1. 3 Million Lakes & Outdoor Adventures
Alaska is home to an astonishing 3 million lakes, making it one of the most water-rich states in the US. These lakes range in size from small ponds to large bodies of water, and they are spread across the state's vast landscape. The largest lake in Alaska is Lake Iliamna, which covers an area of 1,000 square miles. The state also boasts some of the deepest lakes in the world, with Lake Clark reaching depths of over 1,000 feet. With so many lakes, Alaska is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wealth of opportunities for fishing, boating, and other recreational activities.
2. Alaska's Dog Mushing Tradition
Alaska is the only state in the United States to have dog mushing as its official sport, a tradition that dates back to 1972 when the Alaska Legislature officially adopted it. Dog mushing is a popular sport in Alaska, with many races taking place throughout the year, including the world-famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. It is a unique and exciting way to explore the state's vast wilderness, and is a great way to experience the beauty of Alaska.
3. The Great Land
Alaska is a state with a unique name, derived from the Eskimo word "Alakshak", which translates to "great lands" or "peninsula". This name is fitting, as Alaska is the largest state in the United States, with an area of 663,268 square miles. It is also the most sparsely populated state, with a population of just over 731,000 people. Alaska is known for its stunning natural beauty, with majestic mountains, glaciers, and abundant wildlife.
4. The Land of the Midnight Sun: Alaska's Incredible Mountain Range
Alaska is home to an impressive 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States, including Denali, the highest peak in North America, which stands at an impressive 20,310 feet. Other notable peaks include Mount St. Elias, Mount Foraker, Mount Bona, and Mount Blackburn, all of which exceed 15,000 feet in elevation. With such a vast array of towering mountains, it's no wonder that Alaska is known as the "Land of the Midnight Sun".
5. The Russian Settlement of Kodiak Island
In 1784, Russian whalers and fur traders made history by establishing the first settlement in Alaska on Kodiak Island. This momentous event marked the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship between Russia and Alaska, which would eventually lead to the purchase of Alaska by the United States in 1867. The settlement on Kodiak Island was the first of many that would be established in Alaska over the years, and it remains an important part of the state's history to this day.
6. The Alaska Highway: A Road to Adventure
Built in 1942, the Alaska Highway was constructed as a strategic military supply road during World War II. Spanning 1,387 miles, the highway connected the contiguous United States to Alaska, allowing for the transportation of supplies and personnel to the Aleutian Islands. The highway was constructed in just eight months, with over 10,000 soldiers and civilians working around the clock to complete the project. Today, the Alaska Highway is a popular tourist destination, offering travelers breathtaking views of the Alaskan wilderness.
7. The Alaska Purchase: A Bold Move That Changed America
In 1867, the United States Secretary of State, William H. Seward, made a bold move and offered Russia an incredible sum of $7,200,000 for the purchase of Alaska. This equated to a mere two cents per acre, a price that was too good to refuse. This purchase was a major milestone in the history of the United States, and it is now known as the 'Alaska Purchase'.
8. The Lower 48
Alaska, the largest state in the United States, is often referred to as the 'Lower 48' due to its location in the lower 48 contiguous states. It is the northernmost state in the country, bordered by Canada to the east and the Arctic Ocean to the north. Alaska is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the world, including the majestic Denali National Park and Preserve, the largest national park in the United States. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including polar bears, caribou, and moose. With its vast wilderness and breathtaking scenery, Alaska is a must-see destination for any traveler.
9. Wild & Rugged
Alaska's southwest region is a wild and rugged place, renowned for its stormy weather, vast tundra landscapes, and abundant marine mammal populations. Here, visitors can experience the raw power of nature, with windswept hills, snow-capped mountains, and icy seas teeming with whales, seals, and walruses. Whether you're looking for a thrilling adventure or a peaceful escape, Southwest Alaska is the perfect destination.
10. Arctic The Land of 24-Hour Daylight and 24-Hour Darkness
Alaska is a vast and unique state, with nearly one-third of its landmass lying within the Arctic Circle. This means that the northernmost parts of the state experience 24 hours of daylight during the summer months and 24 hours of darkness during the winter months. The Arctic Circle also brings with it extreme temperatures, with average winter temperatures ranging from -20°F to -40°F and summer temperatures ranging from 40°F to 60°F. This makes Alaska a truly unique place to visit, with its unique climate and stunning landscapes.