The name Alaska comes from the Aleut word Alyeska, meaning The Great Land.
Alaska has the longest coastline of any U.S. state, and it is longer than all the coastline of all the U.S. states combined.
Benny Benson designed Alaska’s flag in 1926 at age 13. It would become the official state flag upon Alaska’s adoption into the Union in 1959.
Alaska is not included in the reference 'the lower 48', which means it is not part of the contiguous U.S.
The state bird of Alaska is the willow ptarmigan (though some like to joke the state bird is really the mosquito).
Alaska's capital city is Juneau.
The state sport of Alaska is dog mushing, which was once the primary mode of transportation in most of Alaska. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is the state’s largest sporting event.
Alaska is two times as large as Texas. It is 586,400 square miles.
Alaska has the lowest population density in the nation at one person per square mile. That means plenty of area to get out and explore without large crowds.
Despite the fact that there are no officially defined regions, Alaska has six regions generally accepted to exist, including South central, Southeast, Interior, Southwest, North Slope and the Aleutian islands.
If Manhattan, New York, had the same population density as Alaska, only 16 people would be living on the island.
The name Alaska is believed to be derived from an Aleut word.
About 52% of Alaskans are men – the highest percentage of any state.
Alaska is also known as Alyeska, meaning the great land.
There are 224 federally recognized tribes and 20 indigenous languages spoken in the state.
Approximately 65% of Alaska is owned by the United States Federal Government.
The northernmost, easternmost and westernmost points in the U.S. are found in Alaska. It’s true! Point Barrow in the north and both the eastern and western points are in the Aleutian Chain. Pochnoi Point on Semisopochnoi Island in the Aleutians is considered the easternmost point and Amatignak Island is the westernmost point because it lies east of the 180-degree longitude.
Alaska's economy is heavily dominated by the natural gas, oil, fish and tourism industries.
At their closest points, Alaska is approximately 50 miles from Russia. If you could drive across the ocean you could be there in under an hour!
Alaska has 29 volcanoes.
Barrow has both the longest and shortest amount of daylight in the state. When the sun rises on May 10, it doesn’t set for nearly three months. When it sets on November 18, Barrow residents do not see the sun again for nearly two months. A summer trip to Barrow will help you understand why Alaska is known as the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Alaska record low temperature was -80 degrees Fahrenheit, in Prospect Creek.
Almost one-third of Alaska’s land is in the Arctic Circle. From Fairbanks, it’s easy to make the trip to the Arctic Circle.
Alaska is home to Kodiak bears, polar bears, grizzly bears and moose, among many other species.
The aurora borealis (northern lights) can be seen an average of 243 days a year in Fairbanks. The northern lights are produced by charged electrons and protons striking the earth’s upper atmosphere.
Alaska's state flower is the forget-me-not which grows very well in most of Alaska.
Of the 20 highest peaks in the U.S., 17 are in Alaska, including the highest peak in North America (20,320 feet above sea level), Denali. According to a National Park Service article, nine Alaska Native groups and five Athabaskan languages have had unique names for Denali that all translate to some form of “The Great One” or “The Tall One.”
Alaska's state motto is 'North to the Future'.
Alaska contains more than 100 volcanoes and volcanic fields which have been active within the last two million years. Don’t worry, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska volcanoes have produced one or two eruptions since 1900.
Alaska's state tree is the Sitka spruce.
There are more than 3,000 rivers and 3 million lakes in Alaska. Whether you like to kayak on peaceful waters or hit the rapids in a raft, Alaska has it all.
The state bird in Alaska is the willow ptarmigan.
Alaska’s largest lake, Lake Iliamna, is about as long as Connecticut is wide at 77 miles. Depending on who you believe, it’s also home to a legendary monster (or maybe just a sleeper shark).
The king salmon is the state fish. Some of these fish have grown to be 100lb. The king salmon is also known as the Chinook salmon.
Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the U.S. combined (more than 34,000 miles).
Alaska's state sport is dog mushing.
According to USGS, Alaska is 14.2% water with 94,743 square miles of water area in the state.
Alaska's state mineral is gold. There was once a gold rush at Nome, Alaska, which began after Joe Juneau discovered gold in 1880.
Alaska is the only state to have coastlines on three different seas: the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Bering Sea.
During World War II the Alaska Highway was built to serve as a military supply route.
Most U.S. glaciers are in Alaska. Based on the most recent comprehensive survey in 2011, there were about 27,000 glaciers in Alaska.
Japanese troops occupied Agattu, Attu and Kiska during the Second World War.
About 3% of Alaska is covered by glaciers.
The largest national forest is located in Alaska; it is the Tongass National Forest.
Alaska is one of the most seismically active places in the world. The Alaska Earthquake Center has reported more than 150,000 earthquakes in the last five years, 31 of those had magnitudes of 6 or higher. Of the eight strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the world, three have occurred in Alaska.
Alaska's largest city is Anchorage, where nearly half of Alaska's population lives.
Alaska has no poison ivy or poison oak but hikers should watch out for plants like cow parsnip and devils club which can cause reactions for some people.
The third longest river in the United States is the Yukon River, located in Alaska.
The nation’s two largest forests are located in Alaska. The Tongass in Southeast includes 16.8 million acres and Chugach in Southcentral has 4.8 million acres.
Alaska has more than 3,000 rivers and 3 million lakes.
The average high temperature for Fairbanks in the month of January is 1 degree, the average low is 17 degrees below zero.
There are 22 indigenous languages spoken in Alaska by approximately 5.2% of the population.
The highest temperature recorded in Alaska was 100 degrees in Fort Yukon in 1915.
A traditional native food is Eskimo ice cream, made of reindeer fat, seal oil, dried fish and berries grown in Alaska.
The only battle during World War II that was fought on American soil took place in 1943 after the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands. The Battel of Attu lasted from May 11 to May 30.
The most popular winter event held in Alaska is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Outsiders first discovered Alaska in 1741 when Danish explorer Vitus Jonassen Bering sighted it on a voyage from Siberia. Russians hunters began traveling to the state and the first official Russian colony was founded on Kodiak Island in 1784.