Attractions of Alaska, USA

Alaska

Alaska is the largest state in the United States, an infinitely diverse land that has been misconstrued to be perpetually frozen. The Southeastern Panhandle (from the town of Ketchikan, past the town of Juneau, to the towns of Hesche and Skagway) has a temperate climate, abundant rainfall, and fertile land with numerous forests. The Gulf Coast of Alaska north and west of Haines is the most densely populated area, especially around the city of Anchorage, truly the state’s largest city.

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Video: Alaska

Highlights.

The western region, including the Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Islands and Pribylov Islands, is foggy, wet and windy; it’s a haven for feathered and sea creatures. The inland part of the state south of the Brooks Range, from the Yukon River near the Canadian border toward the Bering Sea has a dry climate, warm in summer and very cold in winter. The Arctic region, extending from Kotzebue Bay above the Seward Peninsula in the west and skirting Cape Barrow to the Arctic Lowlands near Pradho Bay, is a bleak region of permafrost.

Alaska can also be a starting point for a trip across the country, but consider the high cost of living and the poor transportation system. Northwest Alaska is a more affordable option, but getting there is not easy. It takes several days to get there by ferry, and Anchorage can be reached by plane in 2.5 hours. Once there, you’ll marvel at the splendor of the land and immediately begin planning your next Alaskan summer adventure.

The most complete picture of Alaska can be given by a trip by sea. You can take such a trip from Seattle, and in the summer also from Vancouver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

History

Alaska’s indigenous people, the Athabascans, Aleuts and Inuit, as well as the coastal Tlingit and Haida tribes, began settling Alaska by coming from the Bering Strait about 20,000 years ago. In the 18th century a wave of European immigrants began, first by British and French explorers and then by Russian whalers and fur traders, who gave the first names to the locations, hunted otters, and destroyed the cultural heritage of the natives.

Because of the ravages of the war with Napoleon, the Russian Empire needed money, and in 1867 U.S. Secretary of State William Seward was able to buy Alaska from the Russians for less than 2 cents per 4,000 m². The final value of Alaska was $7.2 million. At first, the purchase was not appreciated, and the Americans nicknamed the deal “Seward Madness. But it wasn’t long before the full benefits became apparent. Beginning with whaling, the Americans discovered other natural resources in Alaska: salmon, gold, and, eventually, oil.

After the Japanese bombing and occupation of the Aleutian Islands during World War II, the military built the famous Alaskan Highway (Alaska-Canada) that connected Alaska to the rest of the United States. The track was 2446 km long and played an important role in awarding statehood to Alaska in 1959. The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 had devastating consequences and reconstruction was initiated after the discovery of oil reserves in Prudhoe Bay where a 1269 km pipeline was subsequently built to Valdez.

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In 2006, Sarah Palin, mayor of Wasilla, became the first female governor of Alaska and, incidentally, the youngest, given that she took office at the age of 42. Two years later, presidential candidate John McCain called her his right-hand man. After the Republican defeat in the election, Palin stepped down as governor, but is still a major Republican candidate in the 2012 election race.

Climate and Landscape

Alaska is vast. Or, as the locals proudly point out, if Alaska were split in two, both parts would be the largest states in America, leaving Texas in third place. It stretches the entire breadth of the Arctic Circle. Alaska’s main area covers 205,128 hectares. A long ridge of the Aleutian Islands stretches 2,574 km to the south and east, and from the southwest to the coast of North America runs a 965 km strip that resembles the handle of a frying pan.

Coastal regions, such as the Northwest and Prince William Sound, are covered with dense coniferous forests, while the vegetation of the central part consists mainly of white spruces, birches, and poplars. Farther north is the taiga, with its humid, subarctic climate, swamps, willow thickets, and stunted spruces. Then there is the Arctic Tundra, with virtually no trees, but with grass cover, moss, and an array of small flowers that bloom in the summertime.

The huge size of Alaska is the reason for several completely different climate zones. The temperature in the central part rises to 32 C in summer. The air in the Southeast and the central part of the south coast warms up on average to (13 C – 21 C) . In the Southeast, it rains almost constantly from late September through October, while June has the longest daylight hours of the year. In Anchorage, for example, the day lasts 19 hours, and in Barrow, the sun never sets.

The tourist season starts in early June and runs through mid-August, a time when the most famous parks are overbooked and it’s a must to book hotels and ferry tickets in advance. May and September are characterized by moderate temperatures, but it should be noted that during this time there are fewer tourists and prices are lower.

Parks and Recreation

There are a variety of recreational options in Alaska. Travelers come here in search of adventure, whether hiking, camping, or enjoying the wilderness and mountain peaks. The number of trails to hike here is endless, and places like the Kenai Peninsula and the town of Juneau offer everyone a hiding place from the tourists and hustle and bustle. Many places allow bicycles, which can be rented throughout the state. Also in the Southeast, you can rent a kayak and enjoy paddling in designated areas surrounded by glaciers. Popular outdoor activities also include whitewater rafting, bear and whale watching, fishing, cable car rappelling, or just hiking through some of Alaska’s most beautiful places.

