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Regions of Alaska

Alaska can be divided geographically into five or six separate regions. The North, the Interior, the Southwest, the Southcentral and Southeast. The Aleutian Islands are considered by some as it’s own separate region.

Alaska’s vastness cannot be overstated. It can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. For most travellers it will take numerous visits to the state to explore it all. For instance, it would take more than a lifetime to see all of it’s 3 million lakes! You’re in for an unforgettable experience no matter which region of Alaska you choose to explore. In a land of superlatives it’s hard to be disappointed.

Far North

Far North Alaska is a land of tundra, rolling hills and mountain ranges. The Arctic experiences polar day, or midnight sun, during the summer, when the sun does not dip below the horizon. During the winter, polar night occurs, when the sun does not rise for several months.

Many communities can only be reached by air or snowmobile. The 415-mile-long Dalton Highway is the only US highway to cross the Arctic Circle. The Dalton Highway connects Livengood (70 miles north of Fairbanks) to Prudhoe Bay.

The Inupiat people still live in the Far North, relying on hunting and fishing for food and passing their oral history from generation to generation. Some villages have been occupied for more than 10,000 years.

Interior

Between the Northern Brooks range and the Southern Alaska range lies the Interior of Alaska. In the summer months this can be the warmest region in the state with temperatures close to 90˚ in July and August. Fairbanks is the hub of activity in the area and can be reached by road and air. The most popular area is Denali National Park. Covering six million acres the park is larger than the state of Massachusetts. Plenty of room for it’s 400,000 yearly visitors to spread out and enjoy views of the 20,000 ft peak of Denali. Like the park, the rest of the interior is also home to plenty of moose, bear, caribou, wolves and eagles.

Southcentral

Most of Alaska is not accessible by road. But the Southcentral Region is different, from the bottom of the Kenai Peninsula to the edge of Prince William Sound to the heart of the Wrangell Mountains you can get there by driving. There are numerous opportunitiies to access freshwater fishing right from the road system. Just because it is accessible doesn’t mean it is less impressive. The variety of convenient adventures is impressive. 

Southeast

Most of Alaska is not accessible by road. But the Southcentral Region is different, from the bottom of the Kenai Peninsula to the edge of Prince William Sound to the heart of the Wrangell Mountains you can get there by driving. There are numerous opportunitiies to access freshwater fishing right from the road system. Just because it is accessible doesn’t mean it is less impressive. The variety of convenient adventures is impressive. 

Southwest

Most of Alaska is not accessible by road. But the Southcentral Region is different, from the bottom of the Kenai Peninsula to the edge of Prince William Sound to the heart of the Wrangell Mountains you can get there by driving. There are numerous opportunitiies to access freshwater fishing right from the road system. Just because it is accessible doesn’t mean it is less impressive. The variety of convenient adventures is impressive. 

Geographic Facts of Alaska

Size

Alaska is twice as large as Texas, California and Montana combined. Alaska’s 586,412 square miles measure 2,400 miles east to west and 1,420 miles north to south.

Coastline

Alaska has 6,640 miles of coastline. Including all of its islands, there are more than 33,900 miles of shoreline, which is double the amount in the Lower 48.

Mountains

Alaska has 19 mountain peaks higher than 14,000 feet. Seventeen of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are in Alaska. Mt. McKinley is the highest peak in North America at 20,237 feet high. Yukon’s Mt. Logan is the highest in Canada at 19,551 feet.

Volcanoes

Alaska has more than 70 volcanoes, with several erupting recently. Volcanic smoke is often visible to the west of the Kenai Peninsula. Valdez was near the epicenter of North America’s strongest recorded earthquake, with a force measuring 9.2 on the Richter Scale, that struck on March 27, 1964.

Glaciers

Alaska has about 100,000 glaciers. There are more active glaciers and ice fields in Alaska than the rest of the inhabited world.

Bering Glacier, in coastal south central Alaska, is the largest and longest Glacier in North America. The Bering Glacier complex includes the Bagley Icefield and has an area of 2,250 square miles. It is 118 miles long. The 850-square-mile Malaspina Glacier in southeast Alaska is the largest piedmont glacier in North America, spanning 60 miles across. A piedmont glacier is a steep valley glacier which has spread out into bulb-like lobes from spilling into flat plains.

Exit Glacier, near Seward, is one of Alaska’s most visited glaciers.

Lakes

Alaska has more than 3,000 rivers and over three million lakes. The 1,000-square-mile Lake Iliamna is the largest. The 1,980-mile-long Yukon River, which originates near Atlin, British Columbia and flows through the Yukon, is the third longest river in the U.S.

Highway Passes

Alaska has more than 3,000 rivers and over three million lakes. The 1,000-square-mile Lake Iliamna is the largest. The 1,980-mile-long Yukon River, which originates near Atlin, British Columbia and flows through the Yukon, is the third longest river in the U.S.

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