Amazing Trivia

Name

The word Alaska comes from the Aleut term Alyeska which means The Great Land.

Land Area

Alaska is the largest state in the union. At 586,412 square miles it is one-fifth the size of the Lower 48.

Weather

The greatest annual precipitation in Alaska occurred in MacLeod Harbor in Prince William Sound where 332.29 inches were recorded. Record snowfalls were recorded north of Valdez at 974.5 inches. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Alaska was minus 80 at Prospect Creek.

State Population

Alaska population is 626,932 (2000 Census). Nearly half of the state residents live in Anchorage. Alaska has almost one square mile for each person in the state (New York has .003).

Mountains

Alaska has 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the U.S. Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America, is 20,320 ft. above sea level. Denali, the Indian name for the peak, means The Great One.

Caves

At over 2 miles in mapped length, El Capitan Cave on Prince of Wales Island is the longest cave in North America.

Islands

Kodiak and Prince of Wales Island in Alaska are the largest and third largest islands in the United States.

Water Bodies

The Yukon River, almost 2,000 miles long, is the third longest river in the U.S. There are more than 3,000 rivers in Alaska and over 3 million lakes. The largest, Lake Iliamna, encompasses over 1,000 square miles.

Glaciers

Alaska has an estimated 100,000 glaciers, covering about five percent of the state. There are more active glaciers and ice fields in Alaska than in the rest of the inhabited world. The largest glacier is the Bering Glacier Complex at 2,250 square miles (approximately the size of Delaware).

Compass Points

Alaska boasts the northernmost (Point Barrow), the easternmost (Semisopochnoi Island in the Aleutians), and the western most (St. Lawrence Island) points in the United States.

Volcanoes

There are more than 70 potentially active volcanoes in Alaska. Several have erupted in recent times.

Earthquakes

North America strongest recorded earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.2, rocked Alaska March 27, 1964. Each year, Alaska has approximately 5,000 earthquakes, including 1,000 that measure above 3.5 on the Richter scale. Of the ten strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the world, three have occurred in Alaska.

Amazing Birds

The largest known concentration of bald eagles in the world spends time each fall and winter along the Chilkat River in Southeast Alaska. More than 3,500 bald eagles gather to feed on salmon. Literally billions of birds of more than 440 different species occur in Alaska.

Coastline

Alaska has 6,640 miles of mainland coastline. Including islands, it has 33,904 miles of coastline.

National Forests

The nation's two largest national forests, the Tongass and the Chugach, are located in Alaska.

Alaska overlayed on a map of the USA


Quick Links

Alaska state flag

State Motto: North to the Future


Willow ptarmigan

State Bird: Willow Ptarmigan


Four-spotted dragonfly

State Insect: Four-spotted Dragonfly


Chinook salmon

State Fish: Chinook Salmon


Wild forget-me-not flower

State Flower: Wild Forget-Me-Not


Woolly Mammoth

State Fossil: Woolly Mammoth


Sitka spruce tree

State Tree: Sitka Spruce

 



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