Alaska – The Northernmost State in the United States

Alaska – The Eskimos called this sparsely populated country Alasku (large, wide country). The northernmost and largest state (1.7 million km²) is also called the Last Frontier (last frontier) by the Americans. Alaska was acquired by Russia in 1867 for $ 7.2 million. The narrowest point is only 4 km from Russia. The Great Gold Rush of 1896 attracted thousands of people to the icy north of Alaska, many of whom were killed. Alaska became the 49th state in the United States in 1959.

Juneau – Anchorage and Fairbanks

The capital is Juneau with just over 31,000 residents. The largest city, however, is Anchorage with over 290,000 residents. If you add Fairbanks, these are the most important cities in Alaska. Oil was found in 1968 and the 1,274 km Trans-Alaska oil pipeline was put into operation in 1977. Because of its arctic summer, Alaska is becoming a tourist destination. Mount McKinley is 6194 m high and is the highest mountain in North America.

The first settlers

They came from Siberia about 12,000 years ago. There were nomadic tribes who came over the
then existing land bridge, the Beringia, and settled the country. They were the first settlers in North America. The tribes living there developed from these nomadic peoples. The land bridge disappeared around 10,000 years ago at the end of the ice age.

Flora and fauna

Despite Alaska’s geographic location, the wildlife is unique and represented with interesting wildlife. Among other things, wolves, bears, mountain goats, elk, caribou, beaver, many species of birds live here, including the bald eagle. The salmon are predominant in the rivers. On the coast and in the sea, e.g. B. the habitats of fur seals, sea otters, beluga whales, dolphins, orcas.

The mountains of Alaska have a lush flora of alpine or subalpine plants. Berry trees, cyclamen, forget-me-not, gentians, the moss heath, the alpine rose and many other plants thrive here. The Sitka spruce is the predominant tree here. 16 nature reserves (National Wildlife Refuge) have been set up to preserve nature, but only a few may not be entered.

Alaska – The ideal destination for adventure travel

Alaska is worth a trip in every season. For example, trips to the glaciers in the Kenai Fjords National Park are offered, guided wildlife viewing (including bears, moose) or kayaking on the Yukon. Special destinations include Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and Wrangell-St.-Elias National Park and Preserve, both included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the parks you can still find grizzly and black bears, elk, bison and wolves. In total there are 8 national parks, 5 national monuments and 16 national wildlife refuge in Alaska which ensure that the untouched nature is preserved.

  • Alphabetical list of all cities and towns in Alaska. Check now for top 10 largest cities by population and land area. Also covers geographical map of Alaska.

The Alaska is the largest state of the United States, occupying an area of over one million kilometers! It is there that the Denali National Park is , one of the most beautiful and preserved green areas in the state. There is no shortage of things to do in what was the first national park, created in 1917 as Mount McKinley National Park, and renamed with the name it has today only in 1980, when its size was tripled.

Most visitors go to the park to see the main attraction: Mount McKinley, which is much more than a mere mountain, reaching 6,200 meters in height! It is the right destination to practice activities in the middle of nature and observe wild animals.

Alaska is perfect for people who are looking for peace and nature. Its nickname “Last Frontier” already indicates that it is seen as the extreme and remote border of the United States. The state beats the other states by a long way in most dimensions. There are only 0.4 people per square kilometer in Alaska. With an area of ​​over 1.7 million square kilometers, it is larger than Spain, France and Germany combined, but has fewer residents than Cologne, Germany.

Approximately 20% of the U.S. area is located here, but only 0.22% of the population. In addition, Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state of the United States and the world’s largest exclave, since Alaska has no land connection to the Mainland of the United States. This state is something very special in almost every respect, and as a holidaymaker you can quickly see that yourself.

As the 49th state, it only became part of the Union on January 3, 1959. Initially, however, Alaska had been administered in Russian for a long time and only became American property on October 18, 1867 through purchase (purchase price: US $ 7.2 million). To now, Alaska Day is celebrated annually on October 18, especially in the old capital Sitka.

