Friday, September 22, 2017

Alaska-region-far-north

Far North

Far North Alaska is a land of tundra, rolling hills and mountain ranges. The Arctic experiences polar day, or midnight sun, during the summer, when the sun does not dip below the horizon. During the winter, polar night occurs, when the sun does not rise for several months.

Many communities can only be reached by air or snowmobile. The 415-mile-long Dalton Highway is the only US highway to cross the Arctic Circle. The Dalton Highway connects Livengood (70 miles north of Fairbanks) to Prudhoe Bay.

The Inupiat people still live in the Far North, relying on hunting and fishing for food and passing their oral history from generation to generation. Some villages have been occupied for more than 10,000 years.

Interior

Scenic drives are a great way to take in the mountain, wilderness and glacier views of the area at your own pace. Mount McKinley can be seen from the Parks Highway. Read more…

Alaska-region-southcentral Southcentral

Southcentral Alaska is the most populated region in Alaska and home to over half of Alaska’s population. With it’s relatively mild climate, mountains, lakes, oceans and glaciers, it is also a popular destination for visitors. Read more…

Alaska-region-southeastSoutheast

Southeast Alaska is popular with visitors for its scenery and mild climate. The inside passage offers activities such as whale watching, kayaking and canoeing. It is also a popular route for cruise ships during the summer. Read more…

Alaska-region-southwestSouthwest

Southwest Alaska encompasses a large area with a wide variety of terrain. The Aleutian Range of volcanic mountains runs along the entire length of the Alaska Peninsula. The Aleutian Islands stretch 1,000 miles from the peninsula towards Asia. The islands form part of the Pacific Ring of Fire with their 57 volcanoes and separate the Bering Sea from the Pacific Ocean.

The mountainous, forested Kodiak Island is the second largest island in the United States.

Bristol Bay’s freshwater streams make it the largest source of red salmon in the world.

Inland, there are tens of thousands of square miles of relatively remote and unspoiled terrain including boreal forest, swamps and highlands.

Geographic Facts Of Alaska

Size

Alaska is twice as large as Texas, California and Montana combined. Alaska’s 586,412 square miles measure 2,400 miles east to west and 1,420 miles north to south.

Mountains

Alaska has 19 mountain peaks higher than 14,000 feet. Seventeen of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are in Alaska. Mt. McKinley is the highest peak in North America at 20,237 feet high. Yukon’s Mt. Logan is the highest in Canada at 19,551 feet.

Coastline

Alaska has 6,640 miles of coastline. Including all of its islands, there are more than 33,900 miles of shoreline, which is double the amount in the Lower 48.

Volcanoes

Alaska has more than 70 volcanoes, with several erupting recently. Volcanic smoke is often visible to the west of the Kenai Peninsula. Valdez was near the epicenter of North America’s strongest recorded earthquake, with a force measuring 9.2 on the Richter Scale, that struck on March 27, 1964.

Glaciers

Alaska has about 100,000 glaciers. There are more active glaciers and ice fields in Alaska than the rest of the inhabited world.

Bering Glacier, in coastal south central Alaska, is the largest and longest Glacier in North America. The Bering Glacier complex includes the Bagley Icefield and has an area of 2,250 square miles. It is 118 miles long. The 850-square-mile Malaspina Glacier in southeast Alaska is the largest piedmont glacier in North America, spanning 60 miles across. A piedmont glacier is a steep valley glacier which has spread out into bulb-like lobes from spilling into flat plains.

Exit Glacier, near Seward, is one of Alaska’s most visited glaciers.

Lakes

Alaska has more than 3,000 rivers and over three million lakes. The 1,000-square-mile Lake Iliamna is the largest. The 1,980-mile-long Yukon River, which originates near Atlin, British Columbia and flows through the Yukon, is the third longest river in the U.S.

Highway Passes

The highest highway passes in Alaska are Atigun Pass (4,800 feet) on the Dalton Highway, Maclaren Summit (4,086 feet) on the Denali Highway (Cantwell-Paxson) and Eagle Summit (3,685 feet) along the Steese Highway.

Most visitors won’t drive over those passes but will cross over the fourth highest pass, Eureka Summit (3,322 feet) which is on the Glenn Highway between Anchorage and Glennallen.

Summit Pass, at 4,250 feet, is the highest on the Alaska Highway and is located 374 miles north of Dawson Creek in British Columbia.