Information and Tourism
The American state of Alaska covers a vast area in the extreme northwest of the USA. Bordered by Canada, the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, Alaska has Russia as one of its neighbors, just across the Bering Strait. Despite its size, relatively few people live in Alaska. Indeed, much of it is still left as uninhabited wilderness.
Alaska is home to numerous natural wonders. It has the largest national forest in the US and also boasts the highest point in North America, at the peak of Mount McKinley. There are an astonishing three million lakes here, together with over 100,000 glaciers.
Alaskan history stretches back thousands of years, when groups of native people first settled here. It is thought that the earliest Russian colonists arrived in the 17th century. Alaska was bought from Russia in 1867 at a cost of $7.2 million. It wasn't until 1912 that it became an incorporated territory, before finally joining the Union in 1959.
Alaska is perhaps most often associated in people's minds with the Gold Rush of the early 20th century, when hordes of miners were drawn here by a chance to win fame and fortune. In the 1960s, the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay brought prospectors to Alaska once again. The battle between nature and oil in Alaska is ongoing. Most notably in 1989, the Exxon Valdez disaster led to millions of gallons of crude oil being spilled over thousands of miles of coastline.
Alaska Information and Fast Facts
- Country: USA
- Population: approximately 725,000
- Capital city: Juneau
- Biggest city: Anchorage
- Language: American English
- Area: 663,270 square miles / 1,717,860 square kilometers
- Highest point (Mount McKinley): 20,320 feet / 6,194 meters
WORLD GUIDES TO ALASKA
World Guide to Anchorage, AK, USA
Anchorage stands in-between the Cugach Mountains and Cook Inlet, in Alaska (AK). Known for its nearby wilderness, summer hiking trails and winter cross-country skiing, the city is an appealing mix of both old and new.
World Guide to Fairbanks, AK, USA
Fairbanks is an appealing location, with extremely seasonal weather and a friendly community. Located in Alaska, to the south of the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks is centered around the Golden Heart Park area and hosts many annual festivals.
World Guide to Juneau, AK, USA|
Rather an isolated state capital, Juneau resides on the far eastern side of Alaska, where it can only be reached by air or water. Each summer, an endless stream of cruise ship passengers stop by to explore Juneau and its glaciers for the day.
Map of Alaska