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Alaska / USA

Alaska is recognized as the largest state in America. It is located in the northern part of the United States. It is a significantly remote area from other parts of the United States. In the past the northern region belonged to the Russian Empire. The geographic names of some of the sites located in Alaska remind us of this.

Alaska was sold to the US authorities in 1867. After that, the state began to form as a tourist region. Alaska most of all attracts tourists with its unique nature, but that does not exclude the presence of monumental complexes, museums and other interesting architectural sites. Coniferous forests, crystal lakes, snow-capped mountain peaks, rivers flowing from mountain ranges, century-old glaciers and scenic parks await travelers here.

Alaska / USA

Denali Mountain.

Denali Park can be called the main attraction of Alaska. The size of the area of the national site is 25 thousand km/sq. The highest mountain in America is located on the territory of the park. The tribe of Athabasca Indians called the mountain peak “Denali”, which in translation means “Great”. According to scientists, if you consider the height of the peak from the part that is deep under water, its height is ahead of Mount Everest. McKinley – the mountain got its second name in honor of the memory of the 25th U.S. president.

Alaska / U.S.A. Mount Denali

Glacier Bay

National Park, which is a forested area. Alaska National Park covers an area of 13,000 km/sq. There are lakes, perennial glaciers, mountain rivers and streams. The largest glaciers are Lamplugh and Margerie Glacier. The area has a specific climate, with cool summers and warm weather during the winter season. Tourists in the park are allowed to fish, rafting and rock climbing.

Alaska / USA-Glacier Bay

Kenai Fjords

The national park opened in 1980. It was created to protect the Arctic territories of the northern region from the negative impact of human resources. The size of the area Kenai-Fjords reaches 2.8 thousand km / sq km. Snow and permafrost cover most of its territory. It is home to large brown bears that try to salmon fat. You can also see walrus and seals in the Arctic zone. The coastal zone is home to exotic birds. “Glacier cruises” are organized within the park.

Alaska / USA-Kenai Fjords

“Foggy Fjords.

The region with the name “Misty Fjords” has been recognized as a national nature reserve since 1980. The area of the nature reserve has a size of not less than 9.5 thousand km/sq. Due to the remote location of the region from civilized points of the country, the territory has remained untouched. Here you can see a unique landscape of wildlife, similar only to Alaska. Tourists can visit the reserve via cruise ships or airplanes. Hiking trails are available for travelers to admire the beauty of the park as they walk.

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Hubbard Glacier.

Hubbard Glacier is considered the largest glacier in the North Country. It is located on the coasts of Alaska. Despite its enormous size, Hubbard is still growing, gaining weight and length. The glacier, though slow, is in constant motion. It is moving toward the bay. The ice strata in the area are at least 400 years old. In the summer season, you can hear the noise of falling chunks of ice here. The movements of icebergs separating from the glacier can pose a serious problem when navigating maritime vessels.

Alaska / USA - Hubbard Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier

The location of the glacier is the northwestern island of the same name. Mendenhall occupies an area not far from the central point of Juneau. Climate change affects its location and size. In times past, Mendenhall was called “the glacier outside of town.” The Arctic area did not get its current name until 1891. The glacier was named after the scientist Mendenhall, who was a meteorologist and physicist. Mendenhall belongs to the Tongass National Forest. Wildlife is observed here.

Alaska / USA- Mendenhall Glacier

Tracy Arm Fjord.

Emerald waters await the tourists here. The fjord is surrounded by a mountain range and rocks arranged in a variety of features. The coasts in the area also have a varied character. Waterfalls fall directly on sharp cliffs, and glaciers and small icebergs can be seen here. Waterfalls create rivers that flow to the sea. You can often see deer or bear swimming in the area.

Alaska / USA - Tracy Arm Fjord

Brooks Falls.

The waterfall attracts the attention of tourists with its crystal drains and beauty. It is located in Katmai National Park. In the waters of Brooks in large numbers inhabited by sockeye and other fish species. Shallow waters in the reservoir attract bears, which catch their prey with their paws. There is a nature conservation regime prohibiting the extermination of animals in the area. Thanks to this, the number of wildlife inhabitants here is increasing every year. There are webcams near the waterfall, through which you can watch the bears catching fish.

Alaska / USA-Brooks Falls

Antique Car Museum (Fairbanks)

The museum, located in Fairbanks, exhibits rare makes of cars. The exhibit was created in 2007 under the direction of Tim Kearney. The collection consists of 85 cars. Almost all of the cars are in perfect condition and many are on the road. The models on display here have been produced since 1898. The collection includes cars produced before the 2nd World War. Also in the museum you can see pictures of different cars. During the warm season, the cars come out of the hangar, allowing guests to ride in the rare car brands or watch the races.

Alaska / USA - Antique Car Museum (Fairbanks)

Museum of the North (Fairbanks)

The exhibit is housed in a purpose-built building. The building maintains a futuristic architectural style. The exhibits are displayed in thematic halls. The largest halls are the historical, cultural and geographical halls. The museum has a botanical garden and a gallery with works of art by famous artists. The museum exhibits consist of everyday objects of the indigenous population of the country, mummies of different animals that lived in the Ice Age and other interesting artifacts.

