About Alaska Map - The map of Alaska gives a clear illustration of the geographical and political boundaries of the largest state of US, Alaska. Located in the northwest of the North American continent, it is the only non-contiguous US state and probably the largest exclave in the world.
The history of Alaska dates back to the time when the paleolithic families started inhabiting the northwestern part of North America, presumably between 16,000 and 10,000 B.C. Numerous indigenous groups dominated the population of Alaska,
However, financial constraints in Russia, the low trade profits and their wish to keep Alaska away from the hands of the British, prompted the Russians to willingly sell Alaska. After the instigation and negotiation of the US Secretary of State, William Seward, Alaska was purchased from Russia for $7,200,000 on 1 August 1867. However, critics believed that the land had nothing much to offer, and hence, this purchase was nicknamed in the US as “Seward’s Folly,” or “Seward’s Icebox.” Later, the discovery of gold and oil, made the land valuable, and eventually changed the perception. Followed by a flag changing ceremony at Sitka, Alaska officially came under the possession of the United States on 18 October 1867. The discovery of gold led to the inflow of thousands of miners and several new towns were established in Alaska. Eventually copper mining, canning and fishing industry began to flourish in the early 20th century. In 1900, the capital of Alaska was moved from Sitka to Juneau.
A persuasion for Alaska statehood began by the turn of the 20th century. However, the sparse population of Alaska, the remoteness of the place and its poor economic condition acted as a big barrier. The discovery of oil at Swanson River came as a blessing, and this led to the signing of Alaska Statehood Act into the United States Law, by the then President Dwight D. Eisenhower. On 3 January 1959, Alaska was declared a state, the 49th state of the US Juneau remained its state capital, while William A. Egan was crowned as its first Governor.
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Alaska is flanked by the Canadian territory Yukon and the British Columbia on the East; the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Alaska on the South; the Bering Strait, the Bering Sea and the Chukchi Sea on the West; and the Arctic Ocean and Beaufort Sea on the North. Its location in the Eastern Hemisphere makes it the westernmost, northernmost and the easternmost state of the United States. With a land area of 586,412 square miles, it is undoubtedly the largest state of the United States. Precisely, Alaska is above twice the size of Texas. As per the estimate conducted in the year 2013, Alaska has a population of 735,132. The largest city in Alaska is Anchorage.
Alaska is blessed with an incredible topography. It is home to various breathtaking islands, houses around 3.5 million lakes, dotted with wide areas of marshland and wetland, and has 16,000 square miles of glacier covered land. The rugged mountain ranges and the flat tundra panoramas, are an added appeal to the place. There is a chain of volcanoes in Alaska, out of which many are categorized as “active volcanoes.” An intriguing fact of Alaska is that, it has more ocean coastline than the combined coastline of other US states. Though not officially divided, Alaska is widely grouped into six regions; South Central, Southeast, Interior, Southwest, North Slope and the Aleutian Islands.
While the climate of Southeast Alaska is categorized by a mid-latitude oceanic climate, and a subarctic oceanic climate, the climate of Western Alaska is categorized by a subarctic oceanic climate and a continental subarctic climate. Climate in the interior of Alaska is subarctic, and it is arctic in the extreme north of Alaska.
Alaska is a land of wilderness, brimming with spectacular natural beauty, glaciers, tundra landscapes, and rocky and snow-capped mountain ranges. In fact, the place is an epitome of natural beauty and selecting the top places to visit is a hard nut to crack. In addition, it offers a fascinating range of adventurous activities like, kayaking, mountaineering, rafting, hiking, fishing, paddling, dog sledging, biking, and the likes. The major cities of Alaska like Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Sitka are a feast for the eyes and have much to offer to lure an ardent traveler.
Some of the top attractions of Alaska are: the Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park Day Cruise, Sitka National Historical Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska Highway, Inside Passage, Northern Lights, Iditarod National Historic Trail, Mendenhall Glacier, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, University of Alaska Museum of the North, and more.
Last Updated On : Sept 10, 2014
NicknameThe Last Frontier
Joined the UnionJanuary 3, 1959 (49th state)
Area663,300 sq miles
Highest PointMount McKinley
Time ZoneAKST-Alaska Standard Time (UTC−09:00)