Photo: Maridav/Shutterstock


America's largest state is approximately 1/5 the size of the continental 48 states and also hosts the lowest population density at approximately one person to every square mile.

Read More

This, coupled with Alaska's incredible variety of geographic features, truly makes it "The Last Frontier."

There are only a handful of major roads linking cities and settlements in Alaska (the state capitol Juneau is inaccessible by road and has just over 20 miles of paved road within city limits), but driving is still an option for visitors, provided they only travel in the south-central & central regions. Those hoping to make the drive from Seattle will have to prepare for at least 50 hours of road between the Canadian border and Anchorage. Because of the state's size, many people fly smaller aircraft or "puddle-jumpers" that take off and land on rivers and lakes.

Recreationally, Alaskans are extremely outdoors-minded, and its reputation as a world-class hunting and fishing destination is no secret. There are plenty of activities available, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter months to hiking and boating in the summer. Surfing has even seen tiny ripples of community sprouting along coastal towns like Homer and Yakutat. Backcountry enthusiasts take caution: while one is seldom further than 12 miles from a road in the "Lower 48," Alaska does not offer that luxury. Medical facilities are few and far between outside of urban centers.

The climate in Alaska ranges from subarctic to arctic, and is also home to one of the northernmost rainforests in the world. Summer days in the interior can reach over 100 degrees fahrenheit, while dropping to -80 in the winter. And while world-class ski resorts in Colorado, Utah, and California boast snowfalls exceeding 300 inches, a recent winter at Alyeska (just south of Anchorage) dropped 880 inches on the mountain -— over 70 feet of snow!

Trending City

Alaskans eat roadkill for all the right reasons

Dog sledding is Alaska’s national sport, and you can try it in Denali

In Juneau, Alaska, summertime means dog sledding and ice-cave hiking

Here’s when you can see the northern lights in Fairbanks, Alaska

How to road trip from Anchorage to Denali, even in winter

To see the real Alaska, you need to brave the rugged winter

How to spend 3 epic days based at the luxe Denali Backcountry Lodge

How to spend three perfect days in Denali from a campground

Videos From Alaska

Columbia and Matador present: The Cold vs. Gold Challenge

Magic Spot: Alaska's Mendenhall Glacier

Magic Spot: Alaska's Matanuska Glacier

Magic Spot: Tana Glacier

Load More


11 unforgettable moments you’ll experience in Alaska

Alaska trip itineraries: 3 unforgettable journeys

Alaska with kids: How to plan a family trip

7 reasons to take your dream Alaska trip THIS SUMMER

This year’s Olympics have started — in Alaska

Riding the Alaska Railroad is a fun and beautiful way to see the 49th state

Alaska’s Kenai Fjords are America’s answer to Norway

This savory Alaskan ice cream is made with berries, fish, and caribou

10 iconic Alaskan foods that show off the state’s abundant natural resources

Load More


Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners. For more information read our privacy policy.