Largely Remote with Unique Geographic Features

  • Population- 663,000
  • Capital- Juneau
  • Largest cities– Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks
  • Time zone- Alaska
  • Date of Admission to the Union- January 3, 1959
  • Slogan- “North to the Future”
  • State website URL-

Alaska is the largest state as far as land mass goes, but remains sparsely populated and remote. One might say that Juneau is the most distinct capital city in the U.S due to its relative remoteness. Residents from the rest of the state cannot just drive to Juneau; they must take a plane or a ferry. Geographically not only is Alaska one of the most wild and remote of the 50 states, it harbors what is believed to be the last, large storehouse of petroleum, much of it lying beneath government protected land—National and State parks. While every other state cuts itself into counties, Alaska is measured out in boroughs, a vestige of densely populated regions where municipalities are not so multi-layered.

Plenty of northern tier states win awards for extremes of hot and cold, but none can hold a candle to the northern area of Alaska, whose climate is not too dissimilar from that of the North Pole or Arctic Circle. Most people perhaps don’t realize that Alaska was originally a Russian possession. Alaska sits only a short distance across the Bering Sea from the shores of extreme eastern Russia.

Perhaps it is these extremes of climate that make it an unlikely place to grow your own food. Seafood is cheap and the foodstuff of choice in many remote towns. Game meat falls outside the typical Angus beef and consists of moose and reindeer. Thanks to the icy temperatures the world-renowned World Ice Art Championships are held annually and sled dog racing is a popular sport. Birding enthusiasts flock to Alaska’s Stikine River each spring to witness the growing population of bald eagles.

Socially speaking Alaska suffers from some of the same maladies as do Native Americans in the contiguous states, only more elevated: alcoholism is so much an issue that many communities are dry, yet in contrast, possession of small amounts of marijuana is perfectly legal. In an effort to build a thriving social structure and boost the state’s economy the University of Alaska provides attractive scholarships to the state’s brightest high school graduates.