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Alaska / USA - Museum of the North (Fairbanks)

Morris Thompson Center (Fairbanks)

The center can be thought of as a special campground for planning further travels in the Fairbanks area. Overnight accommodations, a Wi-Fi network, and a telephone for calls are offered here. Travelers can also receive brochures here. The center has an exhibit hall where you can see dioramas and other exhibits related to Alaskan history. There is also a research lab. The M. Thompson Center is open year-round. The complex may only close for the weekend on national holidays.

Alaska / USA - Morris Thompson Center (Fairbanks)

Anchorage Museum

The Anchorage Museum has been in operation since 1968. It was opened to commemorate the centennial of the sale of the state of Alaska to America. The museum complex occupies an area of 16,000 sq./m. When the exhibition began its work, the number of exhibits in the museum fund was at least 2,500, 60 of them were canvases. The collection was made up of ethnographic and historical objects. Today the museum fund has increased by about 10 times. Paintings are now on display in the gallery. The museum building is decorated with steel and glass.

Alaska / USA- Museum of Anchorage

Red Bulb Saloon (Skagway)

The saloon was considered the most popular place in the town of Skagway during the gold rush. The second floor of the complex had special “rooms” in front of which puppets were displayed. The girls were correlated with the dolls, which was how the prostitutes’ free time was determined. The horizontal position of the doll meant that the girl in the room was free. The look of the salon was completely changed for the activities of the museum. During tours, guests of the establishment can listen to tales of bygone times.

Alaska / USA-Alaska Red Onion Saloon (Skagway)

Alaska SeaLife Center (Seward)

The town of Seward is home to an oceanarium that is home to a variety of marine species. The aquarium opened in 1998. The organization does not conduct commercial activities, rather it aims to provide medical care for the underwater inhabitants. Anyone who intends to help keep seawater and rivers clean can familiarize themselves with the work and financial operations of the aquarium. Marine animals are brought here for rehabilitation. Specimens may require medical care as a result of the negative effects of a natural disaster or human activity. In this situation, the center takes them in to provide treatment.

Alaska / USA-Alaska SeaLife Center (Seward)

Alaska Zoo (Anchorage)

The Alaska Zoo opened in 1969. Thanks to the opening of the museum, the number of tourists coming to Anchorage has increased to several hundred thousand annually. The history of the Alaska Zoo is associated with an elephant that was won in a lottery by a local resident. Today, the number of mammals in the zoo is about 46 species. There are also different species of birds. The zoo has a rehabilitation center for injured and abandoned animals.

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Alaska / USA-Alaska Zoo (Anchorage)

Totem Bait Historical Park (Ketchikan)

The size of the historical park reaches 13 hectares. It was created in 1939. In the early cycle of the twentieth century, the indigenous people of the region began to move to areas close to the developed cities. After that, their villages began to deteriorate, and forest thickets covered the abandoned areas. Therefore, the government decided to preserve the monument and here organized the restoration of sites. As a result, it was possible to restore the ancient totem poles, the dwelling of the chief of the tribe and other artifacts. In the park, travelers can test their dexterity, participate in ancient rituals and arrange a canoe tour. In the evenings, there is a large bonfire and gatherings.

Alaska / USA-Totem Buit Historic Park (Ketchikan)

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail (Anchorage)

The trail starts from the center point of Anchorage and stretches all the way to Kincaid Park Complex. The length of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is approximately 17 km. The trail is used by hikers, bikers, and also by skiers and half-marathon runners. The trail winds along the shores of Cook Inlet. Airliners taking off from the regional airport are clearly visible from here. Fire Island can also be seen from the trailhead.

Alaska / USA-Tony Knowles Coastal Trail (Anchorage)

Alaska Railroad

Construction of the Alaska Railroad began in 1903. The main line is at least 760 km long. The Alaska Railroad is a Class 2 railroad. The Alaska Railroad is connected to the rest of the country’s rail network by a ferry route. The ferry route covers the area from Witter to Seattle. When traveling by rail, special routes are available for tourists that involve cars with panoramic windows and glass domes on the roof.

Alaska / USA-Alaska Railroad

Whales in Juneau.

This is a more popular sightseeing trip among tourists. The sightseeing hike can last up to 4 hours. Bus tours head from the central area of Juneau to the nearest port. The journey can take about half an hour. From there, hikers can transfer to special boats and continue the hike. Before getting to the whale congregation site, travelers can see other aquatic life, which makes the tour more interesting. Here you can see a flock of seals, which is more attractive to whales. Orcas are not afraid of humans, so they come very close.

Alaska / USA-Kits in Juneau

Northern Lights

A natural phenomenon similar to the Northern Lights is considered unique and very beautiful. Ionized microparticles react with the atmosphere resulting in the glow of its upper layers. Alaska is the most suitable location to observe the glow of atmospheric molecules. A similar phenomenon in brighter features is reflected especially in September, but is not impossible in other seasons. The observation deck at Denali Park is considered the best place to watch the northern lights.

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