When people think of Alaska, it’s likely that snow, glaciers and wildlife may come to mind. Alaska is the largest state in the USA and has a diverse terrain made up of mountains, forest and stunning scenery. The 49th US state is an intriguing destination with a lot to offer travellers.
We’ve put together 5 facts about Alaska we think you’ll find interesting:
1. It’s home to North America’s tallest mountain
Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley, is 6,190 metres above sea level and is the tallest mountain in North America. It is considered the third tallest mountain in the world and even higher than Mount Everest if measured from the base to the tallest point! The name Denali can be translated from local indigenous language as ‘The High One’.
2. Juneau, Alaska’s capital is only accessible by air or water
Juneau is only one of two capital cities in America (in addition to Honolulu, Hawaii) that cannot be reached by car. The Alaskan capital is situated between a rugged mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. Visitors and residents must either arrive by plane, ferry or on a cruise ship.
3. There are over 100,000 glaciers
Glaciers are the top reason why tourists flock to Alaska. There is estimated to be over 100,000 glaciers in Alaska with over 600 that are named. Approximately 1000 glaciers are in Glacier Bay National Park. The largest glacier in Alaska is the Bering Glacier which is 190 kilometres long.
4. Alaska is the salmon and totem pole capital of the world
The waters of Ketchikan in the states southeast, is home to five varieties of salmon species. Every year, millions of pounds of salmon is exported world-wide, making Alaska the salmon capital of the world!
Ketchikan is also known for having the world’s largest collection of totem poles. There are over 80 sculptures carved into wooden poles which represent legends, family history, significant characters or events in history.
5. Alaska has a ‘Big Five’
Alaska has a counterpart to Africa’s famous Big 5 made up of grizzly bears, moose, caribou, gray wolf and dall sheep. The best location to spot all five animals is in Denali National Park, where there is also 39 species of mammals and 169 species of birds – an animal lovers paradise!
If you’re yearning to discover the undiscovered, it’s time to head to Alaska – check out our tours here!