Did You Know?  

Gray wolf ©Gary Karmer

  • Alaska has 3 million lakes over twenty acres big.
  • There are more bald eagles in Alaska then in all other states combined.
  • At 586,400 square miles, Alaska is the U.S.’s largest state, over twice the size of Texas.
  • More than 40 active volcanoes occur in Alaska. 
  • Alaska has over 33,000 miles of coastline.  It is the only state to have coastlines on two different oceans:  Arctic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.
  • Alaska has more than ten thousand glaciers – of which, one, is larger than the state of Rhode Island. (Over 1/2 the world’s glaciers!)
  • The coldest temperature ever officially recorded in the US was in Alaska. The temperature was -79.8°F – rounded off to -80°F – observed at Prospect Creek Camp in the Endicott Mountains of northern Alaska on Jan. 23, 1971.
  • During the winter, there is no daylight for 64 days in Barrow, while Anchorage has 6 hours of daylight on the shortest day of the year. 
  • Gray wolves inhabit 85% of Alaska.
  • The main mode of private transportation in the U.S. is by private automobile; while in Alaska it is small planes.
  • The largest recorded earthquake in North America was in Alaska in 1964 registering a 9.2 magnitude.
  • One of the things that makes Alaska special is that all three species of North American bears flourish here:  Polar, Black and Grizzly.
  • During hibernation, the body temperature of the arctic ground squirrel drops to the lowest of any living mammal.
  • Alaska’s moose are the largest of their species.  Average size:  1,350 pounds, 5 feet high to shoulder; antlers span: 72 inches.
  • Alaska also has the most northern point (Point Barrow) and the most western point (Cape Wrangell — further west than Hawaii) in the U.S.
  • Alaska has 17 of the 20 highest mountains in North America. Mt McKinley is the highest at 20,320 ft, second is Mt Saint Elias at 18,008 ft.
  • Alaska’s state fish is the king salmon.
  • Juneau (population of about 31,262) the only state capital is the US with no road access. It can only be reached by air or sea.
  • Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million by then Secretary of State William H. Seward.
  • Thompson Pass (near Valdez) received 974 inches of snow one year.