“Alaska – not just a place you visit, it is a feeling you experience and remember for a lifetime.”

 

Alaska map Alaska is a land of almost unimaginable scale located in the Northwest extremity of North America. It makes up 1/5th of the size of the continental US and is about as large as England, France, Spain and Italy put together. It contains the tallest mountain, Mount McKinley, and 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the US! Plus dozens of glaciers, one of which is bigger than the whole of Switzerland.

The state also boasts active volcanoes, such as the Augustine Volcano, and prehistoric forests like the Tongass National Forest, which is the largest in the United States. Despite its position so close to the Arctic Circle temperatures can be surprisingly mild in the summer, reaching the mid 30°C’s. However, during winter they can plummet to -62°C.

For more information on our available Alaska tours click one of the links below.

 ALASKA TOURS
Fly Drive & Self Drive Tours Escorted Coach Tours Sightseeing & Excursions

Alaska has something for everyone from soaring peaks to sweeping landscapes, from deserts to rain forests. 400 species of wildlife share this land with the distinct cultures of the Native Americans. This extremely varied climate and environment supports a wide range of animal species such as all the big bears, caribou, moose, bison and humpback and killer whales just to name a few.

alaska northern lights
The Alaskan Northern Lights

This majestic landscape borders two oceans and three seas, with a 47,300-mile coastline. Alaska boasts over three million lakes, 3,000 rivers, 1,800 islands and more than 1,000 glaciers. With a land area of over 600,000 square miles and a population of just over 500,000, there is more than a square mile for every inhabitant – if this was repeated in Manhattan, only 16 people would live there!

People come from around the world to view Alaska’s Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis – one of nature’s most inspiring sights, which appear from late August through April. Created by the earth’s magnetic field, these curtains of yellow, green and red lights dance across the sky.

Many people think that summer is the only time to visit Alaska – and the long warm days are unspeakably beautiful. But so are the crisp blue skies above a blanket of white in winter. Or the trembling golden leaves of autumn. Whenever you visit, will be a great time – why not find out more about the ‘great land’ with our Alaska fly drive or escorted coach tours?

Alaska’s History

The name Alaska comes from the Aleut word ‘alyeska’ meaning ‘great land’. Alaska’s history became the stuff of legend when it was bought by the Americans for less than 2 cents an acre ($7.2 million) from the Russians in 1867. Little did the Russians know that a century later Alaska would be producing that much money in oil revenue every day.

alaska lake
One of Alaska’s Numerous, Beautiful Lakes

The original Alaskans were the native peoples of North America – the Athabascans, the Aleuts, Inuit and down on the coast the Tlingits and Haidas. Spanish, British and French explorers reached the coast, but it was the Russians who stayed to colonise during the 18th C. after finding a saleable commodity – fur. By the 1860’s the Russians were short of cash because of the Napoleonic wars and signed a treaty with Secretary of State William H. Seward to buy Alaska. The purchase was defined as a folly by most Americans, but Alaska’s natural riches began to gradually repay the investment. First it was whales, then salmon and eventually gold!

On January 3rd 1959, Alaska was finally admitted to the union as the 49th State. Disaster befell the new state on Good Friday 1964, with the Good Friday Earthquake. Registering 9.2 on the Richter scale, its effects were devastating. Recovery was boosted in 1968 with the discovery of massive oil deposits off Prudhoe Bay in the Arctic Ocean.

The 1971 Alaska Native Claims settlement Act paved the way for the construction of the 789-mile TransAlaska pipeline, from the north coast to Valdez in the south. The mineral rights from the oil find has been set aside as the Alaska Permanent Fund. The dividend from this pays out to every man, woman and child in the state every October. Last year everyone received $1500.

Top Locations and Attractions to Visit in Alaska

Denali national park
Denali National Park

Denali National Park
Glacier Bay National Park
Mendenhall Glacier
Kenai Fjords National Park
Chugach State Park
Anchorage Museum of Natural History
Alaska SeaLife Center
El Dorado Gold Mine
H2Oasis Indoor Water Park
Alaska Inside Passage

Check out our Alaska Sightseeing and Excursions page for more information

Contact Just America and let us create your Alaska self-drive holiday – ATOL & ABTA protected.

View mileage chart
View climate chart