Alaska – The US’s “Deep North”
One of the most recent states to join the USA (it gained state status in 1959, almost one hundred years after being bought from the Russians), Alaska is situated in the Northwestern extremity of the American continent, bordering Russia, the Pacific Ocean and Canada. Alaska is the largest US state by area and one of the most sparsely populated, with over half of its population living in Anchorage, the main metropolitan area. In recent years, Alaska has profiled itself as an up-and-coming tourist destination, mostly because of the great outdoors, wildlife and incredible scenery and climate that it hosts or experiences. Let’s find out more.
Getting to Alaska is rather easy, but you have to pass through the mainland US or Eastern Asia to find flights to Anchorage. The climate varies greatly between Southern and Northern Alaska (while the south is mostly oceanic, the north experiences arctic climate). Attractions lie everywhere in this northern land – the only problem is that some are hard to reach during most days of the year.
Southern Alaska offers spectacular views, interesting wildlife as well as numerous glaciers and fjords to explore. The Kenai Fjords are a US national park and house at least 38 glaciers and numerous species of polar bears or northern foxes. Frequent tours by boat or by plane (if you want to go a bit deeper into your pocket) are organized from Anchorage and will take you a day or two.
More to the Southwest, the Tongass National Forest, the largest of its kind in the United States, awaits visitors willing to have the wildlife experience of their lives. The area is full of waterfalls, rivers, grizzly and black bears, caribous and many other interesting sights and animals that attract numerous wildlife TV producers every year. The forest also provides outstanding recreation opportunities, including renting cabins in the woods, cruising on rivers, visiting cavern interiors of glaciers, as well as brown bear spotting.
A bit up north, another important natural wonder with breathtaking views and interesting wildlife lies under the cold Northern Sun: the Denali National Park. The park is home to America’s highest peak, Mount Denali (also known as McKinley) – 6190 meters – , as well as to numerous other high mountains and glacial valleys in the Polychrome Mountains.
To conclude, Alaska is one of the best places in the world to visit if you’re a lover of the great outdoors. The magnificent scenery, the numerous species of plants and animals, as well as the cool Native American traditions make Alaska one of the most exciting states of the US.