Alaska has 6,640 miles of coastline and, including islands,
has 33,904 miles of shoreline.
Origin of Name: Russian version of an Aleutian word, Alakahak, for "peninsula," "great lands," or "land that is not an island"
The U.S. bought Alaska from Russia in October 1867 for 7.2 million dollars, or two cents per acre. Many Americans thought this was a waste of money and called Alaska "Seward’s Folly," after Secretary of State William H. Seward who arranged the purchase.
Alaska longest river, the Yukon, runs about 2,300 Miles, 1,400 in Alaska and 900 in Canada.
There are more than 3,000 rivers in Alaska and over 3 million lakes.
The largest, Lake Iliamna, encompasses over 1,000 square miles.
Each year Alaska has approximately 5,000 earthquakes, including 1,000 that measure above 3.5 on the Richter scale. Of the ten strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the world, three have occurred in Alaska.
Of the nation's 20 highest mountains, 17 are in Alaska. Mount McKinley ( 20,320 feet ) in the Alaska Range
is the highest in North America.
The National Park Service oversees more than 50 million acres of Alaska land. Six million-acre
Denali National Park and Preserve is its most visited.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, know
as the Last Great Race on Earth, attracts mushers worldwide for the Anchorage to Nome trek, about 1,100 miles.
Alaska Extremes: the coldest day ever recorded: minus 80 degree's F at Prospect Creek Camp, Jan.23, 1971.The hottest day: 100 degree's F at Fort Yukon, June 27, 1915. The deepest single snowfall ever recorded in Alaska: 62 inches, Thompson Pass, Dec. 7, 1955.
Alaska has more than 5,000 glaciers covering 100,000 square miles. There are more active glaciers and ice fields in Alaska than in the rest of the inhabited world. The largest glacier is the Malaspina at 850 square miles. Five percent of the state, or 29,000 square miles, is covered by glaciers.
Alaska boasts the northernmost (Point Barrow), the easternmost (Semisopochnoi Island in the Aleutians), and the westernmost (Little Diomede Island) points in the United States. This is possible because Alaska straddles the international dateline.
On March 27, 1964, North America’s strongest recorded earthquake, magnitude 9.2 on the Richter scale, rocked central Alaska.