Alaska probably is the most beautiful “wild” state in America. Alaska covers 600,000 square miles with over 33,000 miles of shoreline and 1,800 islands. Inside this wild state you can encounter over 50,000 glaciers, 3,000 rivers and 3,000,000 lakes. Here are 17 of the 20 highest mountain peaks in the USA including the 20,320 feet Denali.
The climate change from the surprisingly warm summers when temperatures can reach 100 F to the fiercely cold winters when you will find -55 F. The North Slope along the Arctic Coast is classic arctic tundra, a treeless semi-desert climate with extremely cold winters. Here a day during the summer is as long as a night during the winter season because of these high latitudes. In the north a summer day can stretch up to 22 hours. The Alaskan people call this “the land of the midnight sun”. During the winter nights often you can observe on the sky the Aurora Borealis, the “stars dance”.
In Alaska the population is concentrated in a few cities and towns along the coast. It has less than one person per square mile. Alaska is a state full of scenic attractions that can be divided into several distinct areas with the city of Anchorage placed at the center. Copper Valley, Mat-Su Valley, the Kenai Peninsula and Chena River State Recreation Area are all located near Anchorage, and you can visit them by car or just taking a ferryboat.
The Fairbanks and Denali National Park are located north of Anchorage and can be reached from the city on Route 3 or from the Canadian border using the Alaska Highway. In this state, if you want to visit the majority of these scenic places you will have to use a floatplane or a boat along the inland waterways. Don’t worry, Alaska has a huge number of “bush pilots” with small aircraft willing to taxi you almost anywhere for a fee. Alaska Marine Highway ferries travel from Bellingham, Washington, or Prince Rupert, Canada, to Sitka, Juneau and Haines with numerous stops at many of the shoreline communities. Via the Alaska Highway you can drive only to Skagway or to Haines.
If you live in America and want to visit Alaska you should know that there are four ways to get there: air, boat, train or car. Most flights go in and out of Fairbanks or Anchorage, since they are larger and provide easy access to more of the state. From most major cities there are daily direct flights. Within the state, there are frequent commuter flights between cities plus charter helicopters and small planes providing transportation to the more remote locations. If you want to go in Alaska for a 4 to 7 days trip, you should know that several commercial cruise lines depart from Seattle or Vancouver, Canada. They usually follow the coastline up to Prince William Sound and back with glacier viewing, whale watching and stopovers in Sitka and Skagway. In most of these excursions you will also visit Denali National Park and other interior attractions. If think that the prices are to high you can try the ferries of the Inland Marine Highway that departs weekly from Bellingham, 70 miles north of Seattle, to Sitka, Juneau, Skagway and Haines, with stops at many coastal villages on the way.
About the transport, you won’t find any direct railroad connection between the “lower 48″ states and Alaska. Once inside Alaska, 470 miles of railroad extend from Seward, through Denali to Fairbanks. But these trains are very comfortable, a good place from which you can observe the scenic places through the large windows. Despite the harsh winters, this railroad runs all year round. But, if you go with your own car you can drive on the Alaska Highway that starts at Dawson Creek in British Columbia and ends 1,422 miles north in Delta Junction Alaska. The road was built during World War II. It is in good condition and used by many thousands of visitors every year. It takes about four days of driving to navigate the full length of the Alaska Highway.
So, if you want to visit Alaska, want to haunt some animals there or you just want to take pictures for some nature magazine or for yourself you always be prepared. Just remember, Alaska is a wild state. You should always take safety precautions before going on trips, like letting someone know your itinerary. If you visit Alaska during the winter, remember, you can find harsh and overwhelming conditions, so pack some cold weather clothes and other stuffs. During the summer the greatest threat comes from bears. When hiking, you should always make plenty of noise to avoid startling any bear. For your safe you better do that and also take at least a pepper spray with you.
Wheter you’re getting ready to come to Alaska or if you are just looking for Alaska informations make a school report, I just hope you will find this article interesting as well as our others article.