Alaska: facts

  • Area: 1,717,854 sq km
  • Population: 710,231
  • Abbreviation: AK
  • Capital: Juneau
  • Local time: GMT -8
  • Nickname: The Last Frontier

Close to Nature and Conservative

Alaska is a “Red State”, so it has been won by the Republicans in the past decades. Overall, the people here are conservative and, as robust natures, completely adapted to the wilderness. Most of the residents are of European descent, interestingly very often of German descent. Others descend from the British, English and Norwegian. In addition, there is a relatively strong minority of 15% indigenous peoples such as Inuit, Indians and Aleutians.

The strongest religions are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Orthodox Church (as a remnant of the area’s former Russian affiliation). By far the largest city in Alaska is Anchorage, followed by Fairbanks, the capital Juneau, College and Sitka. The Alaskan economy receives most of its income from oil production. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is important in this context. Through the Alaska Permanent Fund, residents receive their share of the state’s profits from oil production each year.

The economy also consists of the wood and paper industry, mining (lead, gold, copper and silver) and fish farming and fishing (salmon, cod). The Alaska Highway still plays a central role in terms of traffic and for tourists. This has existed since 1942 and runs from Dawsons Creek (Canada, BC) to Fairbanks in the central hinterland of Alaska. When crossing it, you can visit the most important places along its route in Canada and Alaska and always encounter the impressive landscape and wildlife with bears, reindeer, wolves and moose.

Otherwise, some places in Alaska can only be reached by plane, an alternative to discover the coastal region is to travel by cruise ships along the Pacific coast. Major airports are located in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Alaska: climate and weather

The climate in Alaska is continental to subpolar. Due to the latitude, the winters are dark and long, but the summers are accordingly bright. The west and south coasts on the Pacific are more temperate but moist.

Cities with flair and huge national parks

The climate in Anchorage in particular is considered to be relatively mild and the city blooms with flowers in summer. If you are interested in the history and art of the region, you should visit the Anchorage Museum of History and Art here. Airplane fans will feel comfortable in the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum. You can ski in the Hilltop Ski or Arctic Valley Ski Area. There are also trips to the Kenai Peninsula, where you can also visit a Russian Orthodox Church. From Anchorage you can also travel by plane to Kodiak Island, where you can also find the famous Kodiak bears.

Mountains, glaciers and tundra landscapes can be discovered in Alaska’s national parks. The best known of its kind in Alaska is the Denali National Park (second largest national park in the USA), where you can find grizzly bears, caribou, reindeer, elk and wolves in the wild. Here is the Mount McKinley (6168 m), the highest mountain in North America. Other national parks include Gates of the Arctic National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Katmai National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, Kobuk Valley National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

Juneau, the capital of Alaska, can only be reached by plane or boat. The city is also the headquarters of the University of Alaska Southeast. From here, some hiking trails lead to the nearby glaciers. Also worth seeing is the Alaska State Museum, where you get an overview of the settlement peoples of the past in the area of ​​today’s Alaska. The city’s botanical garden and a gondola ride to Mount Roberts with a beautiful panoramic view are also recommended.

In Fairbanks you can visit the Pioneer Park with museums and shopping opportunities, as well as the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Near Fairbanks is the Ester Gold Camp, a former gold mining town and now a ghost town.

Sitka is also often called Sitka-by-the-Sea, which illustrates the idyllic location by the sea. In the Isabel Miller Museum you can learn more about the time of Russian rule and the Tlingit Indians. The local Russian Orthodox Cathedral (Saint Michael´s Russian Orthodox Cathedral) is also interesting. Other sights include the Russian Bishop’s House (in Russian colonial architecture) and totem poles in the Sitka National Historic Park and the Sitka Historical Museum. Every year in February the Sitka Jazz Festival takes place in the city. There are also some remarkable buildings in the city such as the Pioneer Home.

If you want to explore the impressive landscape with a historic train, you should take a tour with the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. The fjord landscape of the Alaska Panhandle is also impressive, which you can enjoy very well with cruise ships. The northernmost point is Skagway, a former gold mining town that is also worth a visit.