Alaska – the largest state in the USA – is sparsely populated, rich in natural, beautiful landscapes, diverse wildlife species and adventure opportunities. But Alaska has even more to offer: There are 3 million lakes, over 3000 rivers, 17 of the 20 highest mountains in the USA, 100,000 glaciers, and 15 national parks, nature reserves and monuments. Tall, snow-capped peaks, glaciers and fjords, bears, elk, salmon-filled rivers and the shrill cry of the eagle are all part of the splendor of this state, which invites you to experiences that cannot be had anywhere else in the world. Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, is both a popular tourist destination and the economic and transport center of the region. About 40 percent of the state’s residents live here. Lake Hood is home to the world’s largest seaplane base – Alaska’s primary form of transportation. Fairbanks, Alaska’s second largest city, is located at the north end of the Alaska Highway. It is the center of trade and transportation for the central and far north regions of the state and the gateway to the true Alaskan frontier. From mid-May to July, you can enjoy more than 20 hours of sun per day in Alaska. In winter, however, the short days see mostly pink and indigo mixed twilight and only about four hours of true daylight.
- Travelationary: Covers basic information about Alaska geography and economy.
Arriving by plane
Many airlines fly to Anchorage. There are numerous airports that connect the main cities with each other. Anchorage has direct flights to Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Chicago year-round and Denver, St. Louis and Newark seasonally. Fairbanks has direct flights to Juneau and Seattle year-round and Chicago seasonally. Eurowings (EW) flies non-stop several times a week from Frankfurt/M. to Anchorage.
Arrival by car
You can enter Alaska from Canada on the impressive Alaska Highway. Speed Limits: Urban Interstate Highways: 55 mph (88 km/h) Urban Interstate Highways: 55 mph (88 km/h) outside urban areas
Arrival by train
There is no direct rail connection between Alaska and the other states of the USA. The Alaska Railroad connects Anchorage to Fairbanks via Denali and offers day trips to glaciers and Prince William Sound. In the southeastern state, the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway offers rides on historic routes and breathtakingly beautiful scenery.
Arrival by ship
There are regular ferry services to Canada and Washington State. Two fast ferries operate in Prince William Sound between Valdez, Cordova and Whittier. The Kenai Peninsula is accessible via Kachemak Bay by fast ferry. It runs twice a day between Homer and Seldovia from May to September.
Cunard and Hurtigruten call at the Inside Passage and the Northwest Passage, among others.
Passport and visa regulations
Entry with children
Since June 27, 2012, children need their own travel document (passport / children’s passport) for trips abroad (also within the EU). Entries of children in the parental passport are no longer possible.
Although English is the official language, numerous Native American languages and dialects survive in Alaska. Many people are bilingual, with the older population preferring their own language to English.
Alaska Public Lands Information Center
605 West Fourth Avenue, Suite 105
US-99501 Anchorage, Alaska
(907) 644 36 61.
http://www.alaskacenters.gov Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau
101 Dunkel Street, Suite 111
US-99701 Fairbanks, Alaska
(907) 456 57 74, (800) 327 57 74 (toll free within the US).
Mon-Sun 0800-1700 (27 Sep-10 May) and 0800-2100 (11 May-26 September).
Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau
800 Glacier Avenue, Suite 201
US-99801 Juneau, Alaska
Tel: (907) 586.22.01 or (888) 581.22.01 (toll free within the US).
Sitka, the former capital of Russian Alaska, offers interesting testimonies to the days when Alaska was still part of Russia. St. Michael ‘s Cathedral is particularly worth seeing. The Indian Cultural Center in Sitka National Park gives a taste of Native American traditions. Traces of the Native American tribes who once settled in Alaska can also be found on Prince of Wales Island.
The capital, Juneau, is located on the south-eastern coast in the middle of a picturesque fjord and glacier landscape. The pretty church of St. Nicholas with its onion domes is a reminder of the many Russian immigrants. The historic downtown Gold Rush
Historic District, recently redeveloped, contrasts attractively with the high-rise buildings of the Government District.
More than half of the population lives in Anchorage. A variety of interesting museums, fine dining and shopping make this dynamic city an ideal base for exploring beautiful Chugach State Park with its alpine scenery and Potter Point State Game Refuge for waterfowl viewing. Unique is a 30 minute ride on the Alaska Railroad to Whittier and the beautiful recreation area of Prince William Sound. Sailing, fishing, hiking, kayaking and nature watching are all available in this region with its many islands, fjords and glaciers. The ride from
Whittier on the ferry to Valdez passes the impressive Columbia Glacier. The Alyeska ski area on Mount Alyeska, around 70 km south of Anchorage, offers excellent winter sports opportunities with slopes for all levels of difficulty. Cross-country skiing, glacier hikes and dog sled rides complete the leisure program.
Best travel time
Alaska’s climates vary quite a bit, with Anchorage having pleasant summers and mild winters. Fairbanks and the interior of the country experience extreme temperature fluctuations, with an average of 22°C in summer and -28°C in winter.
- Usaers: Provides a full list of major rivers and mountains in Alaska.
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