Alaska 101

Welcome to Alaska 101, your launchpad for learning about the Great Land. These are just the basics. From here, explore Alaska for the adventure of a lifetime.

Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959.

Alaska has 663,268 square miles of land and water.

The population is about 733,000.

20 indigenous languages are spoken.

Denali is North America’s highest peak, at 20,310 feet.

Snow covered denali below blue skies winding park road
NPS photo of Denali.
  • Nicknames: “The Last Frontier” and “Land of the Midnight Sun”
  • Motto: North to the Future
  • Anthem: “Alaska’s Flag”
  • State bird: willow ptarmigan
  • State fish: king salmon
  • State flower: forget-me-not
  • State tree: Sitka spruce

Photo by Greg Martin/Design Pics Inc/Alamy Stock

Largest city: Anchorage

Northernmost city in the United States: Utqiagvik

Capital: Juneau

downtown juneau and Gastineau channel elevation on mt roberts cross in foreground
View from the cross on Mt Roberts Juneau, Alaska. Photo by Susan Sommer

Alaska has more than 100 volcanoes; many are active

The trans-Alaska oil pipeline runs 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez

Highest recorded temperature: 100 degrees F

Lowest recorded temperature: -80 degrees F

Alaska Native People text over totem face
Read more about Alaska’s indigenous people. Photo by Bernard Spragg. Creative Commons.