Alaska

Located in the northwest corner of the United States, bordering the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Yukon territory to the east, and sharing a maritime border with Russia across the Bering Strait, Alaska is one of the most breathtaking destinations on the planet. Originally inhabited by various indigenous people, then settled by the Russians in the 18th century, Alaska became a part of the United States when it was purchased from Russia in 1867 for 7.2 million dollars, or a paltry 133 million dollars in today’s currency. The state has five regions:

1. The Inside Passage – Shaped by the staggering force of massive glaciers millions of years ago, Alaska’s Inside Passage stretches 500 miles along the Pacific Ocean from the border with the Canadian province of British Columbia. Blessed with wildlife-filled fjords, Glacier Bay National Park, the Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, and spectacularly beautiful towns like Juneau, Ketchikan, Petersburg, and Sitka, the Inside Passage is the most popular cruise destination for cruises departing from California, Seattle and Vancouver.

2. Southcentral – Home to Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, the Kenai Fjords National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the largest national park in the United States, historical sights like the Copper River Valley and Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark, and beautiful coastal towns like Seward, Whittier, Valdez and Cordova, the Southcentral region offers abundant natural beauty, wildlife viewing opportunities and adventure activities. 

3. Interior – The heartland of Alaska, and the original home of Alaska’s Athabascan people, the jewels of Interior Alaska are Denali National Park, home to the highest peak in North America, and the city of Fairbanks, rich in Alaska’s gold rush history. The region is accessible both by rail and road via the Alaska Railroad and the famous, scenic Parks, Richardson and Steese highways which intersect in Fairbanks.

4. Arctic – Located primarily above the Arctic circle, the Arctic region of Alaska is home to the Inupiat people, and vast, pristine national parks like the Gates of the Arctic, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, where the first humans passed from Asia into the Americas over 10,000 years ago. The majority of the region is accessible only by plane. One of the key roads in the region is the famous Dalton Highway, which runs 414 miles (666 km) from the north of Fairbanks all the way to Deadhorse and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Fields, near the Arctic Ocean at the northern tip of Alaska.

5. Southwest – Accessible only by air, Southwest Alaska is a remote, natural treasure. Some of the key sights include Katmai National Park with its landscape of volcanos, and abundance of brown bears,  Bristol Bay, quaint towns like Kodiak, Bethel, Dillingham and Dutch Harbor and the windswept Aleutian Islands which stretch 1,200 miles towards Asia.


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