain man took his wife Edna along, including their two daughters. The outdoorsman and his family are one of the few permanent residents of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, carving out a living along the Coleen River, south of the Brooks Range. In their strive to be self-reliant, Heimo Korth’s family occasionally move between cabins, fishing, and hunting for their daily sustenance; this is an apt example of a sustainable, nomadic life.

When he first landed on the harsh Alaskan Wilderness, Heimo had a rough time trying to master his new terrain. The mountain man suffered untold setbacks before he was able to acclimatize and device a workable means of providing for his wife and children in the midst of one of the most inhospitable environments in the world. It is important to note that Korth is not the only one to try surviving in the arctic mountains neither is he the first, that path has been trudged by hundreds of hardy people in the past who have tried to eke out a living in the Alaskan bush, but their efforts were met with failures.

The Korths’ Lifestyle Came to Public Attention in 2004 with James Campbell’s Book

Well, Heimo Korth became thought for discussion in 2004 after his cousin, who is a writer authored and published the book, The Final Frontiersman: Heimo Korth and His Family, Alone in Alaska’s Arctic Wilderness. The book, which was based on Heimo’s and his family’s lifestyle, became hot cake as people got eager to know how they survived.

While residing in their home at Coleen River in the south of the Brooks Range, the family is amongst the few people who are permanent residents in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For survival, they live an extremely careful life, feeding mainly on meat and fish. Their life is quite simple, with improvised amenities. During the summer period yearly, he visits the not-too-populated town in Alaska, Fork Yukon, to do certain other jobs.

Heimo Korth
They live a simple life in the mountains: image source

His Family Became Famous Following Their Appearance in Several Documentaries And TV Shows

Five years after the book was published, a documentary titled Surviving Alone In Alaska was made by However, this wasn’t his first time on screen; he appeared in the National Geographic Documentary, Braving Alaska in 1992. From 2011 to 2012, another documentary about the wilder’s lifestyle was documented and produced in Flying Wild Alaska.

Yes, the published book and other already produced documentaries somewhat pushed the brave man and his family to fame, but it was not up until 2015, that he started basking in fame properly with the Discovery Channel’s documentary series, The Last Alaskans. This time, the documentary wasn’t solely based on Heimo Korth and his family’s lifestyle alone, but also that of other families who survived in the mountains.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the Alaskan Interior was established by Jimmy Carter, the then President of the United States, in 1980. The establishment removed access to 19 million acres of boreal wilderness for oil tycoons, fur trappers, and lodge owners. Among the six white families that were allowed to keep their cabins in the refuge was the Korth family. Presently, their neighbors are more than 100 miles away.

What We Know About His Birth Family

Heimo Korth was born on the 17th of April, 1955, in the United States of America. His parents are Irene Korth and Erich Korth. Regarding the other details of his early life, education, and immediate family members, the man has been schtum about these facts. Howbeit, claims are insinuating that while growing up, Heimo’s father was quite abusive, which resulted in his unblended relationship with his father.

Later on, he left his home and settled in the northwest of Canada. On getting to Canada, he made ends meet as a welder. Years passed, and he decided to immigrate to the Alaska Mountains, not regarding the life he had already built in Canada. As at this time, Heimo Korth was between his late teens and early twenties. Ever since he moved, he has built a career for himself, a loving family, and has never moved back to Canada.

Heimo Korth Is Happily Married To Edna Korth

Heimo Korth
Heimo Korth with his wife, daughters, and grandchild: image source

While on a hunting spree, Heimo Koth’s eyes caught the most beautiful woman he had ever met, Edna. He was instantly bitten by the love bug, luckily, the feeling was mutual. So, the two began a relationship that subsequently led to a forever commitment. Eventually, he was able to persuade her to move north, more than 150 miles above the Arctic Circle, which marked the beginning of their lives in the Alaskan wilderness.

Before this time, Edna was once married to a mystery man who she also had a daughter [Melinda] with. Together, Heimo and Edna has lived for several years and has produced three beautiful daughters, Coleen, Rhoda, and Krin. Sadly, they lost Coleen when she was just two to a drowning incident, which to date, her body is yet to be discovered. Krin is alive and kicking and currently works as a firefighter and is married. Also, Millie is married and has three beautiful daughters.


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